When a Hollywood production company chooses Maggody as a backdrop for an X-rated Ozarks Romeo and Juliet, the locals are starstruck. And as Maggody is flooded with washed-up actors, ruthless producers, and a cynical crew, the townsfolk will do anything for a close-up - even if it means resorting to murder. Chief of Police Arly Hanks has no time for Hollywood - she's got her hands full with a local arsonist - but when one of the actors is found dead in a bathtub, she's forced to intervene.
Nothing ever happens in Maggody, Arkansas, population 755. Aside from handling the occasional barroom brawl or exploding still, chief of police Arly Hanks spends her days sipping coffee and squashing flies. She returned to Maggody two years ago, licking her wounds after a bad Manhattan divorce, and she fell backward into the role of sheriff.
Claire Malloy, now a married woman of leisure, tries her hand at volunteering but instead lands right in the middle of another murder investigation. Longtime bookseller and single mother Claire Malloy has recently married her long-term beau and moved out of her less than opulent apartment into a sprawling, newly remodeled house. Her daughter, Caron, is making plans for college. All of this leaves Claire with something she hasn't had in quite a while: Spare time.
"Poor narration detracts from enjoyment of story"
Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755) is regarded by most as a two-bit hick town, filled with one-bit hicks. But Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanon seeks to change that with her latest scheme - a charity golf tournament! This presents a bit of a challenge, since no one in Maggody plays golf and there is no course. But when the prize for the first hole-in-one is announced - a top of the line bass boat - nearly everyone in town quickly develops a profound interest in the sport...including a killer.
"Merry Wives and Merry Murder"
When Mayor Jim Bob Buchanon's SuperSaver Buy 4 Less takes out a full-page ad boasting the new supermarket's authentic tamales, gourmet deli counter, and various other bells and whistles, every restaurateur in town fears that Jim Bob is going to put him out of business. So when it comes time for the Buy 4 Less's gala opening, one citizen decides to play dirty, slipping something into Jim Bob's famous tamale sauce that leaves 23 unsuspecting attendees sick with food poisoning - and one dead.
Semiretired bookseller and former single parent to a challenging teen, the not-so-newly remarried Claire Malloy finds herself entangled in yet another case of felonious doings in this latest cozy.
When Arly's mother, the indomitable Ruby Bee Hanks, is invited to a baking contest in New York, Arly is forced to return to the city she hates - and the Big Apple is even more rotten than she remembered. Ruby Bee has hardly preheated her oven when a naked man is found shot in her bedroom and the NYPD throws her in jail. As tempting as it may be to let her mother rot on Rikers Island, Arly has no choice but to solve the case herself, facing down killers, bakers, and the most dangerous villain of all: her ex-husband.
Maggody Police Chief Arly Hanks is all shook up when she hears that her mother collapsed during a pilgrimage to Graceland and is in a Memphis hospital. Another member of the tour is pushed to her death from a hotel balcony. A prominent Maggody citizen stands accused of the murder. Arly's suspicious mind tells her to snap into action--it's now or never--before the touring residents of Maggody are returned to sender ... in a hearse.
Back from her somewhat unusual honeymoon, Claire Malloy must face the harsh reality of life with her new husband, police chief Peter Rosen, and her teenage daughter Caron—three people simply can’t fit into her cosy two bedroom apartment. After a week of fruitless looking, she finally finds the perfect place—a well preserved large house on a large plot of land in an area called Hollow Valley. There are only a few problems. Such as the real estate agent disappeared mid-showing and hasn’t been seen since.
"Joan Hess fan VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!"
Maggody's high school has a new computer lab. Folks are calling the internet the Devil's workshop, but the adult computer class is filling up. Soon friends are exchanging E-mail, and the preacher is posting sermon notes. But when some mighty unusual images flash across monitors--and a pretty computer student is found dead in an abandoned shack--the town demands Arly find the answers.
"Maggody is worth the read"
Bite into this delectable collection of "whodunits" from some of today's hottest mystery writers. Whet your appetite with Sara Paretsky's "Skin Deep," in which V.I. "Vic" Warshawski takes on a chi-chi salon after one of its clients turns up dead. For your next course, try Wendy Hornsby's award-winning "Nine Sons," a country schoolteacher's recollection of a gifted student whose farm life was more troubled than it seemed.
"an ok listen"
A renaissance fair is coming to the relatively quiet college town of Farberville, Arkansas. Though resistant to getting involved, Claire Malloy, local bookseller and mother of the perpetually petulant teen Caron, finds herself drawn into the strange inner workings of the group putting on the fair. But a dark mood falls over the festivities when one of the organizers is a victim of arson, and her body is found in the burned wreckage of her rented house. Someone is definitely dead - but is it murder?
"It was OK"
If you believe in the feline mystique, this anthology will have you purring. Intrigue, murder, and a not-so-cuddly kitty are at the center of these 9 stories by some of the finest, best selling mystery writers of all time. Curl up with Larry Segriff's No Hard Feelings read by Jamie Farr, Sharyn McCrumb's Nine Lives to Live read by Mary Jo Catlett, Joan Hess's The Maggody Files: Hillbilly Cat read by Jean Smart, Clark Howard's Animals read by David Birney, Edward D. Hoch's The Theft of the Mafia Cat read by Richard Gilliland, J.A. Jance's The Duel read by Eleanor Mondale, Ellery Queen's The Adventures of the Seven Black Cats read by Mike Walker, Janwillem van de Wetering's A Great Sight read by Mason Adams, and Carole Nelson Douglas's Coyote Peyote read by David Ackroyd.
"Better editing needed"