Out on a Limb

A Claire Malloy Mystery

Claire Malloy Mysteries (Volume 14 of 20)

Joan Hess

Minotaur Books

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Farberville, Arkansas is normally a quiet college town, where bookseller Claire Malloy tends her small store and raises her somewhat dramatic teenage daughter Caron. But this week, it's gone a bit out of control. A local group of activists calling themselves the Farberville Green Party is protesting a developer's plan to remove a copse of trees by having retired schoolteacher Miss Emily Parchester camp out in one of them while chained to it by the ankle. While concerned about the aged Miss Parchester's vigil in the tree, Claire isn't able to talk her down-and if that wasn't turmoil enough, a baby is left on Claire's doorstep with a note from his mother asking her to care for him for a few days.

While trying to track down the mother, Claire tries to avoid alerting either the authorities or the local gossips, but both efforts are doomed to failure. When Claire is sighted buying diapers, the unlikely rumor that her daughter has an illegitimate child runs rampant in Caron's high school. And when Claire does track down the mother of the child, it is because the teenager has been arrested for the murder of her own father - who is the local developer at the center of the controversy surrounding the trees.

Unconvinced that the baby's mother is really responsible, and juggling feedings and diaperings for the first time in fifteen-some years, Claire decides that the only way to rescue Caron's reputation and the baby's mother - not to mention coaxing Miss Parchester down out of the tree - is to uncover the truth behind the murder.

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Book Excerpts

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Out on a Limb
CHAPTER ONE"So all is forgiven and you'll be moving into the castle with Prince Perfectly Charming?" asked Luanne Bradshaw, my best friend and toughest critic. She took a slice of pizza from the box on the coffee table, studied it as though it were a slide from a lab, and cautiously took a bite. She does not suffer pepperoni gladly.We were sitting in my living room in the top half of a modest duplex, which has two small bedrooms and a cramped and often cranky bathroom but redeems itself with a view of the campus lawn undulating gently down the slope from Old Main.

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Praise for Out on a Limb

"Joan Hess is one of the best mystery writers in the world." -Elizabeth Peters, author of Lord of the Silent

"I love Joan Hess. She's hilarious, of course-one of the few writers who can crack me up both on the page and in person. If you've never spent time with Claire and her crew, I feel sorry for you. Stop reading this nonsense and hop to it. You'll see wit and humanity all wrapped up in a nifty murder mystery." -Harlan Coben, author of Tell No One

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About the Author

Joan Hess

Joan Hess is the author of both the Claire Malloy and the Maggody mystery series. She is the winner of the American Mystery Award, a member of Sisters in Crime, and a former president of the American Crime Writer's League. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Joan Hess

Photo: Charles E. Roberts
Joan Hess

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Available Formats and Book Details

Out on a Limb
A Claire Malloy Mystery
Joan Hess

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
November 2002
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429905398
ISBN10: 1429905395
304 pages
$2.99

Mass Market Paperbound

Mass Market Paperbound
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur Books
November 2003
Mass Market Paperbound
ISBN: 9780312986322
ISBN10: 0312986327
4 3/16 x 6 3/4 inches, 336 pages
$6.99
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Minotaur Books

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