Authors: Rita Mae Brown
“This is vintage Brown.”
“Delightful … Rita Mae Brown is still a hoot.”
beams with Brown’s fondness for her characters and her delight in the oddness of the world of Runnymede.”
“Longtime fans will welcome back Nickel Smith, this time coping with a surprising passion.… New ones will flock to
vividly drawn characters (like the lustful Hunsenmeir sisters) and tart, loving humor.”
“Hilarious, superbly written fiction.”
—Los Angeles Times
“[Brown] does an admirable job of portraying the effects World War II has on a small American town.… [The] characterizations of Louise and Juts are acutely realistic.”
“Brimming with Brown’s comic sense of social posturing and missteps, her rich novel lets readers laugh with her at the personal foibles that seem to loom so large in small-town settings.”
“Time has honed Brown’s literary skills but not lessened her love for these characters.”
“Surprises … come from Rita Mae Brown’s comic timing and her affection for eccentrics.”
SIX OF ONE
“Joyous, passionate, and funny. What a pleasure!”
—Washington Post Book World
“No matter how quirky or devilish, Brown’s people cavort in an atmosphere of tenderness.… It is refreshing to encounter this celebration of human energy.”
“Brown has some of the same effervescent yet secure trust in her local characters that Eudora Welty feels for hers.… When history nicks them, they slap right back.”
“A lively and very lovely book.”
WISH YOU WERE HERE
REST IN PIECES
MURDER AT MONTICELLO
MURDER, SHE MEOWED
MURDER ON THE PROWL
CAT ON THE SCENT
SNEAKY PIE’S COOKBOOK FOR MYSTERY LOVERS
PAWING THROUGH THE PAST
CLAWS AND EFFECT
CATCH AS CAT CAN
THE TAIL OF THE TIP-OFF
WHISKER OF EVIL
PUSS ’N CAHOOTS
THE PURRFECT MURDER
Books by Rita Mae Brown
THE HAND THAT CRADLES THE ROCK
SONGS TO A HANDSOME WOMAN
THE PLAIN BROWN RAPPER
IN HER DAY
SIX OF ONE
STARTING FROM SCRATCH:
A DIFFERENT KIND OF WRITERS’ MANUAL
DOLLEY: A NOVEL OF DOLLEY MADISON IN LOVE AND WAR
RITA WILL: MEMOIR OF A LITERARY RABBLE-ROUSER
THE HUNT BALL
THE HOUNDS AND THE FURY
A Bantam Book
Bantam Books hardcover edition published November 1988
Bantam mass market edition / October 1989
Bantam trade paperback edition / July 1999
Bantam trade paperback reissue / February 2008
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, New York
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint the lyrics from: “Tea for Two” by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar. Copyright © 1924 WB Music Corp. & Irving Caesar Music Corp. All rights reserved. Used by permission. “Let’s Do It” by Cole Porter. Copyright © Warner Bros., Inc. (Renewed). All rights reserved. Used by permission.
All rights reserved
Copyright © 1988 by Speakeasy Productions, Inc.
copyright © 1988 by Laura Maestro
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 88-14143
Bantam Books and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Dedicated with Affection
and Remembered Laughter
the Class of 1962
Fort Lauderdale High School
wish to thank the following people for helping me write
. First and foremost, my researcher, Claudia Garthwaite, deserves my appreciation. She spends a goodly portion of her time buried in the stacks of the library. My agent, Wendy Weil, does all that an agent is supposed to do and more: She makes me laugh. Noirin Lucas, Wendy’s assistant, also contributes to my good spirits. Beverly Lewis, my editor, makes the work so easy for me that I can only wish an editor like her to every writer in America. Bantam’s copy editor, Betsy Cenedella, keeps me in line and gives me grammar lessons. Sally Williams, Judy Hilsinger, and Sandi Mendelson take care of me on the road, and those of you in publishing know that I’m not bragging when I say these are the best publicity people in the business.
Betty Burns does her best to keep me organized.
I must also thank Susan Scott, Cynthia Cooper, Muffin Barnes, Gloria Fennell, and the gang at Darby’s Folly for providing me good companionship and good riding. Special thanks to Ellie Wood Baxter, Carolyn and Ken Chapman, Pat and Kay Butterfield, our wonderful Master, Jill Summers, our president, Paul Summers, and the membership of Farmington Hunt Club for being themselves. Together we can escape the twentieth century.
The unsung heroes of an author’s life also deserve accolades: the sales staff and the telephone sales staff of Bantam Books.
To those of you who have read other novels of mine it will come as no surprise that I must thank the animals in my life. I don’t believe humans should be separate from other forms of living consciousness and I learn from animals. So I thank Cazenovia, Buddha, Sneaky Pie, Pewter, and Muggins, the cats. I thank Juts and Liška, the dogs, and I thank Freebooter and Scribble, my horses. I would also like to thank the horses of friends: Twinkie, Fetch, and Colors.