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Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Written by Leonie Swann

Narrated by Josephine Bailey


Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Written by Leonie Swann

Narrated by Josephine Bailey

ratings:
4/5 (72 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 3, 2007
ISBN:
9781400175017
Format:
Audiobook

Description

A witty philosophical murder mystery with a charming twist: the crack detectives are sheep determined to discover who killed their beloved shepherd.



On a hillside near the cozy Irish village of Glennkill, the members of the flock gather around their shepherd, George, whose body lies pinned to the ground with a spade. George has cared for the sheep, reading them a plethora of books every night. The daily exposure to literature has made them far savvier about the workings of the human mind than your average sheep. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and possibly the world), they set out to find George' s killer.



The A-team of investigators includes Othello, the "bad-boy" black ram; Mopple the Whale, a merino who eats a lot and remembers everything; and Zora, a pensive, black-faced ewe with a weakness for abysses. Joined by other members of the richly talented flock, they engage in nightlong discussions about the crime and wild metaphysical speculations, and they embark on reconnaissance missions into the village, where they encounter some likely suspects. There' s Ham, the terrifying butcher; Rebecca, a village newcomer with a secret and a scheme; Gabriel, the shady shepherd of a very odd flock; and Father Will, a sinister priest. Along the way, the sheep confront their own all-too-human struggles with guilt, misdeeds, and unrequited love.



Three Bags Full is already an international hit. Funny, fresh, and endearing, it introduces a wonderful breed of detectives to American audiences.
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 3, 2007
ISBN:
9781400175017
Format:
Audiobook


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What people think about Three Bags Full

4.0
72 ratings / 73 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    aus buchkatalog.de: Eines Morgens liegt der Schäfer George Glenn leblos im irischen Gras, ein Spaten ragt aus seiner Brust. Die Schafe von George 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 den Schafen vorgelesen, und so trifft sie das kriminalistische Problem nicht ganz unvorbereitet. Trotz vieler Missverständnisse kommen sie der Menschenwelt mit ihrer Schafslogik nach und nach auf die Schliche und verfolgen unerbittlich die Spur des Täters. Zwischen Weide und Dorfkirche, Steilklippen und Schäferwagen warten ungeahnte Abenteuer auf Miss Maple und ihre Herde, bis es ihnen tatsächlich gelingt, Licht ins Dunkel zu bringen und den rätselhaften Tod ihres Schäfers aufzuklären ...
  • (4/5)
    A sheep detective story. Sounds too cute by half, but it's actually well-done.
  • (3/5)
    Quite the clever piece of writing, an odd & interesting premise with delightful main characters...... Who knew sheep could be so intelligent, pragmatic, & entertaining?

    George is found dead with a spade in his back...... George was quite the wonderful flock leader; he read to the sheep, he explained words & ideas to them, he didn't butcher them, and he was planning on taking them to Europe.... The sheep take it upon themselves to solve George's murder.

    Aside from George's "murder"; there is another murder that George discovered many years back; there is the reading of George's will; there is the search for the missing "grass"; and there is the "Smartest" Sheep contest.

    I didn't really like any of the peripheral characters with the exception of Rebecca, George's daughter......

    The ending was a surprise; the solution of George's murder left me disappointed; and the middle confused me and bogged me down.

    I might read the next book, I might not.......
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book, so much so that I promptly ordered the follow-up from Amazon - sat down with proverbial cup of tea to find that it was in German - was sooo disappointed. Three Bags Full has immediately made it into my 'Excellent' tag, which is a real achievement - books don't get there lightly. The plot, although aptly slow moving, was a delight, as were all the central characters. Sheep will never appear the same again. It seemed totally logical to me how the sheep were treated by George which is the beauty of the writing - I feel Leonie Swann must have spent some time in rural Ireland to catch the wonderful lyricism and idiosycracies so well.
  • (5/5)
    I was completely won over by the sheep detectives in this book. It made me smile and laugh aloud a few times.
  • (4/5)
    I stumbled across this book quite by accident while shelf-reading in our large-print section, and I thought it sounded like fun.And fun it was. One morning a flock of sheep awake to find their shepherd dead in the field with a shovel pinning him to the ground. These Irish sheep are clever and understand some human words and concepts because their shepherd used to read to them each day. The cleverest one of them all, Miss Maple, decides that they must find out who killed their shepherd.I loved the way in which the sheep remained sheep. They think (I am guessing) like sheep and they act like sheep, not like people. It was a wonderful look at the human world through the eyes of someone who doesn't quite understand the multiplicity of concepts and layers of meanings that humans take quite as a matter of course. It is almost Zen-like because the sheep don't understand everything the way we would and so they come to the truth of the matter more quickly. Some quite deep concepts are dealt with - such as death, suicide, the will to live, the need for a community, aging, justice, fear and courage. But they are dealt with slowly and simply.This is not a fast-paced book. If you need action, it probably isn't the read for you. This is about a death in rural Ireland, where the pace of life is slower. Each of the sheep in the flock has a real strength and a real personality. The character development of each of the sheep is strong and is as carefully done as if the main characters were people. You get to feel you know each animal; you get to laugh at their silliness; and you get to be amazed at the truths they see.This book is translated from the original German. I hope that her next book with these dear sheep will also become available in English as I would really like to read it.
  • (5/5)
    This is a delightful story about a shepherd who is found dead in his field, and the wooly friends turned detectives who try to solve his untimely demise.
  • (4/5)
    When a shepherd is found mysteriously dead in the middle of a field, his sheep decide to solve the crime.What a unique set of detectives! 19 sheep, all with distinct personalities, yet somehow keeping their intrinsic sheepish – ness (as opposed to sheepishness).If you enjoy cozy mysteries, and are looking for something a little different, this fluffy (!) mystery may do the trick.
  • (4/5)
    Really cute murder mystery, told from the point of view of various members of a flock of sheep. The only thing that kept this book from getting 5 stars from me was a somewhat unsatisfying surprise ending.
  • (2/5)
    The sheep were cute, as was their POV. The mystery was slow. I skimmed the last half.
  • (5/5)
    A flock of sheep seek the person who murdered their shepherd. That is the plot in as tight a shell as you can put it, which sounds totally bizarre, but is actually brilliantly handled. The entire story is told from the point of view of the sheep, who are desperately looking to find the murderer and in so doing get themselves into all kinds of interesting situations. What I especially liked was the mentality of the sheep, who really thought like sheep and weren't simply animals with human personalities. This was a wonderful way to fit some humor into a murder mystery.I think what holds you in the most is the plot with the sheep, not necessarily the murder mystery itself, so there will be some parts of the book that feel a little off from the others, as they aren't as sheep-oriented. This must be the "slower" parts that other reviewers refer to, because those were the only times I wished I could move along a little faster. I found it interesting that the sheep were the most worked out personalities of the story and the humans felt a little secondary to everything in terms of their development, but that is also in keeping with the idea that this is all from the point of view of the sheep. Enjoyable, unique, and certainly worth tracking down the translated version of the second book in the series once it comes out.
  • (4/5)
    Sentient sheep solve shepherd's shoveling! For some reason, the last two books I've read have involved very smart animal detectives. In this British pastoral, George's flock is distressed to find him dead, with a shovel stuck through his chest! Because it seems apparent that the local constabulary will not search hard or long for George's killer, the sheep, led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill, set out to find George's killer. Because, oh, they miss him! Who else will read to them? Or sit quietly of an evening smoking his pipe and keeping them company? The sheep are enchanting--their different talents are all put to good use as they team together to solve the mystery. This delightful book moved a little slowly at times (but with sheep in charge it's only natural that it wouldn't move with lightning speed.) Rather on the whimsical side, and great fun!
  • (4/5)
    A lively and interesting book and a refreshing take on the mystery genre. In parts very humorous, most of the humor derives from the sheep's interpretation of the human words and actions. Tails off rather badly at the end, alas. It's nice that there is a sequel, but alas it does not seem to have been translated...or at least the translation has not reached my library.
  • (5/5)
    This author has mastered third person pont of view - actually, third sheep point of view. A shepherd has been murdered and the individual members of his flock react in many different ways. OK, if you have never made the aquaintance of a flock of sheep you maybe won't appreciate the author's whimsical but dead-on accurate sheep's eye view of the world. I am a hand spinner of fine wool that comes from a lovingly tended small flock of sheep in Kentucky (check out myfavoritesheep.com). Hang out with sheep for a day and you know they are not stupid; all of them have stories they are keeping to themselves. The author skillfully captured individual sheep personalities and the problems of living in community - uh, er, a flock. Plot is secondary here and used as a vehicle for these animals to voice their fears, hopes, dreams, and simple pleasures. Clever without seeming so, touching, funny, and sheep-affirming. I loved it and will read it again and again.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio version and I thought it was well done (I almost always listen to my books b/c I can listen while dyeing yarn or doing yard work/chores). I was a bit confused at first b/c I assumed they were in England due to the accent, and then found out they were in Ireland. But other than that it was well read.

    Now for the story. I've read plenty of murder mysteries and I'm not sure I'd really put this book in the same category. Technically it is a mystery about a murder but otherwise it doesn't really seem to fit the genre, in my opinion. So I think if you pick it up anticipating a modern murder mystery, you might be disappointed.

    There were a couple of places that the story fell flat (like when the shepherd's daughter had a totally random affair with a drug dealer) but I loved all the parts involving the sheep.

    To be fair, I'm biased. I have a small flock of sheep myself and often find myself wondering what they are "thinking" and anthropomorphising their actions. While the thoughts and language are pure fantasy, I can say with conviction that different sheep have different personalities. Especially the less commercialized breeds, IMHO.

    This book made me wonder about the authors experience with sheep. Does she own sheep? Did she spend time "in the field" (literally) researching this book? She certainly writes as if she has been around sheep. I can easily imagine her watching a flock, observing their behaviors and thinking to herself "I wonder what that sheep is thinking..."
  • (4/5)
    Read this one aloud with Winston. We had lots of reactions - good, goofy, confused, weird, silly, more confused. It's not an easy one to read aloud - somehow the sheep voices didn't seem to flow off my tongue as well as other easy-reading mysteries.
    But, oh my goodness - Just lookover the descriptions and reasons to read that have been posted in the reviews on this site. I can't possibly compete with some of those witticisms.
    Give it a try - inquiring minds need to know - WHO killed the shepherd ?
    Read in 2011.
  • (4/5)
    Really cute, slightly bittersweet. Do read.
  • (3/5)
    It started promisingly enough - a sheep murder mystery, with a cast of woolly detectives and their farmer dead, a spade buried in his chest. After that, however, it became somewhat less-than-engrossing. Swann managed reasonably well to create the thought processes of the most intelligent sheep in Ireland, intermingling the humans' discussions and behaviour in a manner that the reader could interpret but that the main flock could not. Unfortunately, a lot of what went on was rather confusing, and the final verdict wound up being something of a disappointment. Whilst a clever idea, I felt the cast was just a little TOO large and got a little unruly. Many members of the flock are introduced, but play only very minor roles in the greater scheme of things. Overall, a promising enough debut and certainly a fresh and original idea. Quite fun, and writing in an engaging manner but does tend to over-complicate itself.
  • (4/5)
    When a shepherd is found dead in his field, his sheep decide to investigate.This was cute, but surprisingly clever. The author never strayed into syruppy sweetness, and the plot was nice and complex.
  • (4/5)
    Imagine my surprise when I was entranced by this murder mystery, told from the perspective of the delightful sheep. Their shepherd, George Glenn, has been murdered and his sheep decide to figure out who did it. Luckily for the reader he has some very smart sheep including Miss Maple, as well as Mopple the Whale, a sheep with excellent memory. They aren't the only interesting characters though. It will take the whole flock to figure things out. They must rely on partial conversations they overhear, and a limited knowledge of humans. Sometimes the conversations they overhear make no sense to them, but make a lot of sense to us. There are a few clues including the imprint of a hoof on George's chest and an expensive watch he wore when planting vegetables.

    These are literary sheep and George read to them every night. He gave them literary names: Othello, the black ram, whom he rescued from a dogfight; Melmoth, the mysterious missing ram; Cordelia, who loves unusual words. This is a philosophical story where the sheep discuss how humans don't have souls. After all, everyone knows that one's soul is in one's sense of smell. So if humans do turn out to have souls they would be quite small.

    This was a fun book to read and I recommend it to anyone who might enjoy this type of humorous mystery.
  • (4/5)
    Fun. You'd think that a murder mystery from the point of view of a flock of sheep would be twee... not this one. The novelty of the POV enlivens the tried and true formula of the whodunit. Set in Ireland, written in German, translated into English with a British feel. More cozy than not -- but not treacly.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best books ever! Great story of a flock of personality laden sheep hunting for the murderer of their shepherd.
  • (2/5)
    I don't know what it is but I could not get into this book. The narrator was fantastic and did a remarkably good job voicing sheep with English accents but that alone wasn't enough for me. It's original and unique but a little over the top for me. After a herd of sheep discover that their shepherd has been murdered they decide to figure out the mystery and discover who the killer is. They put their sheepy intuition to work; eavesdropping on humans, sneaking into town, and taking a good look at the people who have been sneaking around the pasture looking for something. I will admit it was a good mystery because I didn't piece it together, but all the same it was just a bit too much for me. Alas, I don't think I'm big into cozy animal mysteries, worth a try though!
  • (3/5)
    Audiobook performed by Josephine Bailey

    In the village of Glennkill a flock of sheep emerge from the hay barn to begin their daily grazing, only to discover their shepherd dead, a spade pinning his body to the ground. Who killed him? George was a wonderful shepherd, and frequently read to them. They especially liked the love stories and mysteries, and so they feel qualified to begin investigating. The sheep are determined to find out who the killer is and bring him or her to justice.

    I was completely engaged and interested in this very different take on the typical murder mystery. These are very bright sheep, though they sometimes misinterpret certain clues. In their defense, their shepherd was a secretive man and there is no shortage of likely suspects. Swann fills the book with philosophical ruminations, sprinkles in some ethics and morality, and adds a good dose of humor. When all was revealed I was as surprised as the sheep at the turn of events. It was a delightful surprise, and I’m glad I read it.

    Josephine Bailey does a fine job narrating the audio version. Her pacing is good and she gives all the characters (even the sheep) sufficiently unique voices to differentiate them.
  • (3/5)
    When a flock of sheep find their shepherd, George, murdered, they take it upon themselves to solve the murder. Meanwhile, they keep themselves busy and waiting to find out what will happen to them. George was a good shepherd who treated them well, so they are a bit concerned about what will happen next. It was ok. I actually quite liked the ending, so I was tempted to bring my rating up a little bit, but overall, I'll leave it where it is at “ok”, 3 stars. There were parts in the middle where I did lose some interest, but I loved the idea of the story and I loved that George read to them every day. And as mentioned, I did like the ending. I am considering reading the sequel, but I'm not sure if it's been translated into English yet.
  • (4/5)
    This was such a fun book. Who would have thought sheep could be so interesting. i kept thinking of Babe, when he said that sheep were not stupid. I wish she would write another one.
  • (4/5)
    Perhaps it was inevitable that I'd like Leonie Swann's sheep detective novel). For one thing, it got a good review from a friend of mine, which is why I asked for it for my birthday in the first place. And for another, it's about sheep. Granted, they're not Welsh sheep, but hey, that's not their fault. It's an interesting way to tell a story -- a shepherd dies, and his flock set out to discover his murderer? It kept me guessing in a fun way because you're limited to what the sheep can see/hear and understand. It took me a long time to figure out what exactly happened, and I was actually surprised when we found out the truth. I loved all the sheep characters -- particularly, of course, the cleverest of them: Miss Maple -- and, surprisingly enough, managed to get quite fond of the human characters like Rebecca, Beth and Ham, despite seeing very little of them.
  • (4/5)
    An interesting concept that had me wanting to read it the moment I was told about it. Set in rural Ireland this books is about a flock of smarter-than-your-average sheep who set out to discover the truth behind the murder of their beloved shepherd. Led by the smartest sheep, Miss Maple, the rest of the flock, including Othello (the black sheep - literally and figuratively), Mopple (the sheep who never forgets), Sir Ritchfield (the aged lead ram) and a host of others, search for clues and motives in a village which isn't as nice and clean as it portrays itself.

    I loved the sheep. They made for the best characters. Mopple and Zora were the best for me. I'd have liked to have seen more of Miss Maple. As much as they spoke and acted you never forgot they were sheep. Easily distracted by a nice bit of grass and scared of almost everything.

    But the great writing of the sheep in turn led to what was the weakest part of the book. The humans. By the end of the book I didn't really care about why George died or who did it. I started it for the sheep and they were the reason I finished it. I also would have liked a little less Othello. There was a little too much focus on him which detracted from the rest of the flock.

    A fun read, I did enjoy it. I wonder though if the sheep took too much attention away from the plot. I think this could make for a good movie as well.
  • (4/5)
    I listened to this on audio. This is a charming and very witty murder mystery in which the detectives are sheep and a couple of rams out to find the murderer of their beloved shepherd, George. I was pleasantly surprised with how the story progressed because I was under the impression that this would be a cute animal murder mystery, however, it turned out to be much more than that.

    There are about 15 or more individual characters (animals and human) and each one was nicely fleshed out, even the members of the flock. The investigation team is lead by Miss Marple (the smartest sheep in Glennkill), Othello (the black ram), Mopple the Whale (the sheep with the best memory and eater of the group), Zora (the climber who loves to dream about the Abyss), and Cloud (the softest sheep in the flock). Together this A-team sets out on the difficult quest of not only finding the murderer but bringing justice to George.

    I thought the author did a very good job of writing the story from the flock’s perspective. Even though some of the sheep had to display some human behavior to interact with the human characters in the story, their personalities, behavior and even viewpoints still remained very animal like. It was very interesting viewing the world and human characters from the eyes of the sheep in the flock. It lent a unique quality to the story, however, I think because I was audioing this and I wasn’t listening to the chapters in one sitting, it was sometimes confusing to figure out what happened exactly when it was from the perspective of one of the sheep. I believe that if I was reading the book it would have been easier to follow.
  • (3/5)
    The gimmick of this book is quite creative: what if we tried to see the world through the eyes of sheep? This leads to a number of humorous situations, as when the sheep are left pondering why the humans are so interested in finding the "grass" that some characters have been withholding when they are surrounded by grass in the meadow. While the characters are lively and loveable, Swann didn't take the creative core of the story places that I wished she would go. The plot isn't particularly gripping (it's about sheep after all) and the exposition lacked philosophical depth that could have been used to leave readers with something to chew on.