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Glennkill This is one of the weirdest books I have ever read in my short lifeNo honestly if you are tired of cliché tired of fairytale retellings tired of love triangles tired of the usual average book try this one You will not be disappointedI know the rating is not encouraging but that is because it is not everybody's cup of tea The reason? Sheep Yeah sheep The books main characters? Miss Maple Othello and Mopple the Whale Sheep The POV? Yeah right sheep The dead body? Their shepherd And the murderer? Not telling youGo and give it a tryFind of my books on Instagram A wonderful priceless book full of wit and philosophical musings and profound observationsOne morning at the small village of Glennkill Ireland a small flock of sheep wake up to find that their shepherd George Glenn has been murdered With a spade through his guts Miss Maple the cleverest sheep in Glennkill decides they should investigate and find his murderer because even though George was a bit of a peculiar and irrascible bastard he was still their shepherd and who would read Pamela novels romances to them now?So begins an interesting week of discoveries where through the sheep's observations and investigations we learn about the townsfolk and that some odd things were going on and that there are mysteries beneath the mysteries The sheep too have their own secrets and fears as well Perceptions aren't static as we learn about George you can't help but become fond of the man and I like his style of shepherding Gabriel another shepherd whom the sheep always admired turns out to be less than worthy of their admiration Bible thumping Beth as George always called her isn't so straight forward either The sheep themselves have delightful personalities and although Swann's descriptions of raising sheep don't always coincide with my own knowledge from growing up on a sheep farm a lot of the mannerisms and peculiarities were very familiar and often had me laughing out loud There's Othello a black ram with four horns who was once in a circus part of a knife throwing act that left him scarred; Maude and her incredible sense of smell; Sir Ritchfield the lead ram who's mostly deaf but still has good eyesight; Mopple the Whale who can remember everything; Lane the fastest sheep in the flock; and Zora who has a ledge above the cliff from where she gazes out over the abyss and watches the cloud sheepBecause the sheep have an almost childlike and very logical way of observing humans and their behaviour it's often very humorous and also profound The nice thing about this novel is that aside from the sheep's ability to understand human speech and to ponder human matters they haven't actually been anthropomorphised they're still very much sheep not sheep behaving like humans Eually hilarious are the humans' perceptions of the sheep and their behaviour which the story manages to convey with great comic timing Using the sheep also enables clues to turn in on themselves or be obscured until the sheep figure something out and so on which really keeps the detective side of the story humming along nicelyI don't usually read crime novels of any kind especially the generic kind but this one I could happily re read and notice each time Knowing the whodunnit side of things doesn't spoil it at all because Three Bags Full is so much than a detective story I never thought I would find myself commenting in a book review about how realistic the sheep characters seemed to be But in Leonie Swann’s delightful murder mystery I repeatedly found myself thinking “Yes I bet that’s exactly what a sheep would think” While these crime fighting sheep are smart and understand English they are still just sosheepy that I had no trouble losing myself in their world The author’s depiction of flock’s attempt to make sense of certain uirks of human behavior from a sheep’s perspective was particularly well done Besides how can you not love a novel that has a flip book built into it? It's a cute premise a dead shepherd is discovered by his flock of sheep with a spade sticking out of his chest and the sheep then set out to solve the mystery of the shepherd's murder Fine I have no problem with cuteThe problem with this book is that it's just not a very good mystery despite the billing The clues are often garbled in translation from human to sheep and back again such that the reader loses a clear sense of what's actually happening The clues we do have don't add up to much and the author does little to try to bring it all together And in the end the solution has nothing really nothing to do with the entire setup of the storySo yes it's cute But it's also a poorly conceived and told mystery with a terribly disappointing resolution Read this book now Stop whatever you are doing turn off whatever's cooking on the stove turn off the music you were just listening to put down whatever lesser book you thought you'd read go to a locally ownedused bookstore and buy this book It's one of those books that if it had been written even the tiniest bit differently the entire wondrous thing would have collapsed But it's brilliant it's just brilliant It's like Watership Down meets Ruth Rendell but with a higher percentage of lanolinI love it so much I almost don't want to share it with anyone else Forget what I just said Don't go read this book Leave it for me to savor and treasure and love like my own imaginary friend I have to write a revised review I have to exIplain clearly why I really liked this book beyond the fact that it still keeps me laughing even though I read it years agoI NEVER read mystery or crime novels And yet I loved it I never read fantasy books and I loved it Why? Well bc the sheep are so wonderful They are determined to find the murderer of their beloved Glen whom they love bc he was so sweet and caring to them He read them stories every night He taught them a lot Still the sheep had to surmount so many problems Number one sheep cannot talk How can they bring the murderer to justice? And they were kind of confused sometimes Their confusion is ever so charming and terribly funny I will say this you will NOT like this book if you cannot laugh at human beings or religion It is utterly marvelous A fairy tale for adults A shepherd is murdered and it's up to the flock to find out whodunnit Lead by the intrepid Miss Maple a delightful cast of sheep characters put their fluffy fleece heads together to crack the caseAs a murder mystery this book isn't that entertaining but as a parody of the Miss Marple books it is fantastic Each sheep in the flock has a distinct character that gives it a uniue ability to contribute to the case these traits are listed in the front of the book with the character just like the old Christie books Only by working together are their powers combined and like a group of villagers the sheep manage to bring justice to all or at least in so far as it concerns themThis book also works on a philosophical level Because the protagonists are sheep a good deal of their investigating involves understanding the human world Do humans have souls? What happens when people die? What are the responsibilities of an individual member of society? Fortunately the author dials down the seriousness with the occasional joke As the sheep gather for their first round of uestions Who would want to kill the shepherd is listed right next to Why did it rain last night? The humor really plays into the Miss Marple parody leaving readers free to address the philosophical uestions or simply leave them beOh and there's a little drawing of sheep in the bottom right corner of the pages which creates a flip book of a sheep jumping How can you say no to that? Leblos liegt der Schäfer George Glenn im irischen Gras ein Spaten ragt aus seiner Brust Seine Schafe sind entsetzt Wer kann den alten Schäfer umgebracht haben Und warum Miss Maple das klügste Schaf der Herde beginnt sich für den Fall zu interessieren Glücklicherweise hat George seinen Schafen vorgelesen und so trifft sie das kriminalistische Problem nicht ganz unvorbereitet Unerbittlich folgen sie der Spur des Täters und kommen den Geheimnissen der Menschenwelt dabei nach und nach auf die Schliche – bis es ihnen schließlich gelingt Licht ins Dunkel zu bringen und den rätselhaften Tod ihres Schäfers aufzuklären Sheep it turns out have uite a bit in common with humans We are both gossipy superstitious and prone to exaggeration Like us sheep have theories about life after death you become a fluffy cloud sheep in the sky and prejudices goats are crazy And occasionally someone will offer up sane words of advice that both sheep and humans would do well to heed You shouldn't believe what you don't understand You should understand what you believeThe sheep in this book can talk but only to other sheep They sometimes say cute things but they are REAL sheep not cartoonish fluff balls with pink bows and eyelashes aflutter And they are trying to figure out who killed their beloved shepherd George As it turns out you don't need CSI DNA evidence or even fingerprints to solve a crime You just need detectives in ovine clothing who stand around uietly grazing observing listening to conversations drawing conclusionsThere's a sweet charm to this book The sheep can't help but act on their animal instincts eating geraniums when they should be keeping an eye on the suspects and devouring their master's forbidden garden but afterwards they experience very human emotions standing around filled with shame and feeling guilty over their actions There's also a poignant encounter with another shepherd's ram a meat breed who is sadly aware of his own fate The mystery surrounding the death of George is less than compelling but the antics of the sheep make this one worth a look It's almost a shame this book gets shelved as a mystery While a murder mystery underpins the action on the page the book has very little to do with mystery and hard core mystery fans will probably come away feeling a little underwhelmed This book is a pretty neat commentary on books and literature; it's about existentialism and the meaning of life; it's about the relationship between humans and animals; it's a sort of conversation with one of the most important novels in the English canon and I'm not going to tell you which because that would spoil everythingNo it's not much of a mystery But it's a multi layered text packed with humor mystery and even weirdness and I have a hunch it gets better with every readAlso I loved reading a book from the point of view of sheep

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