I truly hate to be the bearer of this very sad news. For those of us who have delighted at the antics of the Maggody gang, who Arly Hanks has to work so hard to keep in line, Joan Hess’s passing a few days ago is very sad indeed. Several Cozy Mystery readers wrote to tell me about her passing, and I have found a few sources on the web that have also reported this awful news.
Joan Hess set both her Maggody and Claire Malloy series – which both feature strong women sleuths – in Arkansas, which makes sense since Hess was an Arkansan. I started enjoying Hess’s Maggody gang back in the late 1980s. When I later started reading Hess’s Claire Malloy series, I saw what a gifted author she was to have two such strong mystery series. So gifted in fact, that she was chosen to finish Elizabeth Peter’s last Amelia Peabody mystery book.
Joan Hess will be very much missed by many of us who spent hours with both Arly and Claire – as they sleuthed their ways into our hearts.