Book Reviews

Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Review by Elizabeth Beechwood

If you’re looking for a murder mystery with a clever wooly sleuth, then “Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story” by Leonie Swann is for you!

I haven’t read many mysteries, but I do love a good animal story, so this book caught my attention.

Who wouldn’t be interested in a story about a flock of sheep determined to solve the mystery of their shepherd’s death?

How, you may ask, does a flock of sheep solve a mystery?

Well, these aren’t just any sheep. George, their shepherd, read to them every day, so they’ve been exposed to philosophical literature, mysteries, and romance novels.

With the intrepid Miss Maple in the lead, the gang escapes their pasture to do a little detective work in the village while trying to go unnoticed by the village butcher.

They gaze up at cloud sheep – what becomes of a sheep when they die—as they try to answer questions like: Who killed George? Who is going to be their shepherd now that George is gone? And will they ever get to Europe as George had promised them?

This book has madcap four-footed capering, encounters with guilt and what it means to stand up to what you’re afraid of, and a contest to see who is the smartest sheep in the village. 

Elizabeth Beechwood lives and writes west of Portland, Oregon.


Elizabeth Beechwood and Katherine Quevedo will facilitate a workshop on how to create nonhuman characters.

November 21, 2021

10 am to 1 pm. (PST)

Nonhuman characters can bring a depth to your story not achievable with human characters. In this workshop, we’ll explore four elements – point of view, intelligence, behavior, and “The Wilding” (the moment when the animal character becomes its most primitive self).

We’ll also talk about landscapes, mythical creatures, and inanimate objects such as toys and appliances to create unforgettable nonhuman characters that readers identify with and love.

Register for the Nov 21 workshop.

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