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Outfoxed (Foxhunting Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

Rita Mae Brown


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Book Description

Nov 2000 Foxhunting Mysteries (Book 1)
As Master of a prestigious hunt club, Jane Arnold, known as Sister, is the most revered citizen in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountain town where a rigid code of social conduct and deep-seated tradition carries more weight than money. Nearing seventy, Sister now must select a joint master to ensure the club's future. It is an honor of the highest order--and one that any serious social climber would covet like the Holy Grail.

When the competition flares up between two determined candidates, Southern gentility flies out the window. Soon the entire town is pulled into a rivalry that is spiraling dangerously out of control. Even the animals have strong opinions. But when opening hunt day ends in murder, Sister is stunned. Now, with the help of a few clever foxes and hounds, she must lay the trap to catch the killer.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345428196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345428196
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 10.8 x 17.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,549,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  66 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are no words to do this work justice 28 Dec 1999
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There are a few places left in Virginia where time seems to have stopped and the mindset remains the same as that of a hundred-plus years ago. The Jefferson Hunt Club and the immediate vicinity surrounding the facility are the epitome of the antebellum lifestyle enriched by twenty-first century technology. This small corner of the globe contains individuals steeped in a special heritage with genteel manners and seething passions especially for the Hunt led by popular Jane "Sister" Arnold.

Sister is the master of the Hunt and has been for more years than many participants have lived. She currently inspects the horses, dogs, and foxes that will participate in the next Hunt. The animals are as intelligent as the humans and communicate amongst themselves. Sister has begun to feel her age and believes it is time to select a joint master to continue the tradition after she dies. However, during the Hunt, one of the leading contenders is murdered. This leaves everyone to wonder how far someone will go to eliminate the competition.

Anyone who loves Sneaky Pie and Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy series will want to read OUTFOXED. The story line centers on the tightly closed American foxhunt scenario that is a part of our American heritage. The lead protagonist is a wise person who the audience will enjoy for her compassion for all that is alive and her leadership abilities. However, this novel belongs to the animals that make readers believe they can talk and think in a logical humanistic manner that Dr. Doolittle and Murphy would envy.

Harriet Klausner
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tally-ho murder! 7 Jan 2000
By Marianne Sobchak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
An exciting murder in the hunt field. Move over sheriff, it will take a special MFH and a pack of foxhounds to solve this one. Rita Mae Brown has done herself proud with this book. Once again, we are taken to the hills of Virginia to find a murder. If you love horses or the Mrs. Murphy series, this book is a must.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery involving a different way of life... 18 Aug 2003
By K. L Sadler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am getting the distinct feeling that many people are not happy with this information concerning fox hunting in America. Myself, I find it interesting (since Virgina is barely a hop, skip, and a jump away from Pennsylvania). Also, many readers are a little skeptical of Brown's anthromorphizing of the animals in her book. Even though we do not understand everything there is to know about animals, I do know as a scientist that many of the past ways of looking at animals are untrue. For years, scientists said animals did not play. That's been disproven on many fronts. When was the last time you saw an otter? Sometimes I think all they do is play and preen themselves. And zoos are now giving animals all kinds of 'human' things like balls, ropes, etc. because they found out that animals like bears and monkees are prone to depression if they don't have much to play with, or never see anything new to explore.
Enough of the ranting. I enjoyed this book. It obviously came before one of her other books I read with 'Sister' in it. Some of the talk between the animals is absolutely hilarious, just because I can imagine the dumb things that we do as humans probably amuse them. As for animals like foxes becoming used to people, it does happen...we went camping and had three skunks as visitors, who would munch on marshmallows for an hour while around the campfire, and then left to bug someone else. Screams all over the campsite but no one got sprayed. Those skunks knew we were a source of treats. I don't recommend feeding wild animals usually, and especially with rabies in raccons and skunks. But these guys were harmless, and just after our food. I imagine the animals got a big kick out of scaring campers too.
Rita Mae Brown has always been a favorite of mine, and will continue to be as she writes. She is a good writer, and I happen to like the dialogue between humans and between animals. This is a method of writing that has been around for a long time...remember Watership Down, and of course, Animal Farm by George Orwell. This is just a light and enjoyable read. When you have to read bioethics and science stuff all the time, it is nice to have something like this at your bedside.
Karen Sadler
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many talking animals 5 Jun 2000
By "kathrynlively" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I love Rita Mae, I've read just about everything she's written, and I looked forward to this mystery which did not feature Mrs. Murphy (I thought it would be a nice change of pace for me).
Well, you could say Mrs. Murphy is there, in spirit anyway. In Outfoxed were are treated to talking foxhounds, cats, horses, owls, foxes, etc., all of whom have rather high opinions of themselves. To bill this novel as a mystery would be misleading as well, as the mystery doesn't happen until after the reader has plowed through nearly 1/2 book, which actually provides a detailed look at foxhunting.
I've never been foxhunting, but thanks to RMB I have a better picture of it. One thing I found interesting is that Sister Arnold appeared to be more upset with the murder of an animal than with the human being found dead. Like other reviewers, I do wonder if this novel has thinly veiled autobiographical tones.
I would recommend this book to die-hard RMB fans. I imagine others might get a headache from the chattering forest of four-footed folk.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Primer to Replace "Riding to Hounds in America" 23 Jan 2000
By Northeast Texas Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I think my background as a former foxhunter, horse and hound (both foxhounds and bassets) owner, increased my enjoyment of this book. Origionally a "hunting to ride" participant, I evolved into a "riding to hunt" person. Consequently, the dialogue of the hounds, foxes, and horses seemed very reasonable and natural. The politics, egos, plus good and bad manners and horsemanship of the characters were true to my experiences. At times I paid more attention to the dialog and actions than to the mystery to be solved. It was nice not to have someone killed within the first 30 pages. Instead there was ample time for the story's geographic, social, and technical settings to be painted for the reader. Since one pleasure of reading I enjoy is the chance to learn about new things, I recommend this book as an outstanding introduction to foxhunting.
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