Another “great” cozy mystery set in outrageous Maggody, Arkansas, a town so strange that even Hollywood filmmakers can’t believe it’s real (Library Journal).
From the Kwik-Stoppe-Shoppe to the Pot O’ Gold Mobile Home Park, there isn’t much glamour in Maggody . . . but this flyspeck Arkansas town is about to become famous. When a Hollywood production company chooses Maggody as a backdrop for an X-rated Ozarks “Romeo and Juliet,” the locals are starstruck. And as Maggody is flooded with washed-up actors, ruthless producers, and a cynical crew, the townsfolk will do anything for a close-up—even if it means resorting to murder.
Chief of Police Arly Hanks has no time for Hollywood—she’s got her hands full with a local arsonist—but when one of the actors is found dead in a bathtub, she’s forced to intervene. As the film spins out of control, Arly realizes that the citizens of Maggody will stop at nothing to get their fifteen minutes of fame—even as the town burns down around them.
In the spirit of David Mamet’s State and Main, this delightful novel shows that when Hollywood collides with small-town values, the movie industry doesn’t stand a chance.
Mortal Remains in Maggody is the 5th book in the Arly Hanks Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
In this lively addition to the Maggody series, movie fever and dreams of stardom grip the Arkansas village while police chief Arly Hanks ( Madness in Maggody ) hunts for a local arsonist. Glittertown Productions comes to town to film what what they bill as a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet , but what seems more like an X-rated production for the hard-core trade. The actors stay at the motel owned by Arly's mother, Ruby Bee, giving her a front seat to the subsequent momentous events, including the bloody murder of once-famous actress Kitty Kaye, now reduced to Glittertown roles, and the disappearance of her actor husband, mostly known for his TV commercials. While the sleazy director and producer pushes on with the film, Arly uncovers evidence implicating company members--the similar murder of the wife of another Glittertown actor, various cases of blackmail and other unpleasantnesses. Meanwhile, Arly is stalked by a mentally disturbed arsonist seeking a human sacrifice. Hess upholds the standards for her generally amusing series, with serious touches providing a necessary ballast. And some of the scenes of Hollywood meeting the Ozarks are extremely funny.