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Book review: Malice in Maggody by Joan Hess

Copyright: 1987 by Joan Hess.
Genre: Mystery, humor.

Starley City, received a permit from the EPA to build a sewage processing plant that would empty into Boone Creek. The residents of Maggody, Arkansas (population 755), were determined to stop it, as Boone Creek is their popular fishing hole. So begins the first of Joan Hess’s Arly Hanks mysteries. Ariel is the Police Chief of the small, redneck town. Every teenager from Maggody dreams of “escaping” one day and Arlie Hanks actually did for awhile, having been married and a resident of New York City. But, the marriage ended and 35-year-old Arly is back in the Ozarks. Prior to the events in Malice in Maggody, the most recent crime wave in town had occurred eight years prior. Things are about to change.

First off, a local reports that his hunting dog was stolen by his neighbor. In the mean time, the town council members have decided to take another stab at stopping the sewage processing plant from being built. Planning to plead their case to an official in the state level, they kidnap (delay) an EPA official who stops at the town’s only gas station on his way to Starley City. The barmaid from the local dive ends up murdered, and a former resident of the town escapes from prison. I did not figure out who did it until the very end of the book. Funny and entertaining, I will have to check out some of the other books in this series that began back in 1987.

There are sixteen books in the Maggody series:

1. Malice In Maggody (1987)
2. Mischief In Maggody (1988)
3. Much Ado In Maggody (1989)
4. Madness In Maggody (1990)
5. Mortal Remains In Maggody (1991)
6. Maggody in Manhattan (1992)
7. O Little Town of Maggody (1993)
8. Martians In Maggody (1994)
9. Miracles in Maggody (1995)
10. The Maggody Militia (1997)
11. Misery Loves Maggody (1999)
12. Murder@Magoddy.com (2001)
13. Maggody and the Moonbeams (2001)
14. Muletrain To Maggody (2004)
15. Malpractice In Maggody (2006)
16. The Merry Wives of Maggody (2009)

Joan Hess is also the author of the Clair Malloy mystery series.

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