Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story – Leonie Swann, 2005 (English translation 2006, Anthea Bell)

What an unusual book! It does work – the sheep are believable sheepy and yet solve the mystery – but I can’t say I loved it. It’s a lot better than Play Dead, where the dog is the key to the mystery, but precisely because the narrators are sheep and don’t fully understand what’s going on, the solution doesn’t have the complete mystery payoff. We’re at a remove from all the human protagonists. Instead the payoff is how Swann manages to have her sheep act and reason within their species limitations. It’s brilliant in a way, and funny, but not compelling. I don’t want to read anything else on these lines, but I would pick up her next book with anticipation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.