â€śA rich, atmospheric murder mystery . . . rife with love, scandal . . . redemption, greed and nobility,â€ť raved the San Jose Mercury News about Outfoxed, Rita Mae Brownâ€™s first foxhunting masterpiece. In The Hunt Ball, the latest novel in this popular series, all the ingredients Brownâ€™s readers love are abundantly present: richness of character and landscape, the thrill of the hunt, and the chill of violence.The trouble begins at Custis Hall, an exclusive girlsâ€™ school in Virginia that has gloried in its good name for nearly two hundred years. At first, the outcry is a mere tempest in a silver teapotâ€“a small group of students protesting the schoolâ€™s exhibit of antique household objects crafted by slavesâ€“and headmistress Charlotte Norton quells the ruckus easily. But when one of the two hanging corpses ornamenting the studentsâ€™ Halloween dance turns out to be realâ€“the body of the schoolâ€™s talented fund-raiser, in factâ€“Charlotte and the entire community are stunned. Everyone liked Al Perez, or so it seemed, yet his murder was particularly unpleasant. Even â€śSisterâ€ť Jane Arnold, master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, beloved by man and beast, is at a loss, although she knows better than anyone where the bodies are buried in this community of land-grant families and new-money settlers. Aided and abetted by foxes and owls, cats and hounds, Sister picks up a scent that leads her in a most unwelcome direction: straight to the heart of the foxhunting crowd. The chase is on, not only for foxes but also for a deadly human predator.No one has created a fictional paradise more delightful than the rolling hills of Rita Mae Brownâ€™s Virginia countryside, or has more charmingly captured the rituals of the hunt. No one understands human and animal nature more deeply. The Hunt Ball combines a rounded, welcoming world with an edge of unforgettable white-knuckled menace.
Literature & Fiction, General, General AAS,