Maggody and the Moonbeams by Joan Hess
(Arly Hanks Mysteries)

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Synopsis

Arly Hanks -- the wiliest chief of police in the Ozarks -- is back on the case in Joan Hess's latest comedy-filled whodunit. And this time around, our intrepid sleuth may have met her match: she's just been pressed into service as chaperone for the church youth group. Ten hormonally challenged teenage boys and girls are spending a week at Camp Pearly Gates, accompanied by the formidable wife of the mayor, the high school shop teacher, and preacher Brother Verber. It's bad enough that Arly has to bunk with this crew, but when, on a dark and stormy night, one of the girls stumbles over the body of a white-robed woman with a shaved head, Arly knows things can only go downhill.

Investigating the murder, Chief of Police Hanks finds herself hindered by an eccentric cast of characters, from the bumbling local police and a band of spacey cultists to her own menopausal mother and an oddly intriguing (and attractive) fisherman called Jacko. Meanwhile, back in Maggody, Arkansas (population 755), Mayor Jim Bob Buchanon is up to his usual philandering antics, Raz Buchanon is looking for an animal companion to keep his pig Marjorie company, and Duluth Buchanon's wife has gone missing with their two sons.

With her trademark wit, "the patron saint of comic mystery" (as Sharyn McCrumb calls her) combines humor and mayhem in her best and bawdiest episode yet in the annals of Maggody.

 

About Joan Hess

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Joan Hess is the author of twenty-four mysteries, including fourteen in the Maggody series. A former president of the American Crime Writers League and current president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance, she has won numerous awards for her work, including the American Mystery Award, the Agatha Award, the Drood Review Readers' Award, and the McCavity Award. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
 
Published July 31, 2001 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Maggody and the Moonbeams

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Some of the hardier citizens of Maggody, Ark., take on Manhattan for the finals of the Krazy KoKoNut cook-off.

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Publishers Weekly

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With a gusto sure to please Hess's multitude of fans, the 755 residents of Maggody, Ark., flock to Raz Buchanon's corn fields to speculate about the crop circles that have appeared there overnight.

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Publishers Weekly

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You'd think by now, with the ninth appearance of sharp-witted, sharp-tongued Police Chief Arly Hanks, the shysters and quacks of this world would know to steer clear of Maggody, Ark., pop.

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But a recently arrived right-wing survivalist group, led by brusque ""General"" Sterling Pitts, has embarked on maneuvers on property recently purchased by newcomer Kayleen Smeltner.

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Among them are a well-known writer of historical romances, her shiftless son, his sluttish fiancée, a historian who often dons the uniform of a Union general and a retired accountant with a passion for genealogical research.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Arly Hanks, chief of police of Maggody, Arkansas (population 755) is having an enjoyable spring day looking through seed catalogs when the crazy events that seem to be the norm in Maggody catch up with her.

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The Best Reviews

The many characters in Maggody are just that characters.

Aug 11 2004 | Read Full Review of Maggody and the Moonbeams (Ar...

Reader Rating for Maggody and the Moonbeams
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