CRAZY LIKE A FOX by Rita Mae Brown


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An older community of Virginians competes with exhaustively detailed descriptions of fox hunting to investigate the mysterious return of one of their own.

Given her many years of experience as the Master of the Jefferson Hunt, Jane "Sister" Arnold thought she had seen it all, but a video her friend Marion finds on her phone after having left it behind at the Hunting Hall of Fame has her doubting herself. The video appears to be a selfie taken by none other than Wesley "Weevil" Carruthers, who disappeared in a hunt back in 1954, never to be seen again. To make matters worse, he doesn't appear to have aged a day since then, right down to his rendition of “Gone to Ground” on a cow horn. Sister would dismiss the video if it were the only evidence of Weevil’s return, but he appears to be picking up exactly where he left off as the playboy of his day, making social rounds among the fox-hunting crew and leaving Sister to ask why he’s come back—and whether he's a ghost. Although this mystery ruffles the feathers of the older members of the fox-hunting group, which ranges in age up to 100, Sister’s friend and protégée Tootie Harris is more distracted by news arriving from home in the form of ex-model Yvonne Harris, the mother who hasn’t offered her much support since she left Princeton for the fox-hunting life. Now Yvonne is determined to make amends and perhaps make an ally of Tootie as she prepares for a messy divorce from her husband and Tootie’s father, businessman Victor Harris. As Brown (Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, 2014, etc.) presents painstakingly accurate details of the fox hunts—which she assures her readers are humane—Sister toils to unravel the mystery of Weevil’s return while ensuring that Tootie and Yvonne don’t unravel.

The book begins with a multipaged cast of characters, which includes sections for humans, American foxhounds, horses, foxes (red), foxes (gray), birds, and Sister’s house pets and a separate glossary of useful terms. These should help identify potential readers who will enjoy a mild mystery filled with lovingly painted details—while deterring the uninterested.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-399-17834-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2017


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