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Arly Hanks Books In Order

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Publication Order of Arly Hanks Books

Malice in Maggody (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miracles in Maggody (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mischief in Maggody (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Much Ado in Maggody (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Madness in Maggody (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mortal Remains in Maggody (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maggody in Manhattan (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
O Little Town of Maggody (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Martians in Maggody (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Maggody Militia (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Misery Loves Maggody (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon / (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maggody and the Moonbeams (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Muletrain to Maggody (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Malpractice in Maggody (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Merry Wives of Maggody (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Joan Hess’ (who also wrote about characters Claire Malloy and Theo Bloomer) series about chief of police Arly Hanks began in the year 1987 with the release of the novel “Malice in Maggody”. The series is also called “The Maggody Mysteries” and the “Ozark mysteries”. The series ended in the year 2009, after sixteen books were published in the series, the final one was titled “The Merry Wives of Maggody”.

The series is set in a fictional small town called Maggody, Arkansas (which has a population of 755), and stars Arly Hanks (her real name is Ariel) who is police chief in the town. After her marriage ends, she leaves Manhattan and heads on back to her hometown of Maggody.

A pilot was made by the CBS network for a television series based around the book series in the year 1993, and was called “Arly Hanks”. Kate Jackson played Arly Hanks in this pilot, and Ron Perlman was Jim Bob Buchanan. It was based off of the first book in the series. It aired in the year 1994, but due to low ratings, the show was pulled from rotation and was not picked up for a full series.

“Malice in Maggody” is the first novel in the “Arly Hanks” series and was released in the year 1987. In a town the size of Maggody, not much really ever happens, and Arly believes that she will be pretty safe as the first woman to be chief of police. That changes when a local barmaid’s husband breaks out of the state prison and goes to Maggody. That is far from the end of it. One of the EPA officials (who has some ties to the pollution of the town’s fishing hole) vanishes right off of the face of the earth.

Making things that much worse, is a body being found in the Flamingo Hotel (where you pay by the hour), and it was shot through the neck with an arrow. All of the 755 inhabitants of Maggody have quickly gone tight lipped about the whole thing and are stonewalling all of her investigations. Arly has no one to trust, except for her deputy, a half wit.

She will have to watch her back as she, with cunning and some muscle, cuts through all of the inhospitable malice that is going on in her town.

Some readers are able to still recall the series, despite not having read the books in quite some time. Fans of the novel found that Hess is one of the few writers that are able to write mysteries full of characters that are well rounded, humor, satire, and suspense. The books will make you laugh out loud, and her characters are people that you could meet at any time of the day. No matter how many times readers had read these books, or how many other books they had to read, they could not help but read this series once again.

“Mischief in Maggody” is the second novel in the “Arly Hanks” series and was released in the year 1988. After Arly comes back from her vacation, she finds that the population of the town has risen up to 802. One of the new people is a psychic (who is named Madame Celeste) that is holding the people of the town in a thrall with some predictions of pending doom. There is a new guidance counselor for the high school, who is handsome. There is also a group of hippies that have taken over the general store, turning it into the center of cosmic harmony. That being said, very little of life in Maggody is harmonious.

Robin Buchanon, who is part of Maggody’s family with the most abundance, has just been killed. She was a mother of four kids with foul mouths, a hooker, and maker of moonshine. Robin was found shot in a marijuana field that had been booby trapped. Arly believes the pot growers were sending a message to anyone who would want to trespass on the property, and decides to set her own at a vigil she holds. No one can predict just where the case will go after another killing happens that catches Arly by surprise.

The second book, for some, does a better job of portraying the town than the first book did. Fans of the novel find that these books do a great job of entertaining anyone who reads them. Another fun and entertaining book that Hess has gifted her writers with that will keep people laughing and wondering what happens next in the story. These are some unforgettable characters that Hess writes about here in the book, especially a character that is named Hammet (one of the orphans).

“Much Ado in Maggody” is the third novel in the “Arly Hanks” series and was released in the year 1989. Trouble has come to Maggody again, and Arly once more has her hands full. Brandon Bernswallow is the name of this new trouble, who is the playboy son of the local bank’s president; after becoming head teller, he bumped Johnna mae Nookim (who is a long time employee of the bank) down to minimum wage.

Some women are mad about it and are plotting a sex discrimination protest in Ruby Bee’s Bar and Grill. They also have a scheme in the works to give the male chauvinists some comeuppance. They too are just as shocked when both Bernswallow and the bank are set on fire.

Preacher Verber says it was the work of the devil, while Mayor Jim Bob blames the whole thing on commies. Arly will sift through all the ashes, and find out just who it was that put together the case of down home killing.

Some cannot help but crack one of these books open to see what some of their favorite characters are getting up to now. Fans of the novel always enjoy the humor, settings, characters, and plots of these books that Joan Hess writes. She is able to bring this world she has created to life through her quirky characters and strong sense of humor. Readers cannot help but finish one book and then quickly get started on the next one, all the while enjoying the ride they always get taken on.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Arly Hanks

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