O Little Town of Maggody: An Arly Hanks Mystery Hardcover – Nov 1 1993
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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.
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 MillerSee all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.