Joan Hess

Joan Hess (b. 1949) is the award-winning author of several long-running mystery series. Born in Arkansas, she was teaching preschool when she began writing fiction. Known for her lighthearted, witty novels, she is the creator of the Claire Malloy Mysteries and the Arly Hanks Mysteries, both set in Arkansas.


“Ms. Hess displays a consistent and rare skill. . . . She plays fair; she knows exactly when to lighten the mood, when to spill some blood and how to keep Arly Hanks one tiny step ahead of the reader.” —David Dawson, The New York Times, on Mortal Remains in Maggody

“Hess created a gem when she invented the wacky world of Maggody, Arkansas.” —Booklist on The Maggody Militia

“Joan Hess is the patron saint of comic mystery.” —Sharon McCrumb, author of The Rosewood Casket

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