Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tahleen reviews: "Three Bags Full" by Leonie Swann
Author: Leonie Swann
Publisher: Doubleday, 2005
Rating: 4.5 stars
In a field near the Irish village of Glennkill, George has been murdered. He lies pinned to the ground with a spade in the field where his flock of sheep spend most of their time. The flock knows he's been killed, but who has done it? They all pool their wits and resources together to find out what happened to their shepherd.
I read this book years ago, but I still have fond memories of it. It is a cute mystery, I suppose what some might call a cozy mystery, though the writing is, in my opinion, better. The sheep are very methodical in their reasoning, though of course their logic isn't up to the standards that a human has, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the sheep would come up with conclusions that a person would never think of. The sheep keep at it until they figure out the mystery, and I enjoyed every step it took them to get there. Most of the mystery solving is discussion based, so if you like adventure mysteries maybe this one isn't for you. It's described on Amazon as a "witty philosophical mystery," which I think sums it up nicely.
I was completely charmed with this book, which has a whimsical air that I have yet to see in another mystery. Though to be fair, I don't read mysteries that often. I also loved how each sheep has a very distinct personality, and it's lovely to see how they all develop their characters throughout the novel.
This is a book written for adults, but there is certainly teen appeal in here. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, books with animal protagonists, or a good yarn (pun intended).
Disclosure: I bought this book from a bookstore.