Small-town police chief Arly Hanks takes on the New York Police Department to save her mother from a murder rap in this madcap police procedural.
When her marriage went up in smoke, Arly Hanks left Manhattan and never looked back. As police chief of Maggody, Arkansas, population 755, Arly is a glorified traffic cop, and she couldn’t be happier. But when Arly’s mother, the indomitable Ruby Bee Hanks, is invited to a baking contest in New York, Arly is forced to return to the city she hates—and the Big Apple is even more rotten than she remembered.
Ruby Bee has hardly preheated her oven when a naked man is found shot in her bedroom and the NYPD throws her in jail. As tempting as it may be to let her mother rot on Rikers Island, Arly has no choice but to solve the case herself, facing down killers, bakers, and the most dangerous villain of all: her ex-husband.
Joan Hess is better than anyone when it comes to writing small-town murder mysteries, and Maggody in Manhattan shows she knows her way around big cities too. When the wacky residents of Maggody are loosed on the Big Apple, New York City will get turned upside down.
Maggody in Manhattan is the 6th book in the Arly Hanks Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Some of the hardier citizens of Maggody, Ark., take on Manhattan and triumph. Ruby Bee Hanks visits New York for the finals of the Krazy KoKo-Nut cook-off, but ends up in jail for shooting a naked man in her bed. Daughter Arly (last seen in Mortal Remains in Maggody ) grudgingly comes to the rescue, even though doing so means returning to the scene of her failed marriage. Arly finds the food fest to be considerably less exciting than the promotional literature promised; held in the seedy and almost empty Chadwick Hotel, it proves a chaotic disappointment to both the contestants and the young people organizing it at the orders of their superiors, now conveniently out of the country. A teenage nymphomaniac, murder, drugs, a disappearing body, two love affairs and some unsporting shenanigans among the contestants make for confusion that only Arly can untangle, somewhat to the dissatisfaction of the local cops. Hess's risky decision to take her characters out of the Arkansas setting that has worked so well in five previous mysteries pays off with rousing success in one of the best ``country hicks vs. city slickers'' stories in a long time.