Friday, 6 June 2014

Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann


From Goodreads

On a hillside near the cosy Irish village of Glennkill, a flock of sheep gather around their beloved shepherd George, who lies murdered, his body pinned to the pasture with a spade.

Fortunately, George has left behind an unusually intelligent group of sheep. Every night since they were lambs, he has read aloud to them - fairy tales, factual books about ovine disease, even detective stories - in order to help them sleep.

Faced with a real-life investigation, the flock spring into action.

They are led with fortitude by Miss Maple, the cleverest sheep in Glennkill and possibly the world, She is aided by Cordelia, who loves long words; and Othello, a ram with a dark past. Together they uncover the truth behind the life and death of their shepherd. Why did George tie little packets under their bellies before they crossed the meadow? And whose blood does Ham the butcher have on his hands?

While some of the detectives insist on chewing the evidence, or even forgetting it, together they succeed in shedding the revelatory light on the inexplicable world of human beings, and even on themselves.

My thoughts

This was an original take on a cosy crime novel.  Who's heard of a flock of sheep investigating a murder?  Well suspend your belief, grab a cuppa and a bicuit, put your feet up and enter the Irish village of Glennkill.

Led by Miss Maple, no relation to Miss Marple at all and watch her and trhe fellow members of the flock investigate the death of their shepherd George.

I really enjoyed this quirky, slow burner of a story.  At times you might wonder what the devil is going on as the sheep talk to one another and at times cause mayhem in their attempts at trying to let the human characters in the story realise who is behind the murder.  It's well written and I'm thankful to the friend that sent it me as it's not a book that I would've chosen to read if I'd seen it in a shop or the Library.  8/10.

About the Author from Wikipedia

Leonie Swann (b. 1975 Dachau near Munich, Germany) is the nom de plume of a German crime writer.[1] She studied philosophy, psychology and English literature in Munich, and now lives in Berlin.

Her first novel, Glennkill (published as Three Bags Full in English), sold over 100,000 copies in the first six months after publication. It has been translated to 32 languages. Her second novel,Garou, a sequel to Glennkill, is not a detective novel but a thriller.

I do hope that they translate the second story into English as I'd love to read it.  I'd no idea that Three Bags Full had been translated.

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