When a shepherd is killed in a little Irish village, his sheep decide to solve his murder themselves. The investigation is led by the wise Miss Maple who soon discovers that everything may be much more complicated than it seemed at first.
The premise is great, and there are some very cute ideas in this book. What I liked especially was that Swann didn’t make the sheep humans in sheep bodies but that she tried to give them their own way of thinking. Supposedly, they are smarter than the average sheep because their shepherd often read books, especially romance novels, to them. Still, sometimes it seemed rather random what the sheep understand about humans but it makes for some funny parts. There is a running gag about the village vicar and religion, for instance, that is greatly amusing.
Sadly, the mystery plot is not up to par. At first, it’s rather engaging but then quickly gets overly convoluted by introducing a lot of characters and side plots, and begins to drag interminably. And it’s no help at all that the ending is a letdown because there is a huge build-up that falls flat on its face in the worst way because the resolution of the murder mystery makes no sense at all, and Miss Maple who is described as the smartest sheep in the flock or maybe even in the world is that only until she suddenly isn’t. It’s very confusing, and if there is a greater meaning intended here by the author, it escapes me completely.
To make it short, it’s fine if you have nothing better to read and want some fluffy distraction, but you should definitely not think too hard about what’s going on in this book because that would be an exercise in frustration. Otherwise, it has some truly funny moments and the sheep characters are interesting. I really wanted it to be better.