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The Hunt Ball

("Sister" Jane #4)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  920 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A rich, atmospheric murder mystery . . . rife with love, scandal . . . redemption, greed and nobility, raved the San Jose Mercury News about Outfoxed, Rita Mae Browns first foxhunting masterpiece. In The Hunt Ball, the latest novel in this popular series, all the ingredients Browns readers love are abundantly present: richness of character and landscape, the thrill of the ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  920 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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This is the first one I've listened to as an audio book. The author as a narrator was serviceable, but that's all. Her husky voice fit well, but her lack of inflection & occasional odd cadence didn't do the story any favors. I am picky about narrators, though.

The murder mystery was OK, but the best part was how detailed she got about working the hounds, the hunt, & habits of all concerned. Some parts might seem over the top, but nothing was really. Except for the murder part, I've seen
Feb 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I'm still reading about fox hunting which, of course, is a sport in which I will never participate. All that bouncing around on a horse would do me in! This volume in the series was good although the resolution of the mystery seemed to occur very suddenly and the explanation of the crime was not completely satisfying. Still, I love reading about these characters, the Virginia countryside, and the animals, many of whom have more distinct personalities than the some of the people we meet in our ...more
Feb 20, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Read" the audio version of this book. I could not get past the first 20 minutes. The author should have paid a professional actor to read the book! She was horrid, the personalizations would have been better if she had been reading the phone book. It may be a good book, but with this rendition I could not vouch for it. I am on the road a lot, and listen to books at all times.
Dec 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I picked this up very randomly as I was looking for a mystery. It is a whodunnit, but not of the compelling, many-clued, mind-twisting sort. So it didn't really satisfy the neurons. It is more of a small school country fox hunting novel. I knew less than zero about fox hunting and spent half an hour mulling over the terms and characters listed in the front and back of the book. The hunts are fun, and the history and fox hunting knowledge are respectable. There is plenty of wit in the net of ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Didn't finish; listened to first CD and couldn't get into story. Returned to library.
Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
The author incorporates humans and animal narritives in a witty way. I figured out the who dunnit half-way thru the book but who cares? She tells a good story.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the light touch of RMB's animal mysteries, and like RMB, I find my own pets 'speak' to me and each other, so I have no trouble with the animal characters in these books.
Sarah Hearn
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ive read a couple of Sneaky-Pie Brown books but this is the first of the fox hunting books Ive read. I did find that I kept losing track of who people were - the character list was not as all-encompassing as other books - and I had trouble working out a lot of the hunting terminology despite the glossary at the back of the book. Nevertheless, the plot was very good and the climax was exciting. Ill look for others in this series now. ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Usual easy reading mystery with he animals. Easy reading.
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite series from Rita Mae Brown
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Really disappointed in the inconsistencies in this book,
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Two more in the Sister Jane Hall/Jefferson Hunt Club series (got started a few years ago with an Xmas present).

I liked both of these for the things Ive liked before: the intrigue and details of the mystery, the awesome dogs and horses and the foxes (I love the foxes) and their reactions and relations and really vital role in the story. Man I love reading the scenes with Cora and Dasher. The hunt scenes are really wonderful and atmospheric, take you right into the thick of things.

And I didnt like
Joyce Reynolds-Ward
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm taking advantage of my local library collection to catch up with Rita Mae Brown's "Sister" series. I don't know if it's me or if it's just that this book is deep enough into the series that it seems repetitive. I love the horse sections, of course, and the strong central women but...we run into the typical cozy issue of just how many murders can you have in one location, especially a smaller rural area? Plus Brown falls into a bit of preachyness about "kids these days," and while it would ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I took this library book thinking it would be a cute mystery for the Halloween season. There was a murder during a Halloween dance at an exclusive girls school in VA. Somehow that storyline got muddled between the fox hunting and horse and I was disappointed. Also, there are human characters and dialogue of animals (foxes and hounds) so the story was all over with points of view.

Warming: I guess any book that has to list a cast of characters in the front and useful terms in the back is probably
Becky Galambos
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
April 2012 - Definitely much more interaction with the non-hunting world. The conversations between the animals left me in stitches. Very funny, especially the scene at the end with the hounds at the ball!

March 2014- I am understanding the series a lot better the second time through. This book introduces my favorite characters.

October 2016 - Same. I love all of the characters in this series!
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Number 4 in the "Sister" Jane Arnold fox hunting mystery series. Another good read in this series. Complicated mystery involving murder, historical artifacts, student protest regarding a school's slave past, and rivalries within the fox hunting club. The mix of human and animal characters adds to the enjoyability of these mysteries.
Kristin Poley
This book was interesting because it's about American Fox hunting which I have never heard of and know nothing about. However, it was pretty confusing. It took me at least 200 pages to determine whether or not they shoot the foxes (they don't). So, I think it should be called American Fox Chasing, not hunting. The story itself was good and the characters were good though.
Aug 17, 2007 rated it liked it
I enjoyed it. The cast of characters at the beginning was a bit daunting. I thought I'd never be able to keep everyone straight. It helped that the animals' conversations were italicized. I knew nothing about foxhunting, so that was interesting.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love this series and I love Rita Mae Brown's great "outdoorsey" sense and how much of herself she pours into her novels. I didn't enjoy this book particularly because I didn't find the mystery to be terribly interesting, but it was worth continuing the series afterwards.
This is another interesting story in the Sister Jane series. What I find most interesting in this series is all the information about foxhunting. The characters are interesting but the animals involved in the foxhunting life are what's the best part.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who can read
Recommended to Stephy by: I was reading her works.
Rita Mae Brown was one of the most articulate lesbian feminist theoriticians of the seventies. She has honed her craft, fed her gift and now she never disappoints. I like her. I really like her. Hunt her up and read her books! She also writes pot boiler mysteries with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I spotted this gem on the library shelves and grew curious about a mystery that involved hunting, but hesitated as I never really got into Wish You Were Here.

This novel blends details of the Virginia countryside and its inhabitants in a really engaging way.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Resurrection: I am reading these books in order. Donnie the deer hunter who burned to a crisp in a warehouse fire in book 3 is spoken of as being well and alive in this book, book 4.
Well I am enjoying the series anyway. Fox hunt descriptions getting better. Plots getting better.
Katharine Reynolds
I finally really got into this book and just loved it! I had kinda figured out what was being stolen and why but not who did it or why they were killing people. Again a great book from Ms Brown! Tally Ho to the next book!
Apr 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
She used to be edgey, sharp, irreverant. Then the first of the animals-as-detective books were at least funny.
This was miserable.
Leslie Angel
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
I liked all the descriptions of the hunts, the contributions of the foxes and hounds. Fun.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Just as good as all the rest.
Mar 08, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far, It is really good...charming, with a neat twist
Susan Miller
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great ride filled with murder and mayhem with Sister, Shaker and the hounds.
Laura Brown
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love Sister and wish Jane Arnold was a real person! I would love to visit her kennels and barn. I truly enjoyed reading this book!
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Rita Mae Brown is a prolific American writer, most known for her mysteries and other novels (Rubyfruit Jungle). She is also an Emmy-nominated screenwriter.

Brown was born illegitimate in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She was raised by her biological mother's female cousin and the cousin's husband in York, Pennsylvania and later in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Starting in the fall of 1962, Brown attended the

Other books in the series

"Sister" Jane (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Outfoxed ("Sister" Jane, #1)
  • Hotspur ("Sister" Jane, #2)
  • Full Cry ("Sister" Jane, #3)
  • The Hounds and the Fury ("Sister" Jane, #5)
  • The Tell-tale Horse ("Sister" Jane, #6)
  • Hounded to Death ("Sister" Jane, #7)
  • Fox Tracks ("Sister" Jane #8)
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Sister" Jane, #9)
  • Crazy Like a Fox ("Sister" Jane #10)
  • Homeward Hound ("Sister" Jane, #11)

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