Cover Image: Lost & Hound

Lost & Hound

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theft, American-fox-hunting, Virginia, animals, animal-narratives, animal-welfare, murder-investigation, local-law-enforcement, cozy-mystery, cozy-crime, conservation, restoration*****

September 2022 in Virginia where the state sport is Fox Hunting and the state dog is Foxhound. It's a good thing that there is an explanatory cast of characters at the beginning because there are so many verbal animals as well as humans! I like this series because it stresses the importance of caring for wild animals as well as the household variety by a class of people who choose to spend their money securing the future for everyone. Those who work together in their own way to help solve the murder are not all human, but also an assortment of animals who are able to converse with one another. Just not the (dimwitted) humans.
It's always fun to learn new things!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley. Thank you

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“Lost and Hound”, the fifteenth book in Rita Mae Brown’s “Sister” Jane mystery series, has a good mystery – a dead body is tied to a chair and left in the path of fox hunters. The dead body is clearly meant to send a message to one of the group but who and why? A second connected mystery regarding stolen stamps also adds to the intrigue. Unfortunately, I found that the mystery got lost for long stretches of time as the book described several fox hunts in detail – sure the fox hunts were interesting and there was one very suspenseful fox hunt but I felt that they got in the way of the mystery. Also, the ending when the killer was revealed was a bit unbelievable to me (not who the killer was but the revealing itself) but the motive was an eye-opener for me and I learned of a sad, criminal way to make money.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.

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The Jefferson Hunt Club is preparing for the annual fox hunt, when a body is found in a field tied to a chair, obviously meant to be seen. There are plenty of clues, red herrings and plot twists to move the story along. My favorite part of the book were the conversations between the animals. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book and chose to write a voluntary, unbiased review.

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"Lost & Hound" is a Sister Jane mystery, and this is going to be one of my favorites of the series.

The plot is a little convoluted, so don't think too hard.

The Jefferson Hunt is getting their trails and jumps ready for the winter hunt season. The hounds need exercise, as do the horses, and the members repair things like broken jumps and fallen logs in bad places. On one of the early season outings, a foggy morning, two riders notice that there seems to be a face or something in the fog, but busy with their tasks of watching the hounds, they keep going and don't investigate.

Sister Jane returns to the area after talking to them and discovers a dead body, tied to a dining room chair, placed along a trail where it would have been seen...except for the fog. While the investigation proceeds on this murder, another hunter finds his stamp collection stolen. He had a specialized collection of reptiles and amphibians, plus some colorful stamps that pleased him, but not a very valuable collection.

The victim in the chair also turns out to be a stamp collector. The stolen stamps are recovered, but one is missing. It's found taped to the door of Ronnie Haslip, the hunt treasurer. Apparently this is all meant to convey a message but no one can figure out what it is.

Someone attacks Ronnie, striking his head very hard and damaging his eye socket, risking his vision, and if there had been a follow-up, his life. The second strike was prevented, but the attacker escapes.

Ronnie is comatose for a time, and when he starts to awaken, he sees Sister Jane at his bedside. Hunt members have been sitting with him as companions and guardians since the attack. He's still pretty fuzzy, but he tells Jane that he remembers going down a corridor and meeting someone while he was unconscious. It was Ray Ray, Sister Jane's son, dead of a farm accident many years earlier. Ray Ray told Ronnie to go back to Sister Jane.

Jane is delighted that there is a chance of seeing her Ray Ray when she passes eventually. Ronnie doesn't have much to offer for solving his attack, but he'll continue to recover, hopefully getting his full vision back kin the injured eye.

I have always enjoyed the people and animals who populate this book series. I care less about solving the mystery of the moment, as I take pleasure in visiting the Virginia hunt country yet again. For those who are concerned about foxhunting, American foxhunters pursue their quarry with a pack of hounds until the quarry escapes into a den or manages to confuse their scent and get away. The foxes live to challenge the hunt another day, and indeed, all have names and personalities. One lives in the entry of one of the hunters, snuggling in the horse blankets on an upper shelf while people walk into the house below him. Many of them feed the foxes to supplement their diet, and Sister Jane worms them regularly to keep them healthy.

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A high water mark in the cozy mystery genre! Nobody does it like Rita Mae Brown, with familiar characters and settings entwined with a mystery that actually keeps the reader guessing. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this one in advance.

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An excellent mystery that kept me guessing until the end. When a series of seemingly unrelated crimes impact the Jefferson Hunt, everyone wonders who the culprit is. More than the other books in this series, Lost Hound puts more emphasis on both the people of the Hunt and of its pre-season workings. This, combined with a thrilling denouement makes for a great mystery.

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Rita Mae Brown is cozy mystery royalty. "Sister" Jane has returned for our next fox hunting season. And as always, something is going to go wrong and Sister and her friendly neighborhood team of hounds, horses and of course, a fox or two, will investigate the multiple crimes that keep the hunt on hold. The multiple story lines kept me guessing until the very end, but as always, the good guys....and their animal co-horts.....save the day.

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Written by a favorite author, this is a page turner. Red herrings keep the ending a surprise. The realistic characters keep the story moving quickly. I liked this book. No give aways...This book was sent to me by Netgalley.

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Rita Mae Brown’s books are always so fun and informative with an in-depth look at the Virginia hunt club culture. Sprinkle in a mystery, some love stories and a bit of angst for a fast, easy-to-read, entertaining story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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Lost & Hound by Rita Mae Brown, another in the Sister Jane series, continues to inform the reader on the joys of riding to the hounds without having to kill the foxes they are after. Of course, there is a body and a mystery to be solved which makes for a good read. ..

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Love love love the fox hunting novels by Rita Mae Brown. The animals are the best characters ever. These books show how true fox hunters treat all animals

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Another wonderful cozy read by Rita Mae Brown. I just love her style of writing. Four of five stars!

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A woman owns a hunting ground and it is fall so the season opens. As the hunt starts a dead body is found where it is located in the path the hunters need to follow.

The mystery must be solved as the hunters are clearly targeted.

A Rita Mae Brown book is not complete without animals and this book features foxes, hound dogs and a horse.

As always with this author the book is a delight to read.

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