BookSeriesInorder.com





Joan Hess Books In Order

Publication Order of Claire Malloy Books

Strangled Prose (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Murder at the Murder at the Mimosa Inn (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dear Miss Demeanor (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Really Cute Corpse (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Diet to Die For (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Roll Over and Play Dead (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death by the Light of the Moon (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Poisoned Pins (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tickled to Death (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Busy Bodies (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Closely Akin to Murder (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Holly Jolly Murder (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Conventional Corpse (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Out on a Limb (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Goodbye Body (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Damsels in Distress (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mummy Dearest (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deader Homes and Gardens (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder as a Second Language (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pride v. Prejudice (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Theo Bloomer Books

The Night Blooming Cereus (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Deadly Ackee (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Arly Hanks Books

Malice in Maggody (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mischief in Maggody (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Much Ado in Maggody (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Madness in Maggody (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mortal Remains in Maggody (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Maggody in Manhattan (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
O Little Town of Maggody (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Martians in Maggody (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Miracles in Maggody (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Maggody Militia (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Misery Loves Maggody (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
murder@maggody.com (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Maggody and the Moonbeams (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Muletrain to Maggody (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Malpractice in Maggody (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Merry Wives of Maggody (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Future Tense (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Red Rover, Red Rover (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Tales of Obsession: Mystery Stories of Fatal Attractions and Deadly Desires (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death of a Romance Writer and Other Stories (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Big Foot Stole My Wife! and Other Stories (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Deadly Ackee and Other Stories (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Year's 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Funny Bones: 15 New Tales of Murder and Mayhem (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Crime After Crime (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Malice Domestic 9 (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


For every writer getting published is the most challenging task. Writers often get disheartened and quit writing after a couple of failed novels or projects. But Joan Hess is really a breed apart. Failure does not affect her, even in her early career, it took her years to settle down, but she kept trying. The same happened to her as a write. If it was not for her high level of commitment great series like The Maggody Mysteries would have never came to existence.

From a huge early struggle to huge success, Joan Hess has proven that she is a champion writer. Her flawless writings and perfect narration places her in the pool of some excellent writers of all times.

Early and Personal Life

Joan Hess was born on Jan 6, 1949 as Joan Edmiston, in Fayeteville County and lived in Arkansas for a major part of her life. She now resides in Austin, Texas. She was born to J.D. Edminston a grocer and H. Edmiston a building contractor. She received her B.A. in 1971 from University of Arkansas and M.A. from the Long Island University in 1974. Her early career started as a preschool teacher. Here she realized her potential in arts. She married J. Hess in 1973 and had two kids Rebecca and Joshua Hadley. They divorced in 1986.

Writing Career

The writing career of Joan Hess was much different than most of the writers around the world. She started her writing career as a source of income in 1984 when she quit her teaching career in preschool. The writing got hold of her and she wrote some great pieces in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mystery Scene, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and many more. She was counted in The Year’s 25 Finest Crime & Mystery Stories in 1997.

But instead of writing crime and mystery she chose romance to start up her personal career as a writer. She did not succeed even after almost half a decade of trying with romance genre and wrote 10 complete unpublished titles in this genre.

In 1986, she finally decided to change her genre to mystery which was not her personal favorite, but somehow she understood that she is better at mysteries than romance. “Strangled Prose” her first mystery title came out in 1986 and since then she has never looked back.

She has more than twenty timeless mystery publications with great series like The Maggody Mysteries and The Claire Malloy Mysteries. These timeless pieces have placed her in the pool of some legendary mystery writers of all times.

She has been five times nominated for the famous Agatha Award and she was the winner in 1990 for her short story “Too Much to Bare”.
There were a large number of other awards won and nominations by her that included Agatha Awards, McCavity Awards, Anthony Award, American Mystery Award, etc. A great writer backed by a large number of awards proves her excellence as a writer in her genre.

Strangled Prose

Strangled prose was the first title published by Joan Hess, she did a remarkable job in creating the characters and the novel has a very decent flow of narratives. The trademark humor and sarcasm was already there in her first title itself. Even the stubborn and independent women character was also there as the lead heroine. The twists in the novel were really surprising although a few of them can be judged by a good reader. There were impressions of it being the first book, with minor problem with tenses at some places.

The story revolves around a girl who narrates the novel, the character is called Claire. The narrative had a little problem as if Hess was confused weather to reveal the victim or not. At the end, it was a power packed first project which gained a lot of success and fame to the writer which fuelled the writer inside her. And she has never looked back ever since. A few minor flaws in this novel were never repeated again.

The story of the novel revolves around Clair Malloy, who hosts a publication party for her friend Mildred who wrote Professor of Passion. A militant feminist member of the faculty takes control of the party and start telling parts of the novel which indicate Claire as a character. Later, she is found dead and Claire is seen as the culprit. The story is Claire’s fight to prove herself “NOT GUILTY”.

Malice in Maggody

This is the first book from Arly Hanks Series that earned the most of the fame and success for Joan Hess. The story is about a character Arly Hanks who is a police officer who is trying to recover from a divorce. Life in Maggody was slow and peaceful as she wanted and the only crime in the area was a car wreck on highway once a month. But she faced a challenging day when she came across two big cases on a single day. A convict escapes the prison and a sewage treatment plant specialist who is posed as a threat to the neighborhood goes missing. With no support from the residents, the lady officer takes control of the situation to solve these mysteries. Joan Hess has tried her best to add spice to the novel with a good quantity of humor and mystery. The twists are perfectly planted and it is a pleasure to read the novel.

The twists are well disguised making it more interesting to read, there is a surprise for everyone. Unlike most mystery novels, the novel perfectly disguises all its twists which make it a perfect novel to read. It is said that the best period of the Joan Hess books started with this book.

Another great part of this book is that Joan Hess does a marvelous job by using back-woods southern humor. She plants humor and mysteries very beautifully throughout the novel.

The book Malice in Maggody was the basis of the story of the CBS TV Series Arly Hanks, this was a huge achievement for Joan Hess.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Joan Hess