Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story
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A witty philosophical murder mystery with a charming twist: the crack detectives are sheep determined to discover who killed their beloved shepherd.
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 crime and wild metaphysical speculations, and they embark on reconnaissance missions into the village, where they encounter some likely suspects. There’s Ham, the terrifying butcher; Rebecca, a village newcomer with a secret and a scheme; Gabriel, the shady shepherd of a very odd flock; and Father Will, a sinister priest. Along the way, the sheep confront their own all-too-human struggles with guilt, misdeeds, and unrequited love.
Three Bags Full is already an international hit. “It’s rather as if Agatha Christie had re-written The Wind in the Willows, and I ended by loving it, ”Jane Jakeman wrote in The Independent. Funny, fresh, and endearing, it introduces a wonderful breed of detectives to American readers.
their eyes. Gabriel was running after a magpie, like a lamb frolicking in high spirits, chasing from bush to tree, from tree to shrub, back and forth all across the meadow… 9 Miss Maple Investigates “Glendalough, for instance,” said the strange woman. “This saint goes off there to live alone and be a hermit, and the moment people find out about it he can hardly move for pilgrims. The most popular place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, and why? Because human beings are herd animals. You
but wearing blue trousers and a green shirt, followed by Beth. “Rebecca,” said the woman as she entered the room. “Please call me Rebecca.” But Beth said nothing. The two of them looked at each other in silence for a while. “You’re not here to help the tourist trade,” said Beth at last. “You’re here because of George.” Rebecca nodded. “I want to find out as much as possible about his life. And his death. If I can give the tourist trade of Glennkill a boost at the same time, then that’s fine
you thought he’d found out something about Melmoth. So that he wouldn’t give anything away…Why?” Ritchfield looked bothered. “It wasn’t right to intimidate Mopple the Whale,” he said. “But I thought…” Miss Maple could bear it no longer. “You thought Melmoth might have something to do with George’s death! Behaving so strangely, stealing secretly out to the meadow by night, and just after George’s death too. You imagined that something terrible must have happened back then, the night after
nothing else, but it’s too late, we have to go through with it now. Shit!” “Shit!” agreed the butcher. He had taken a step back. “Will you pull him out?” he asked. George half turned to the butcher, and Melmoth could smell that he wasn’t angry anymore. “Ham,” he said, “you’re a butcher. You do this kind of thing every day. Theoretically. I was hoping that you…” “That’s different. Completely different. My God, George, this is a body.” George shrugged. “Did you think you worked with some kind
creatures there.” The sheep cast meaningful glances at one another. As if he had sensed it, the butcher suddenly turned in the direction of the hill and narrowed his eyes. Gabriel looked at the butcher long and hard. “What brings you here, Ham?” he asked cautiously. Ham was sweating from his laborious ride through the grass, and his hair, which had looked so nice and golden in God’s house, was gray and sticking to his forehead. He looked nervously to all sides. “Are you coming to the opening