Thursday, September 11, 2008

Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

About a year ago, Penny read Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann and recommended it to me.

I put it on my "to find and read" list, but it was not until this past April that I saw it in a bookstore and bought it. In this story, a shepherd is murdered and his flock of sheep decide to solve the crime. Each sheep has a different strength: one can remember things, another is a good observer, and so on, but one - Miss Maple - is the cleverest of the sheep. (I'm still wondering if the author was deliberately making a play on Agatha Christie's character, Miss Marple.) Miss Maple enlists the aid of the rams, ewes, and lambs to help her figure out who murdered George, their kind shepherd who read aloud to the flock and wanted to take them on a tour of Europe.

George's flock determines what happened to him, then finds a way to convey their knowledge to the clueless humans trying to solve the case.

This book was funny at times, and philosophical in some places, and a fun book for a knitter to enjoy.

[I especially liked that George was trying to better the quality of their wool. Here's a bit of conversation between the sheep I found amusing:

" 'He wasn't a specially good shepherd,' said Heather, who was still not much more than a lamb and still bore George a grudge for docking her beautiful tail at the end of last winter.
'Exactly!' said Cloud, the wooliest and most magnificent sheep ever seen. 'He didn't appreciate our work. Norwegian sheep do it better, he said! Norwegian sheep give more wool! He had sweaters made of foreign wool sent from Norway - it's a disgrace! What other shepherd would insult his own flock like that?' "]



Blogger Lenore said...

I have this in the original German and I am looking forward to reading it one of these days. Thanks for the review!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

It sounds a bit odd. Maybe sometime when I'm feeling a bit odd myself.

5:07 PM  

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