Book Review: Hounded to Death by Rita Mae Brown
Long time readers of this site will already be aware that I am a bit of a Rita Mae Brown fan. Indeed I have reviewed several of Ms. Brown’s books and have been heard to complain that she only seems to crank out mysteries these days, rather than the non-genre novels I enjoyed so much in years past. Hounded To Death is the sixth novel featuring Sister Jane Arnold, Master of Foxhounds for the Jefferson Hunt in mid-Virginia. Given that this is the sixth installment, I found it slightly irritating that Brown begins with a glossary of fox-hunting terms, though I was a bit grateful for the cast of characters listing, explaining just who is who which also precede the novel. (As I mentioned in this post, it can be difficult to sort out all of the new characters in a Brown mystery.)
As always, Ms. Brown is truly a master of the suspense novel, and once through the first few chapters, the book is very engaging and the reading seems to fly by. (I finished the book in less than 36 hours.) It did seem that Brown rather lazily included only one “red herring” and killed off the villain in less than two paragraphs after the character was revealed as such. These quibbles aside, I did greatly enjoy reading Hounded To Death and also appreciated that Brown has really fleshed out Jane Arnold and the other major characters in this series. According to the jacket blurb, Brown has herself become a Master of Foxhounds and while I do miss her non-genre novels I have to say that it seems as though Brown is writing about her passions and her genuine interests and this does make for a much more satisfying novel. If you are a Rita Mae Brown fan, or have an interest in good suspense novels or fox hunting, Hounded To Death is Recommended.