Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Do Ewe Know?

Title: Three Bags Full - A sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann
Publisher: Broadway Books
341 Pages
Genre: mystery/comedy

Synopsis: On a hillside near the cozy Irish village of Glennkill, the members of the flock gather around their shepherd, George, whose body lies pinned to the ground with a spade.  George has cared for the sheep, reading them a plethora of books every night. The daily exposure to literature has made them far savvier about the workings of the human mind than your average sheep.  Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and possibly the world), they set out to find George's killer.

The A-team of investigators includes Othello, the "bad-boy" black ram; Mopple the Whale, a merino who eats a lot and remembers everything; and Zora, a pensive black-faced ewe with a weakness for abysses.  Joined by other members of the richly talented flock they engage in nightlong discussions about the missions into the village, where they encounter some likely suspects.

Review: This is one of those books that has been sitting on my shelf for a while.  I received it as a gift and while the plot was intriguing I just never seemed motivated to pick it up, but with my New Year reading intention in mind I went to my shelf to discover what I had been missing.

Three Bags Full is like reading an Agatha Christie novel mixed with Animal Farm. I applaud the writer for her inventive outlook on murder mysteries. This story is entertaining and gives an interesting interpretation on human behavior and flock mentality.  I found myself snickering at several of the sheep's interpretations of conversations that they were overhearing.  It was also interesting to see the human reactions when they realized that George's sheep weren't your ordinary run of the mill wooly friends.

Each sheep has their own personality and their own way of interpreting the human world that is infinitely entertaining.  While the plot can be a bit slow in parts this is a fine good yarn.


(2) (1 of 2 that stayed on my shelf over a year.)

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