Authors: Rita Mae Brown
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by American Artist, Inc.
Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Lee Gildea, Jr.
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.
and the H
colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Brown, Rita Mae.
Let sleeping dogs lie : a novel / Rita Mae Brown ;
illustrated by Lee Gildea, Jr.—First edition.
pages ; cm
ISBN 978-0-553-39262-3 (hardcover : acid-free paper—ISBN 978-0-553-39263-0 (ebook) 1. Arnold, Jane (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Murder—Investigation—Fiction. 3. Fox hunting—Fiction. 4. Virginia—Fiction. I. Gildea, Lee, Jr., illustrator. II. Title.
Jacket design: Victoria Allen
Jacket illustration: © Peter Malone
“Sister” is Master of Foxhounds, MFH, of The Jefferson Hunt in central Virginia. In her early seventies, she’s strong, bold, loves her life, the people and animals in it. Like many people who live a deep life, she endured a terrible loss, her son, which ultimately taught her to cherish life, especially the simple things.
the hunt’s long-serving huntsman, is loyal, reliable, mostly quiet. He and Sister are two peas in a pod when it comes to hunting philosophy.
retired from a powerful accounting firm in Washington, D.C. He grew up in central Virginia and even when working in D.C., would come to the old home place on weekends for hunting. He’s smart, handsome, judicious. As an African American man in his late sixties he has a broad overview of how things really work. He’s in love with Sister and she with him.
is Gray’s younger brother. A wonderful horseman, a Harvard graduate who threw it all away thanks to a long tango with the bottle. Dried out, he works for Crawford Howard. He and his brother share the old Lorillard house with its lovely graveyard embracing two hundred years of Lorillards and Laprades.
is the cousin of Gray and Sam. He’s a successful bloodstock agent. His family has closely worked with an important family of Thoroughbred breeders, the Chetwynds. He, too, has hunted with The Jefferson Hunt since childhood. (Children and grooms ride in the rear, a hunting tradition that allowed latitude where social customs at the time did not.)
at 94 can run her son crazy. Proud, imperious, so proud that when she married in 1940 she kept her maiden name as her husband lacked social cachet. Her sister, Gray and Sam’s mother, took her husband’s name, Lorillard, being less enchanted with social standing. Graziella Lorillard has passed on. Daniella is triumphantly alive.
Walter Lungrun, M.D.,
Joint Master of foxhounds, is a relatively new Master often amazed at what one must learn and do. His medical reputation is skyrocketing, his riding is much improved, and he loves Sister, has since a child. Walter is the outside son of Sister’s late husband. Mr. Lungrun never knew or never let on if he did. Sister didn’t know until shortly before tapping Walter to be her Joint Master. Made her love him more somehow.
owns and runs Broad Creek Stables, a Thoroughbred breeding operation that has ridden the ups and downs of that most daring of employments since the 1870s. He grew up with Mercer and his cousins. Loves Mercer, teases him incessantly, and vice versa. They’ve made good money together, too.
as Sister’s best friend and a good twenty-five years younger, is also a whipper-in, honorary, which means she isn’t paid. She is a kind woman and a good one.
Anne Harris, “Tootie”
lives with Sister, taking night classes at UVA. She left Princeton to be with The Jefferson Hunt. Her dream is to become an equine vet and to be a whipper-in. She is sweet, determined, and shockingly beautiful. She is also African American, born to one of the richest men in Chicago who can’t fathom why anyone would want to work outside or with animals.
is probably as rich as Tootie’s father and equally as stubborn and egotistical. When Sister did not choose him to be her Joint Master he flew off in a huff and started an outlaw pack that seems to be spectacularly unsuccessful. With all the faults of a self-made man and many of the virtues, he is a force to be reckoned with. He cares a great deal about young people and their education and gives generously.
has been sheriff of the county for three years. Since he was hired from Ohio, he sometimes needs help in the labyrinthine ways of the South. He relies on Sister’s knowledge and discretion.
widowed and in his midforties, moved to central Virginia to be close to his college roommate after his wife died. He is impossibly rich, having made his fortune in pharmaceuticals in India. He is generous, loving, helpful, and finally able to think about truly living again. He’s also a very good rider.
are in their early eighties, ride to three hunts a week, and are dear friends of Sister’s. The Bancrofts and Sister have seen one another through desperate sorrows as well as many joys.
is the Bancrofts’ daughter and the other Jefferson Hunt whipper-in. Always impeccably turned out and beautifully mounted, there’s nothing she can’t do on a horse. She’s divorced and her two sons are close to grown.
DVM, takes Tootie with her on Mondays. She likes the young woman, loves her patients.
from North Carolina, comes to central Virginia on a foxhunting vacation and to rethink her career. Perhaps tipping over into her forties, she is flat-out gorgeous, and better, she can ride and adores hounds.
MFH of Woodford Hounds in Lexington, Kentucky, is a dear friend of Jane Arnold, so this Jane is known as O.J., the Other Jane. An inspired Master, a natural leader, she gets things done and makes riding Thoroughbreds look easy.
is O.J.’s hunting buddy; married to a man who knows horses as well as his wife, she hunts with his support. She has insight into people that she usually keeps to herself except for O.J.
new JT-MFH of Woodford, is young, good with people, and has the wonderful fortune of having a wife, Libby, who can ride right up there with him.
is Justin’s aunt. She loves all animals, being the proprietress of glorious Walnut Hall in Kentucky. She has an incredible eye for structure, beauty, harmony.
married to Meg, presides over Walnut Hall and still breeds Standardbreds for which this lovely place is famous. It is in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Kentucky Horse Park is on former Walnut Hall land. Like his wife, Alan is public-spirited, farsighted, and generous.
THE AMERICAN FOXHOUNDS
Sister and Shaker have carefully bred a balanced pack. The American foxhound blends English, French, and Irish blood, the first identifiable pack being brought here in 1650 by Robert de la Brooke of Maryland. Individual hounds had been shipped over earlier, but Brooke brought an entire pack. In 1785, General Lafayette sent his mentor and hero, George Washington, a pack of French hounds whose voices were said to sound like the bells of Moscow.
Whatever the strain, the American foxhound is highly intelligent and beautifully built, with strong sloping shoulders, powerful hips and thighs, and a nice tight foot. The whole aspect of the hound in motion is one of grace and power in the effortless covering of ground. The American hound is racier than the English hound and stands perhaps two feet at the shoulder, although size is not nearly as important as nose, drive, cry, and biddability. It is sensitive and extremely loving and has eyes that range from softest brown to gold to sky-blue. While one doesn’t often see the sky-blue eye, there is a line that contains it. The hound lives to please its master and to chase foxes.
is the strike hound, which means she often finds the scent first. She’s the dominant female in the pack and is in her sixth season.
is in his seventh season and is invaluable in teaching the younger hounds.
is the anchor hound, and she’s in her fourth season. All the other hounds trust her, and if they need direction she’ll give it.
is her littermate. He possesses tremendous drive and a fabulous nose, but he’s arrogant. He wants to be the strike hound. Cora hates him.
is also Diana and Dragon’s littermate. He lacks his brother’s brilliance, but he’s steady and smart. A hound’s name usually begins with the first letter of his mother’s name, so the D hounds are out of
is a young entry and just about the perfect example of what a male American foxhound should be.
Trinity, Tinsel, Trident, Thimble, Twist, Tootsie, Trooper, Taz, Tattoo, Pookah, Pansy, Dreamboat, Ardent, Parker, Pickens, Zane, Zorro, Zandy
Sister’s horses are
a Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse cross (written TB/QH by horsemen), an intelligent gelding of twelve years;
a gray TB, fourteen now, fabulously athletic and talented, who wants to go;
an eleven-year-old TB gelding who shows great promise;
a ten-year-old gelding TB, also very athletic, with great stamina and a good mind; and
a gray TB, also ten years old, sixteen hands, a former steeplechaser.