At Farberville High, the curriculum includes reading, writing… and murder. Bookstore owner and amateur sleuth Claire Malloy finds herself in the thick of it when she agrees to go undercover to investigate a possible case of embezzlement.
Arly Hanks – the wildest chief of police in the Ozarks – has finally met her match. To her horror, she's been cajoled into chaperoning a group of ten hormonally challenged teens on a youth group camp out, along with the mayor's wife, the high school shop teacher, and preacher Brother Verber. Bunking with the crew is bad enough, but things get even hairier when one of the campers stumbles upon the body of a white-robed woman with a shaved head. And before Arly Hanks can do a head count, she finds herself hindered by a cast of crazies, while she tracks down a spacey cult whose initiation ritual could be a real killer.
Police Chief Arly Hanks finds her small town, Maggody, has some new inhabitants when she returns from vacation. Soon, Robin Buchanon, local prostitute and moonshiner, disappears, and Arly finds her bloody body at the edge of a marijuana field.
While investigating a sorority member's death at her daughter's college, Claire Malloy discovers the sorority sisters are participants in many bizarre rituals and illegal activities-the kind Claire would not want her daughter to be caught dead in.
When someone sabotages Jim Bob's grocery store with tainted tamale sauce, resulting in 23 cases of food poisoning and a sudden death, Police Chief Arly Hanks finds that her own mother, Rudy Dee, is one of the suspects. "This may be one of the funniest mysteries written in a long time…"-Ocala Star-Banner.
Arly (aka Ariel) Hanks, Chief of Police of Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755), has been known to break out in hives just thinking about Manhattan. Her idea of a good time is running a speed trap at the edge of town, stomping around the ridge looking for Raz Buchanan's still, and having the blue plate special at Ruby Bee's Bar and Grill on Saturday night. So the last place on earth Arly wanted to be was back in Manhattan with its bright lights, memories of her nasty divorce… and, doggone it anyway, a most inconvenient murder. The week started out just dandy with the social event of the season, the long-awaited marriage of lovestruck Kevin Buchanan and his sweet, his beloved, his three-hundred-pound darling, Dahlia O'Neill. As if that didn't give the gossips enough to talk about, Ruby Bee won an all-expense-paid trip to New York as a finalist in the Koko-Nut Cooking Contest, and she and Estelle were on their way to show the city folks a thing or two. But before the week ended, the newlyweds went amok on their way to Niagara Falls, and Ruby Bee, while making a big splash in the Big Apple, was in the slammer for attempted murder! Flying to the rescue just about wiped out Arly's bank account, and checking into the Chadwick Hotel almost did the same thing for her reputation. The contest had brought together some of the most unlikely characters ever to turn on a Mixmaster, and in an embarrassingly short time, Arly found herself in the room of good-looking, unmarried Durmond Pilverman, whose talents went way beyond his skill at baking a Koko-Nut Kream Pie. But when a dead body turned up in the hotel dumpster, Arly smelled something suspicious in this national cook-off. And the.38 she found hidden in Durmond's dresser had her wondering if she was in danger of sleeping with the enemy. In this sixth mystery in the highly acclaimed Maggody series, the spunky, off-beat, appealing Arly Hanks once again stars in a thoroughly original, wonderfully funny whodunit.