Рита Браун: Out Of Hounds

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Рита Браун Out Of Hounds
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    Out Of Hounds
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    Random House Publishing Group
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    Детектив / на английском языке
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Out Of Hounds: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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"Sister" Jane Arnold and her hounds must sniff out a thief with expensive taste when a string of missing paintings leads to murder in this exciting foxhunting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown. Spring is peeking through the frost in Virginia, and though the hunting season is coming to a close, the foxes seem determined to put the members of the Jefferson Hunt Club through their paces. Sister and her friends are enjoying some of the best chases they've had all season when the fun is cut short by the theft of Crawford Howard's treasured Sir Alfred Munnings painting of a woman in hunting attire riding sidesaddle. When another painting goes missing five days later--also a Munnings, also of a woman hunting sidesaddle--Sister Jane knows it's no coincidence. Someone is stealing paintings of foxhunters from foxhunters. But why? Perhaps it's a form of protest against their sport. For the hunt club isn't just under attack from the thief. Mysterious signs have started to appear outside their homes, decrying their way of life. stop foxhunting: a cruel sport reads one that appears outside Crawford's house, not long after his painting goes missing. no hounds barking shows up on the telephone pole outside Sister's driveway. Annoying, but relatively harmless. Then Delores Buckingham, retired now but once a formidable foxhunter, is strangled to death after her own Munnings sidesaddle painting is stolen. Now Sister's not just up against a thief and a few obnoxious signs--she's on the hunt for a killer.

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Out of Hounds is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2021 by American Artists, Inc.

Illustrations © 2021 by Lee Gildea, Jr.

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

Ballantine and the House colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

library of congress cataloging-in-publication data

Names: Brown, Rita Mae, author. | Gildea, Lee, Jr., illustrator.

Title: Out of hounds: a novel / Rita Mae Brown; illustrated by Lee Gildea.

Description: First edition. | New York: Ballantine Books, [2021] | Series: Sister Jane; 13 |

Identifiers: LCCN 2020027150 (print) | LCCN 2020027151 (ebook) | ISBN 9780593130063 (hardcover; acid-free paper) | ISBN 9780593130070 (ebook)

Subjects: LCSH: Arnold, Jane (Fictitious character)—Fiction. | Murder—Investigation—Fiction. | Fox hunting—Fiction. | GSAFD: Mystery fiction.

Classification: LCC PS3552.R698 O96 2020 (print) | LCC PS3552.R698 (ebook) | DDC 813/.54—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/​2020027150

LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/​2020027151

Ebook ISBN 9780593130070


Cover design: Victoria Allen

Cover illustration: © 2021 by Peter Malone




Title Page


Cast of Characters

Some Useful Terms

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38


Author's Note



Other Titles

About the Author



Jane Arnold, MFH, “Sister,” runs the Jefferson Hunt. MFH stands for “Master of Foxhounds,” the individual who runs the hunt, deals with every crisis both on and off the field. She is strong, bold, loves her horses and her hounds. In 1974, her fourteen-year-old son was killed in a tractor accident. That loss deepened her, taught her to cherish every minute. She’s had lots of minutes, as she’s in her early seventies, but she has no concept of age.

Shaker Crown, the huntsman, suffered a bad accident last season. He is hoping to recover, has seen specialists, but while he can ride he can’t risk another fall.

Gray Lorillard isn’t cautious in the hunt field, but he is cautious off it, as he was a partner in one of the most prestigious accounting firms in D.C. He knows how the world really works and, although retired, is often asked to solve problems at his former firm. He is smart, handsome, in his early sixties, and is African American.

Crawford Howard is best described by Aunt Daniella, who commented, “There’s a great deal to be said about new money and Crawford means to say it all.” He started an outlaw pack of hounds when Sister did not ask him to be her joint master. Slowly, he is realizing you can’t push people around in this part of the world. Fundamentally, he is a decent and generous man.

Sam Lorillard is Gray’s younger brother. He works at Crawford’s stables. Crawford hired Sam when no one else would, so Sam is loyal. He blew a full scholarship to Harvard thanks to the bottle. He’s good with horses. His brother saved him and he’s clean, but so many people feel bad about what might have been. He focuses on the future.

Daniella Laprade is Gray and Sam’s aunt. She is an extremely healthy nonagenarian who isn’t above shaving a year or two off her age. She may even be older than her stated ninety-four. Her past is dotted with three husbands and numerous affairs, all carried out with discretion.

Wesley Blackford, “Weevil”—he’s just tipped over thirty, is divinely handsome, loves hounds. He fills in for the injured Shaker Crown, whom he respects. Weevil has brilliance and the foundation of ballast.

Anne Harris, “Tootie,” left Princeton in her freshman year, as she missed foxhunting in Virginia so very much. Her father had a cow, cut her out of his will. She takes classes at the University of Virginia and is now twenty-four and shockingly beautiful. She is African American.

Yvonne Harris, Tootie’s mother, is a former model who has fled Chicago and her marriage. She divorced Victor Harris, a hard-driving businessman who built an African American media empire. She built it with him. She is trying to understand Tootie, feels she was not so much a bad mother as an absent one. Her experience has been different from her daughter’s, and Tootie’s freedoms were won by Yvonne’s generation and those prior. Yvonne doesn’t understand that Tootie doesn’t get this.

Margaret DuCharme, M.D., is Alfred’s daughter and she’s acted as a go-between for her father and uncle since childhood. Her cousin, Binky’s son Arthur, also acts as a go-between and both the cousins are just fed up with it. They are in their early forties, Margaret being more successful than Arthur, but he’s happy enough.

Walter Lungrun, M.D., JT-MFH, is a cardiologist who has hunted with Sister since his boyhood. He is the late Raymond Arnold’s son, which Sister knows. No one talks about it and Walter’s father always acted as though he were Walter’s father. It’s the way things are done around here. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Betty Franklin is an honorary whipper-in, which means she doesn’t get paid. Whippers-in emit a glamorous sheen to other foxhunters and it is a daring task. One must know a great deal and be able to ride hard, jump high, think in a split second. She is Sister’s best friend and in her mid-fifties. Everyone loves Betty.

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