“A rich, atmospheric murder mystery . . . rife with love, scandal . . . redemption, greed and nobility,” raved the San Jose Mercury News about Outfoxed, Rita Mae Brown’s first foxhunting masterpiece. In The Hunt Ball, the latest novel in this popular series, all the ingredients Brown’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 girls’ 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 teapot–a small group of students protesting the school’s exhibit of antique household objects crafted by slaves–and headmistress Charlotte Norton quells the ruckus easily. But when one of the two hanging corpses ornamenting the students’ Halloween dance turns out to be real–the body of the school’s talented fund-raiser, in fact–Charlotte and the entire community are stunned. Everyone liked Al Perez, or so it seemed, yet his murder was particularly unpleasant.
Even “Sister” 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 Brown’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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Hunt Ball||Series: Foxhunting, , #4|
|Release Date: 08-30-2005|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Hunt Ball|
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The Hunt Ball
A shining silver shroud covered the lowlands along Broad Creek, deep and swift-running. The notes of the huntsman's horn, muffled, made his direction difficult to determine. Three young women, students at prestigious Custis Hall, followed the creek bed that bordered a cut hayfield. A gnarled tree, bending toward the clear water as if to bathe its branches, startled them.
"Looks like a giant witch," Valentina Smith blurted out.
They stopped to listen for hounds and the horn. Smooth gray stones jutted out of the creek, the water swirling and splashing around.
"Can you hear anything?" Felicity Porter, slender, serious, inquired.
"If we move away from the creek, we'll hear better." Valentina, as senior class president, was accustomed to taking charge.
Anne "Tootie" Harris, one of the best students at Custis Hall, was just as accustomed to resisting Valentina's assumed authority. "We'll get even more lost. Broad Creek runs south. It divides the Prescott land from Sister Jane's land. If we keep going we'll eventually reach the big old hog's back jump in the fence line. If we turn right at that jump we'll find the farm road back to the kennels."
Angry that she hadn't paid attention at the jump to where the rest of the riders disappeared into the fog, and now angry that she hadn't paid attention to the flow of Broad Creek, Valentina growled, "Well, shit, Tootie, we could go into menopause before we reach the hog's back jump!"
"One dollar, potty mouth." Felicity held out her hand with grim satisfaction.
"Felicity, how can you think of the kitty at a time l