The Maggody Militia by Joan Hess

The Maggody Militia by Joan Hess

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In this hilarious cozy mystery, small-town police chief Arly Hanks tries to stop a right-wing militia from turning Maggody into a battlefield

The sign welcoming travelers to Maggody, Arkansas, reads “Pop. 755,” and don’t expect Hizzoner Jim Bob to repaint it just because there’s someone new in town. The mayor won’t go out of his way for anyone, especially someone wicked—and a woman who would open a pawnshop in Maggody must be very wicked indeed. Kayleen Smeltner decided to open the shop after her husband was killed during a burglary. She came to Maggody expecting peace and quiet, but she’ll find this quaint little patch of nowhere isn’t as peaceful as it seems.

When a right-wing militia takes up residence in the pasture behind the pawnshop, police chief Arly Hanks knows it’s only a matter of time before the bullets start to fly. The strange citizens of Maggody are on the verge of civil war, and it will only take one spark to set the town ablaze.

There’s no politics like small-town politics, and there’s no town on earth like Maggody. This madcap take on right-wing militias is one of Joan Hess’s most topical—and outrageous—mysteries yet.

The Maggody Militia is the 10th book in the Arly Hanks Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.


“Hess created a gem when she invented the wacky world of Maggody, Arkansas. . . . Devoted legions of Maggody fans expect nothing less, and those new to the craziness will soon be laughing along with the rest of us. A fine addition to a vastly entertaining series.” —Booklist

“Another romp through the small Arkansas town populated by the quirkiest characters in fiction today.” —School Library Journal

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