5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book, I read it in one day!
I loved this book so much I read it in one day! The many characters in Maggody are just that characters. It is a small town in Arkansas where Arly Hanks is the Police Chief. She has her hands full in this book as she is roped into being a chaperone for the church youth group. They are going to Camp Pearly Gates to do some volunteer work to built bleachers. Mrs. Jim...
Published on July 16 2004 by Dawn Dowdle
3.0 out of 5 stars More mischief in Maggody
After Joan Hess's last Maggody book I wondered what else Chief Arly Hanks, Ruby Bee and the Buchanon clans could get into and I will say that I am pleased with the latest effort. Chief Hanks stumbles along the body of a cult member while chaperoning ten of Maggody's future on a retreat. The rest of the book is the usual fare with adventures of the townfolk of Maggody...
Published on Sep 30 2001 by msrachee
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book, I read it in one day!,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Mass Market Paperback)I loved this book so much I read it in one day! The many characters in Maggody are just that characters. It is a small town in Arkansas where Arly Hanks is the Police Chief. She has her hands full in this book as she is roped into being a chaperone for the church youth group. They are going to Camp Pearly Gates to do some volunteer work to built bleachers. Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanon, the mayor's wife, and Brother Verber, the local preacher, would make it interesting enough, but then she also has the high school shop teacher and ten teens to keep in line.
When the body of a white-robed woman turns up on the campgrounds, life gets even more complicated for Arly. Then there's the man she found fishing on the campgrounds. Not to mention all the reported sightings of ghosts. Once her mother Ruby Bee and her best friend Estelle show up, things get even more interesting.
Ruby Bee runs Ruby Bee's Bar & Grill. Due to a recent fire in the kitchen, she is out of business for a couple weeks. So she brings all her food up to the camp to feed the kids. They are happy because the menus that Mrs. Jim Bob had prepared were nutritional but not what the kids would want to eat!
As Arly begins investigating the apparent murder, she uncovers a community of women and children living on the campgrounds but that has a lot of mystery as to who they are and where they came from.
All the different characters plays such an important role in this book. It is told from multiple points of view, which at first I found difficult to follow. Once I got to know the various characters, I found that this story couldn't be told from one point of view. It is very well written!
I highly recommend this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder at the Pearly Gates,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Mass Market Paperback)Sometimes it is hard to keep a long running series feeling fresh and fun, but Joan Hess manages to bring a bit of revitalization to her Maggody series by sending Police Chief Arley Hanks off with some hormone laden teens, the good Brother and Mrs. Jim Bob to Camp Pearly Gates.
While Arley tries to ride herd on the cosmetic mad girls' bodies, Mrs. Jim Bob works on their souls and the good Brother works on a bottle of sacramental wine.
Meanwhile back in Maggody, Mr. Jim Bob is enjoying his new found freedom with some friends he has made over the internet.
Then one of the girls at Camp Pearly Gates stumbles over a body of a local cult member and things begin to get complicated, as Arley says.
A fun romp in the woods with the Maggody crew. Actually I have to note that the description of Camp Pearly Gates raised certain childhood memories of church camp-- laced with the scent of mildewed towels and sweaty sneakers.
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting more high falutin',
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)I have always come to the Maggody stories for light entertainment rather than edification. The jokes were often corny and the characterization crude but the mixture worked. In this one there are a number of highbrow references and Brother Verber reveals a childhood trauma that may account for his character flaws. Even the relatioship between Raz and Marjory is getting more psychologically complex. Where is all this leading? I'll keep reading to find out.
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGGODY AND THE MOONBEAMS SHINES!,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)Every time I take a fictional visit to the rural Arkansas town of Maggody (population 775 who all seem to be Buchanons of some sort or other with yet another one on the way), I always look at the publisher's line on the bottom of the title page ... Simon & Schuster with its list of offices in New York, London, Toronto, Sydney and Singapore. It completely mystifies me trying to imagine what readers in Singapore think about the criminal justice system in Maggody.
Anyway, this trip into the world of high crime and comedy starts with Ruby Bee Hanks burning up the kitchen of Ruby Bee's Bar and Grill. Add Duluth Buchanon's wife running off with his children and Raz Buchanon searching for a live-in companion for his pig Marjorie. And last, but not least, Arly getting shanghaied into being a chaperone to a church group of ten out of control teens (Billy Dick, Big Mac, Darla Jean et al), who are supposed to spend a week rebuilding Camp Pearly Gates under the unfortunate guidance of Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanon (the mayor's wife) and Brother Verber (the town's preacher).
Once at Camp Pearly gates, everyone one starts seeing what they think are angels, ghosts and/or aliens, and Darla Jean trips over a dead body in the woods on a dark and stormy afternoon.
If you thought the folks in Maggody were whacko, wait until you meet the people who live around Camp Pearly Gates. As always, Joan Hess delivers up a funny and enjoyable read. (Even if I can't keep track of all the Buchanons!)
2.0 out of 5 stars Whodunit? Who cares?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)I recently decided to stop reading Joan Hess's Claire Malloy books after the last in the series, "A Conventianal Corpse," was so...well, bad. I think I've come to the same decision regarding the Maggody books. I'm about one-third of the way through this, the latest in the series, and I'm putting it down. There are so many great books out there to discover (not just mysteries, but fiction, biographies etc.) that I can't justify spending time on a story of so little substance. To be fair, Hess's books have never been much more than trifles, fun ways to waste some time. But really, enough is enough. What was once fun has now become tiresome, each book nothing more than a retread of the one before. And the mysteries themselves (the actual whodunit aspect of these whodunits) have never been their raison d'etre. So I'm just not going to bother anymore. Sorry, Joan, but P.D. James, Tim Cockey, John Irving and David McCullough are going to have my attention from now on. The two stars are for past pleasures only.
4.0 out of 5 stars Western Union Book,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)Joan Hess continues to work her charms in this latest installment of the Arly Hanks series. Alas, unlike some of the earlier, more zany books, this one is all too predicatable - I found myself guessing (correctly) the ending while only half way through the quick read.
For those not familiar with Ms. Hess's looney tunes Arkansas cast, picture Green Acres in the Twilight Zone. Hess peppers her stock of hayseed characters with a horny mayor and his sanctimonious wife, a bevy of inner bred Buchanans, and enough wit and surprises to keep the reader enthralled. If only she had given more thought to the plot, this would be the perfect book to spend an afternoon or more with. Even so, revisting Maggody is like having some familiar, if shop worn, acquaintences stop in for a spell.
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder and Mayhem in Maggody.....,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)Maggody, Arkansas (population 755) Police Chief, Arly Hanks, thought she'd dealt with some really tough cases in the past, but isn't sure she's prepared to handle this latest assignment. It seems, she's been "volunteered" to help chaperone the church youth group during their week of spring break. They're off to Camp Pearly Gates, in nearby Dunkicker, to rebuild the bleachers and fishing dock. If that isn't bad enough, the formidable and always officious wife of the mayor, Mrs Jim Bob, and the ever-creepy preacher, Brother Verber, will be going along too. But before the kids can even get settled in, a youth grouper stumbles over the body of a dead woman, a member of the "Moonbeam" cult whose followers dress in white choir robes, shave their heads, wear magenta lipstick, and are often mistaken for space aliens. As murder and mayhem ensues, Arly is pressed into service by the County Sheriff's Department to investigate the murder, and find out what's really going on in Dunkicker..... Joan Hess is back with another rip roarin', good time romp through Maggody. This is a light mystery that has it all...a well paced plot, full of vivid and hilarious scenes, smart, crisp writing, and witty and irreverent dialogue, complete with down-home, southern colloquialisms that will have you laughing out loud and shaking your head. But it's Ms Hess' wacky and quirky cast of original characters that really makes this novel stand out, and once you've been introduced to Maggody's finest, you'll be hooked for sure. So put up your feet and get comfortable, because once you begin reading, you won't be able to put this book down until you've finish the last satisfying page. Maggody And The Moonbeams is the latest in a terrific series that just gets better and better with each book. If you're new to Arly Hanks and company, start at the beginning with Malice in Maggody, and read them all. If you're already a fan, this installment doesn't disappoint.
4.0 out of 5 stars Moonbeams in crises,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)Chief of Police Arly Hanks is manipulated into serving what amounts to a community service sentence, chaperoning teenagers on what could be the worst assignment of her career. She accompanies the randy teens in a ramshackle bus to a remote church camp, to do repairs and clean up. Included in the party are "Mrs. Mayor" (the mayor's wife Mrs. Jim Bob), the preacher Brother Verber, and teacher Larry Joe Lambertino.
The action really starts when one of the teenages literally stumbles over a corpse, one of the Moonbeam cult, who refuse to cooperate in the investigation. In addition, Arly is being pressured to marry a local law enforcement person, and there are segues back to Maggody to keep us apprised of what Jim Bob is up to in Mrs. Jim Bob's absence.
A laugh a minute, if a bit predictable.
3.0 out of 5 stars More mischief in Maggody,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)After Joan Hess's last Maggody book I wondered what else Chief Arly Hanks, Ruby Bee and the Buchanon clans could get into and I will say that I am pleased with the latest effort. Chief Hanks stumbles along the body of a cult member while chaperoning ten of Maggody's future on a retreat. The rest of the book is the usual fare with adventures of the townfolk of Maggody and Arly solving the crime.
As always Joan Hess keeps the antics of Kevin Buchanon, Mrs. Jim Bob and Brother Verber (to name a few) laugh out loud but Arly is not the typical heroine who is always kicking butt and able to solve crime.
I did find this book a bit lacking with the Maggody parts. There didn't seem to be the same development as if they were rushed. Otherwise an entertaining read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Maggody and the Moonbeams,
This review is from: Maggody and the Moonbeams (Hardcover)Another Winner! As with all the other books in the Maggody series, I laughed out loud and couldn't stop turning the pages. All the characters are up to their usual antics with some bizarre element, in this case, the Moonbeams. Most of the story takes place at Camp Pearly Gates with the Moonbeam cult and Joan creates a fantastic mental image. The flash backs to the characters in Maggody were disjointed but still funny. I've lived in Northwest Arkansas all my life and I know these Maggody people and places, really! I still pass through on my way to Branson several times a year.
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Maggody and the Moonbeams by Joan Hess (Hardcover - July 31 2001)
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