Once again, it's murder and mayhem in tiny Job's Crossing, Texas (Biggie and the Poisoned Politician, 1996). Fiona Weatherford, known as Biggie, the town's leading citizen, is working on a production of H.M.S Pinafore, hoping to raise money for the conversion of the old depot to a museum. Cast in various roles are Biggie's resourceful handyman Rosebud, husband to Willie Mae, her super cook-housekeeper; the recently arrived minister Reverend Poteet; the unabashedly gay florist and temporary police chief Butch; and newcomer Monk Carter, who's just taken over the funeral home. Monk has barely settled in when Biggie and her 12- year-old grandson, J.R., checking on Monk's absence from rehearsal, find his body in the funeral home—crushed to death, according to Doc Hooper. Some humongous footprints are found nearby, and Butch marks off the area with yellow satin bows while the locals natter on about the Wooten Creek monster. There's much speculation, too, about the disappearance of Itha, of Itha's House of Hair, and her young son DeWayne—a disappearance that leaves Itha's beauty parlor in the incompetent hands of her frantic, oversized sister Vida. These events and a dozen others come together, more or less, in Biggie's final summation of one of the untidiest plots of this or any other year. Only J.R., who narrates, seems immune to the general looniness, which is sustained by an endless procession of goodies from Willie Mae's kitchen. Die-hard fans of the folksy genre may enjoy; most others won't applaud this overcontrived, over-cutesy second excursion to Job's Crossing.
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