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Misery Loves Maggody Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Arly Hanks Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; 1ST edition (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671016849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671016845
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Just when it seems that the denizens of Maggody, Arkansas, and their chief of police, Arly Hanks, have seen everything, author Joan Hess manages to find a way to embroil them in yet another hilarious adventure. This time around, Ruby Bee, Estelle, and their big hair have embarked on a cut-rate package tour to Graceland to pay homage to the King. Before the end of the tour, one of the other pilgrims is found dead outside her hotel room, Ruby Bee is in the hospital, and Mayor Jim Bob Buchanon has been arrested for murder. Arly drives through the night to bring order out of chaos and make sure all the citizens of Maggody return home safely--with or without their dignity intact. As usual, there are more laughs than at a log-rolling festival--Brother Verber's hymn listing sins from A to Z (to the tune of Gilligan's Island) is particularly choice.

Joan Hess has made quite a reputation for herself and garnered several awards (including Agatha and Anthony nominations) with this series set in a wide spot in the road in northwest Arkansas. Misery Loves Maggody is the 11th and continues the saga of the dull-witted Buchanons, the Voice of the Almighty Lord Assembly Hall, and Arly herself. Typically, the murders and Arly's (occasionally muddled) course to their solution are really the icing on the cake of these rich parodies of Southern Living. Although Hess's wit is a bit sharper when her cast of characters sticks closer to home, as they do in Martians in Maggody or Miracles in Maggody, an Elvis sighting or two fits right in with the general wackiness and lovable mayhem. --K.A. Crouch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the Maggody (Arkansas) series (Malice in Maggody), and there are many, will revel in this entry, which boasts the usual cast of rednecks, salacious preachers and inbred miscreants who keep Ariel "Arly" Hanks, the town's female chief of police, ever alert. Arly's mother, Ruby Bee, is taking a four-day Elvis Presley Pilgrimage with her best friend, Estelle Oppers. Their five fellow travelers prove to be a smarmy and acrimonious group, and it quickly becomes apparent that they are not quite who they say they are. When Ruby Bee is hospitalized with some disturbing symptoms, Arly becomes involved in an investigation that soon encompasses the mysterious death of one group member and the disappearance of another. Total mayhem ensues as Estelle, whose egregiously unlawful behavior can be classified as an art form, tries to solve the mystery on her own, leaving Arly to clean up the mess?which grows to ensnare the mayor of Maggody, his shrewish wife and a preacher with his own agenda. Hess does again here what she has done so expertly before: keep a firm hand on outrageous characters whose peccadilloes are worthy of a French farce. Agent, Dominick Abel. Mystery Guild main selection.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Oh dear, this seems so personal. I was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, luckily a blue dot in a red state. Did the normal kid stuff, avoided the long arm of the law. I earned a BA in art from the U of A, and a MS in early childhood development from Long Island University. I was teaching art in a preschool (pretty clever combination of the degrees, right?) when a friend suggested I write a romance novel. I wrote ten unpublishable ones before I realized I needed a splash of blood and a slather of humor in my prose and turned to mysteries. The Claire Malloy series came first, followed by the Maggody series. A third series, the Theo Bloomer mysteries, sputtered out after two novels, alas (it was going to be my "travel" series, requiring me to take tax-deductible business trips to do the research).

Now I live in Austin, Texas (also a blue dot, but a bigger one), a ten-minute drive from my absolutely adorable twin grandchildren Jack and Annabelle, soon to be three years old. Please don't ask me if they're identical. Their gracious mother frequently allows me to drop whatever I'm doing and dash over to babysit. And I do.

I'm currently working on my forty-fifth (or so) mystery, a Claire Malloy based on my brief experience in the jury pool. When I'm not babysitting, that is.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By gray on May 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Joan Hess Maggody books, set in and around the fictional town of Maggody, Arkansas, are all delightful if you are looking for light, entertaining fiction. In this book, the murder takes place away from Maggody while some of the most enjoyable Maggadonians are on an Elvis tour. Maggody Chief of Police Arly Hanks winds up at the crime scene and finds herself up to her wry smile in mystery. If you can't laugh at the weird way Americans view our world, avoid this book. If you have a good sense of humor and don't mind that some of the humor is directed at your own values, read it and enjoy it. If you have not read any of the Maggody books, you might find the books more enjoyable if you started with the first book in the series and worked your way forward.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "taylorglobal" on February 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite the fact that this book had some "formula" style plot lines (very similiar plot to Maggody in Manhatten") I loved the Elvis references (and "sightings!") and the strange, strange, world of the Buchannons. It was a good quick read and I enjoyed it, although it was probably not the strongest book in the series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In this installment of the Maggody series Ruby Bee and Estelle head off on a bus tour to Memphis for some Elvis worshipping. There's plenty of strange characters along for the ride and the natives are restless in Maggody. The misery in the title comes from all the things that go awray during the tour but we're kept laughing the whole time. Joan Hess writes her characters so believable that you feel like they're your next-door-neighbors. What more can you ask for than Elvis siteings-casinos-gambeling and possibly satinists? A good time was had by all!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As an adoring devotee of the Maggody series, I was truly disappointed in the latest saga of the delightful folks of Maggody. Ms. Hess has entertained me with names of the Buchanon tribe, antics of Ruby Bee and Estelle, etc. so much that I have read each book three times. Her character development is so precise that I would recognize any citizen of Maggody if I met him/her on the streets of Moscow. There were too many dangling plot threads in "misery" (perhaps to be developed in future books?). My friends and I agree that although this book didn't made the grade, Ms. Hess's track record is still unsurpassed by anyone. Surely in the crown jewels of England there is one tiny rhinestone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Arly Hanks returns to Maggody, a town of 755 people, to recover from the trauma of marrying and divorcing a Yankee. She accepts the job of police chief, thinking that nothing major ever occurs in a small burgh like Maggody. However, she quickly reassess her opinion when her town is invaded by Hollywood, militia crazies, a militia unit ,and a belief that a UFO invasion occurred.
Arly's mother Ruby Dee and her friend Estelle go on an Elvis vacation where they see the Maggody Mayor in a motel with a woman, who is not his wife. Arly is soon shocked when her mother ends up in the hospital after collapsing for no apparent reason. The police chief is further stunned when the Mayor is arrested for allegedly throwing an exotic dancer off a balcony to her death. Instead of helping her mother, Arly is up to her armpits in police cases.
The eleventh Maggody mystery is the funniest and probably the best written novel in this very good series. The primary and secondary characters are a hoot and a half as they exaggerate small town living. The various subplots coherently weave together into a fantastic tale that should not be missed. Joan Hess is a writer whose novels keep getting better and better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joan Hess again provides a good story with a bit of history of the midsouth, and the foibiles of the human condition that are not limited to the mid south. Now we have a bit of Elvis thrown in with a cast of the regulars, and some additions as well. It is another great story by an engaging author. I truly enjoyed it.
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