Second in the Maggody, Ark series. Chief of Police Arly Hanks, still nursing wounds from her New York divorce, must contend with a dead body, a passle of orphaned illiterates, a patch of booby-trapped marijuana plants and her interfering mother. These cozy murder mysteries are full of funny characters and local color. Joan Hess also has a more refined series involving Claire Malloy, a single mother who runs a bookstore and solves mysteries.
Arly Hanks is the Chief of Police in Maggoty Arkansas, a job she took after her divorce in NY. She has just come back from a vacation of several months hoping to find everything peaceful and quiet. Then the local lady moonshiner and lady of love turns up dead, killed in a booby trap in a marijuana patch. Everyone knows the marijuana patch isn't hers. In fact someone has dug up her ginseng patch and planted the marijuana and then set booby traps. Arly is determined to catch who ever did it. Robin the woman murdered has left behnd five children. Five children who have been living like animals and now homes have to be found for them. And of course there is Ruby Dee and her friend always insisting on getting mixed up in things. Ruby Dee is Arly's mother and owns the local diner and motel. A psychic has moved into town and they insist Arly should get her to help with the investigation. The psychic has seen the vision of a dead woman's face but she doesn't know who's The story moves right along and interspersed in the serious stuff is some comedy to lighten the tone a bit. Poor Arly has a lot to contend with in her job as Chief of Police. A murder, five wild children, an illegal pot patch and interfering relatives. Lots of odd and quirky characters wander in and out of the story. I really enjoyed the book.