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    MURDER @ MAGGODY.COM by Joan Hess

    Arly Hanks is chief of police and the only officer in Maggody, a small Arkansas town filled with red-necks, moonshiners, and more than a few people with no good reason to be there. A teacher's decision to bring Maggody into the 20th century (they still plan to be behind) by introducing computers into the school leads to flashes of nasty pictures of many of the town's residents, and eventually the death of a seventeen year-old single mother.

    With precious little help from the county Sheriff, Chief Hanks relies on her network of gossipy neighbors (led by her mother, Ruby Bee Hanks) to get to the bottom of both the internet mystery and the murder.

    Joan Hess has an engaging style and paints a fascinating picture of life in a small Arkansas town where everyone knows too much about everyone else, where Christian morality can often become an excuse to one-up a neighbor, and where I.Q.s range up from close to zero. The short novel 253 hardback pages) is a quick and funny read. This was my first exposure to Joan Hess and Maggody, but I will definitely look for more.

    See more reviews of novels by Joan Hess.

    Three Stars

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