Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755) is perceived of as a two-bit hick town, filled with one-bit hicks. But Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanan seeks to change that perception with her latest scheme—a charity golf tournament. This presents a bit of a challenge, since no one in Maggody plays golf and there is no course. But when the prize for the first hole-in-one is announced—a top of the line bass boat—nearly everyone in town develops a new-found interest in the sport. The town goes golf crazy, trying to learn the sport in time to win the bass boat, with limited success and maximum domestic disorder. Sheriff Arly Hanks, who has better things to worry about, just wishes it would all go away.
When a small-town golf instructor wins the bass boat on the first day of the tournament, it looks like all the excitement is over. But the next morning, when he’s found dead, sitting in the parking lot in the front seat of the bass boat, the prize is once again up for grabs and nearly everyone in town is a murder suspect.
Still water may run deep, but the rapids will leave you bruised and battered in Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755). That is, if the locals don’t get you first. Some of them are devious, some are stupid, and some are merely annoying. My mother falls into that last category.
I kept my eyes on the far bank of Boone Creek as she approached the hickory tree. "I came here for the solitude," I muttered.
"I reckon you can come here for whatever reason tickles your fancy," Ruby Bee said as she plopped down beside me. She does not plop with grace, being a short and sturdy sort with
PRAISE FOR JOAN HESS AND THE CLAIRE MALLOY SERIES
“Well-paced suspense spiced with wry wit.”—Boston Sunday Herald on Closely Akin to Murder
“Clever…irreverent murder and mayhem.”—Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate on Closely Akin to Murder
“Wickedly amusing.”—Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine on Busy Bodies
“Witty, pithy, and beautifully plotted…my favorite Claire Malloy so far.”—Patricia Moyes on Busy Bodies
“Intriguing…an amusing look at the universal human comedy.”—Fort Smith Times Record
“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.”
“Delightful…worthy of Hercule Poirot in the classic Death on the Nile.”—Publishers Weekly on Mummy Dearest
“A good substitute for a trip to Egypt.”—Deadly Pleasures on Mummy Dearest
“Hess fans will find much to entertain them...”—Publishers Weekly on Damsels in Distress
“Lively, sharp, irreverent.”—The New York Times Book Review on Poisoned Pins
“Larcenous shenanigans…breezy throughout.”—Chicago Tribune on Poisoned Pins
“With her wry asides, Claire makes a most engaging narrator. The author deftly juggles the various plot strands…the surprising denouement comes off with éclat.”—Publishers Weekly on Out on a Limb
“A winning blend of soft-core feminism, trendy subplots, and a completely irreverent style that characterizes both the series and the sleuth.”—Houston Chronicle
“A wildly entertaining series.”—Mystery Scene
“Joan Hess is one of the best mystery writers in the world. She makes it look so easy that few readers and fewer critics realize what a rare talent hers is.”—Elizabeth Peters, author of Tomb of the Golden Bird
“Joan Hess is seriously funny. Moreover, she is seriously kind as well as clever when depicting the follies, foibles, and fantasies of our lives. Viva Joan!”—Carolyn Hart, author of Dead Days of Summer
“Fresh and funny…her trademark humor is stamped on every page.”—Publishers Weekly, on The Goodbye Body