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O Little Town Of Maggody Hardcover – Feb 20 1997

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Hess follows Maggody in Manhattan with another romp, the seventh, featuring the good folks from the small Arkansas town, pop. 755. When it's discovered that country music star Matt Montana was not only born in Maggody but plans to visit his birthplace to give a Christmas concert, the town goes wild with hopes of cashing in on a native son's good fortune. His old home, now a rundown shack, is refurbished, and plans are made to open "The Official Matt Montana Souvenir Shoppe." Matt announces that he will visit his only surviving relative, Aunt Adele. But then Adele disappears from her nursing home and Chief of Police Arly Hanks (she is the entire department), who returned to her hometown from Manhattan, begins to suspect a kidnapping. While Arly searches for Adele, the Nashville crowd arrives and the denizens of Maggody produce a stand-in for the missing auntie. Arly is wrapping up the old woman's mysterious disappearance when she discovers that the body of a murdered record company executive has replaced the mannequin in the window of Mrs. Jim Bob's General Store. Untangling the motives of Matt's entourage as well as the wacky reasoning of her townspeople keeps Arly on her toes for another uproarious visit to the backwoods.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Joy to the world! Arly Hanks, chief of police in Maggody, Arkansas, is back. It's Christmas in Maggody, and the town is all agog over the impending visit of country-western singer Matt Montana, who hopes to jump start a booze-ravaged career with press coverage of his heart-warming return to his hometown. One small problem: Matt's only relative in Maggody is an aging aunt who lives in the county home and has a tendency to listen to aliens from outer space on her hearing aid. Not to worry. Before you can say "money-spending tourists," the pious mayor's wife, Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanon, has sprung into action. Soon stores have been renamed in Matt's honor, souvenir shops opened, and the Montana homestead refurbished in country-cosy style. The disappearance of Matt's aunt from the home puts something of a wrinkle into the plans, leaving Arly to sort out the mess while trying to avoid Mrs. Jim Bob and her relentless badgering. Things go tolerably well until the dead body of Matt's promoter turns up, dressed as a Matt Montana mannequin in the window of Mrs. Jim Bob's souvenir shop. All in all, this is another delightful installment in a superbly comic series. And for all those Maggody fans who will ask, Marjorie, the pampered porcine pet, does reappear and even plays a key role in solving the mystery. Stuart Miller

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I loved this book! April 4 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a long time Maggody reader, I found this book to be a welcome addition to an already entertaining series. Reading Ms. Hess is like eating peanuts - one always leads to another until the bag is empty. In this book, large events in the news are portrayed in the small scale frame of Maggody, Arkansas. Her ability to find humor in life's most frustrating of circumstances is a gift I'm glad she is willing to share. Many times series books get stale after a while, but Ms. Hess' books just get better. It seems she is getting to know these people as long time friends, just as I am. Please write more! I'm waiting!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Could have taken place in North Idaho where I live Sept. 15 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love all of Joan Hess books and each one allows me to reunite with "friends." Some whom reminds me of my relatives -- no lie. This book however does also take on a heavier issue with humor of militias and how dangerous they are. Very good book -- as usual -- I have turned many people on to her.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Joan Hess is fun to read May 2 2001
By gray - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Joan Hess and Janet Evanovich are the two most enjoyable mystery writers in America. If humor in a mystery novel offends you, avoid them like the plague. But if you read for fun, if you read to escape for a few hours from the drudgery of a job or the drivel of television, read a Joan Hess mystery set in Maggody, Arkansas, or a Janet Evanovich mystery set in New Jersey. These two ladies have a way of putting words on paper that is simply and purely entertaining. In The Maggody Militia, a few paranoid members a rightwing militia decide to hold exercises in the woods near Maggody. As usual, Chief of Police Arly Hanks has to solve a murder while dealing with the strangest set of characters ever to appear in a mystery.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More Misadventures in Maggody..... Jan. 23 2002
By Roz Levine - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is just what police chief, Arly Hanks, needs. A militia of homegrown super patriots have camped in Maggody, trying to recruit new members, and playing war games up on Cotter's Ridge. With deer hunting season about to begin, guaranteeing drunken, brazen good old boys shooting at any and everything that moves out there in the woods, she figures it's only a matter of time before somebody will end up getting hurt. And that's exactly what happens. Not only does militiaman, Dylan Gilbert, get shot and killed on the first day of maneuvers, but it seems that the bullet is not what did him in. Add to that the disappearance of the ever-creepy, Brother Verber, a very pregnant and missing Dahlia Buchanon, a rash of burglaries in and around Maggody, and a couple of wayward ostriches wreaking havoc, and you could say that Arly has her hands full in a very big way..... Joan Hess is back with another hilarious, manic romp through Maggody, and this is a series that just gets better with each new installment. The story line is entertaining, the writing, crisp, witty, and engaging, and the dialogue, irreverent and full of down-home colloquialisms and backwoods humor. But it's Ms Hess' unique cast of wacky and quirky characters that make this book stand out, and once you've gotten to know Arly and company, you'll be hooked for sure. With an ending that brings all the plot lines together, and ties up the loose ends into a nice, neat, satisfying package, The Maggody Militia is a delightful and humorous mystery that shouldn't be missed. For those new to Arly Hanks and Maggody, Arkansas, start at the beginning with Malice In Maggody, and read them all. For those of you who are already fans, Joan Hess definitely doesn't disappoint this time out.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Getting better Jan. 8 2003
By D. P. Birkett - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A country and western music star is scheduled to visit his claimed home town and visit his dear old great-aunt. The usual Maggody misadventures and murders familiar to all ardent Hessians take place.
I think this is a series that gets better as it goes on. There is a certain crudity and dependence on cliches and stereotypes in the earlier character drawing. The fat girl Delia is greedy; the preacher is a hypocrite. The later ones have more subtlety.
"She had her cat, Pussy Toes, her apartment in a quiet neigborhood, her meetings of the genealogical society, her knitting projects for nieces and nephews, and her annual vaction to a family-run hotel in Mexico where she remained drunk out of her mind for ten days straight." You might accuse Hess of making fun of alcoholism in that portrait of Miss Vetchling but it has a certain style and sharpness.