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Police chief Arly Hanks investigates murder in her Ozark hometown in three books of a beloved series by an Agatha Award–winning author. Her marriage and career over, Arly Hanks heads home to Maggody, Arkansas, for a fresh start. Not much ever happens in a village this size, so Arly figures her new job as chief of police will be pretty quiet. But the seemingly peaceful Maggody residents have a few secrets of their own . . . Malice in Maggody: Something stinks, and it’s not the polluted fishing hole. An escaped convict is coming home to roost, an infamous EPA agent has disappeared, and there’s a corpse with an arrow in its neck at a nearby seedy motel. Now it’s up to Arly and her half-witted deputy, Paulie, to discover the source of the rot. Mischief in Maggody: Maggody’s population is suddenly booming, and among its new residents are a doom-obsessed psychic and a handsome high school guidance counselor. But after a local moonshiner and prostitute are found dead in a booby-trapped field of cannabis, Arly must root out the killer before they make another deadly deduction. Much Ado in Maggody: The bank president’s playboy son, Brandon Bernswallow, is now the head teller, and his sexist behavior has women ready to tell him off. When the bank burns down with Bernswallow inside, Arly must quickly uncover what really happened if she hopes to cool the town’s tensions.
A hilarious police procedural set in the strangest town in the Ozarks, where whip-smart sheriff Arly Hanks does everything she can to keep the peace. 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. From Hizzoner the Moron—also know as Jim Bob Buchanon, the pettily corrupt mayor—to Ruby Bee Hanks—Arly’s mother and the town’s foremost gossip—the people of Maggody are all crazy in their own ways, and that craziness is about to turn deadly. When Joanna Mae Nookim returns to work after giving birth, the bank manager bumps her down to minimum wage as punishment for taking time off. It’s outrageous, but there’s nothing Arly can do. But when the bank burns to the ground and the head teller is found dead, Maggody threatens to burst into an all-out revolution for the sake of women’s rights. Fans of comic mysteries have known for years that no small town is quite like Maggody. With its wild cast of characters and its no-nonsense female detective, Much Ado in Maggody is evidence of master of cozy mysteries Joan Hess at her best. Much Ado in Maggody is the 3rd book in the Arly Hanks Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755) is perceived of as a two-bit hick town, filled with one-bit hicks. But Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanan seeks to change that perception 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 develops a new-found interest in the sport. The town goes golf crazy, trying to learn the sport in time to win the bass boat, with limited success and maximum domestic disorder. Sheriff Arly Hanks, who has better things to worry about, just wishes it would all go away. When a small-town golf instructor wins the bass boat on the first day of the tournament, it looks like all the excitement is over. But the next morning, when he's found dead, sitting in the parking lot in the front seat of the bass boat, the prize is once again up for grabs and nearly everyone in town is a murder suspect.
Claire Malloy discovers that house-hunting can be murder—literally—in the latest entry in Joan Hess's "wildly entertaining series." (Mystery Scene) 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. And the last owner died in circumstances labeled 'accidental' but were actually both 'mysterious' and 'dubious'. The family that owned the estate is now suing the lover of the dead owner over the rights to the property. Oh, and it isn't really for sale. When the previous owner's lover dies practically at her feet, Claire decides to take matters into her own hands. After all, to get the house of her dreams, first she has to find a killer. And all's fair in love, war, and real estate.
Claire Malloy—now a married woman of leisure—tries her hand at volunteering, but instead lands her 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 which leaves Claire with something she hasn't had in quite a while: spare time. When her attempts to learn French cooking start getting "mixed" reviews, she agrees to help Caron and her best friend Inez in fluffing up their college applications by volunteering as an ESL tutor with the Farberville Literacy Council. But her modest effort to give back quickly becomes a nightmare when she's railroaded onto the Board of Directors of the troubled nonprofit. Vandalism, accusations of embezzlement, epic budget problems, and a cacophony of heavily-accented English speakers are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as she decides that it might be best to extricate herself, Claire gets a frantic call from her husband, Deputy Chief Peter Rosen. One of the students, an older Russian woman named Ludmilla, famed for her unpleasantness, has been murdered in the offices of the Farberville Literary Council. For the first time ever, Peter actually asks Claire for her help, and Hess brings a new depth to this fan-favorite series, in Murder as a Second Language.
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