Jane Arnold, a lively lady in her seventies, is in
Manhattan for once when she discovers the body of a
tobacconist who has been shot. Little does she know that
the cause of the crime will follow her home to Virginia....
FOXTRACKS is based around a winter's foxhunting, and the
popular author Rita Mae Brown makes it clear that in the
American version of the sport, foxes are chased but not
intentionally killed. The grey fox is native to America and
settlers imported the European counterpart, the larger red
fox, to provide a better day's hunting. Both kinds are
shown in this hunting series and the hunt puts out food for
them during a hard winter. A day's sport for Jane and the
hunt turns to something more sinister when a decaying body
is discovered by hounds in the woods. Perhaps the man met
with an accident during deer season... but he was known as
a petty crook who moved moonshine and anything else, so it
seems his sins have caught up with him.
A second tobacconist is murdered in Boston and Jane starts
to look into tax rates around the states, seeing where
tobacco, a traditional Virginia crop, is taxed the most -
making it more profitable to ship black market cigarettes.
The peril is not over yet....
While it may be authentic to depict Virginia natives as
complaining about the discouragement of smokers and
taxation of tobacco products, and China has become the
largest producer of cigarettes, in a world running short of
food and swamped with health care issues I did think that
other views could have been provided to balance the
debate. For instance, the hundreds of chemicals added to
each cigarette are now listed on websites, but no character
alluded to this fact.
Jane and her horses, hounds and foxes - which talk amongst
themselves - are as always entertaining and there is a
dearth of in-depth police evidence so the tale is not too
gory. Mystery fans can enjoy FOXTRACKS knowing that no fox
was harmed during the making of this adventure.
New York Times bestselling author Rita Mae Brown bounds to
the front of the pack with Fox Tracks, the thrilling new
mystery in her beloved foxhunting series featuring the
indomitable “Sister” Jane Arnold and, among others, the
boisterous company of horses and hounds. Now, as a string of
bizarre murders sweeps the East Coast, this unlikely
alliance must smoke out a devious killer who may be closer
than they first think.
While outside on Manhattan’s Midtown streets a fierce
snowstorm rages, nothing can dampen the excitement inside
the elegant ballroom of Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel. Hunt clubs
from all over North America have gathered for their annual
gala, and nobody is in higher spirits than “Sister” Jane,
Master of the Jefferson Hunt in Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Mountains. Braving the foul weather, Sister and her young
friend “Tootie” Harris pop out to purchase cigars for the
celebration at a nearby tobacco shop, finding themselves
regaled by the colorful stories of its eccentric proprietor,
Yet the trip’s festive mood goes to ground later with the
grisly discovery of Adolfo’s corpse. The tobacconist was
shot in the head but found, oddly enough, with a cigarette
pack of American Smokes laid carefully over his heart.
When a similar murder occurs in Boston, Sister’s “horse
sense” tells her there’s a nefarious plot afoot—one that
seems to originate in the South’s aromatic tobacco farms.
Meanwhile, Sister’s nemesis, Crawford Howard, will stop at
nothing to subvert the Jefferson Hunt Club. There’s more
than one shadowy scheme in the works in Albemarle County,
and some conspirators are unafraid of taking shots at those
evidencing too keen an interest in other people’s business.
When Sister voices her suspicions, she, too, becomes a
target. Fortunately for her, the Master of the Jefferson
Hunt may rely upon the wits and wiles of her four-legged
friends—including horses Lafayette and Matador, the powerful
hound, Dragon, and even the clever old red fox, Uncle Yancy!
From Manhattan’s gritty streets to the pastoral beauty of
Virginia horse country, Fox Tracks features the beloved
characters from past Sister Jane novels in a fascinating new
intrigue. This sly, fast-paced mystery gives chase from
sizzling start to stunning finish!