Miracles in Maggody: An Arly Hanks Mystery
Chief of police Arly (Ariel) Hanks handles all the crime that comes her way in Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755), with the ease that Ruby Bee at Ruby Bee’s Bar & Grill gets out her blue plate specials. Of course, most lawbreaking in this neck of the woods has to do with an illegal still or Raz Buchanon’s pet pig getting loose. And the biggest crime, according to her mother and friends, is Arly’s own unmarried state. But that’s before the motorcade of televangelist and faith healer Malachi Hope rolls into town and sets up a tent revival that promises to put Maggody on the map…and put Arly on the hot seat.
Sharyn McCrumb says “Joan Hess is the patron saint of comic mystery,” and that endorsement by a fine writer of mostly non-comic mysteries should be good enough for anyone who likes a chuckle with their chills. For the uninitiated, Maggody is the small Arkansas town where Arly Hanks rules as police chief and where trouble usually begins with an M—as in the previous adventures as Madness in Maggody, Malice in Maggody, Martians in Maggody, Mischief in Maggody, and Much Ado in Maggody. (Well, it does make the books easy to identify.) In this latest, just out in paperback, Hess brings greedy televangelist Malachi Hope to town, and all hell breaks loose.