Three Bags Full: a Sheep Detective Story, by Leonie Swann, is a mystery with a new kind of detective–an entire herd of sheep. When George, their shepherd, is found dead, the flock undertakes an investigation. The leader is Miss Maple, recognized as the smartest, because she asks the best questions. The rest of the sheep assist by keeping obbo (one long-sighted elder with a youngster to keep him awake), following suspects (who would mistrust a sheep?), eavesdropping at windows, etc.
The author, a German scholar, has found ways to incorporate the elements of a detective story, even the final scene where all the suspects are gathered and the detective reveals what really happened. You do have to learn one new word: “sheepy.” None of the flock are the least bit sheepish. Indeed, in their sheepy way, they have a lot of insight into human activities.
Oh, and what made this particular flock so smart? George read to them every day, explaining the hard parts as he went along.