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by Joan Hess

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-93840-0
Publisher: Dutton

Hess, whose recent chronicles of Maggody (O Little Town of Maggody, 1993, etc.), Ark., have tended to import visitors who made the zany locals act even zanier, strikes a rich lode of lunacy when a mysterious limo marks the advent of a series of UFO sightings and an otherworldly pattern of circles pressed into the cornfield of moonshiner Raz Buchanon, of one the seedier branches of Maggody's First Family. Despite the skepticism of police chief Arly Hanks, the ufologist road show follows apace, starring Cynthia Dodder, president of Unidentified Flying Objects Reported in Arkansas (UFORIA); her scatty secretary Rosemary Tant, abducted and raped as a teen by you-know-whos; Arthur Sageman, the carny ufologist whose hypnotherapy sessions with Rosemary brought out the trauma he reported in several bestselling books; Dr. Hayden McMasterson, the vaunted Taos intraterrestrial researcher who's made a career of debunking the ufologists; and tabloid reporters dying to be taken in by a bunch of rubes whose average IQ barely breaks the freezing mark. Two of the distinguished visitors will never check out of the Flamingo Motel, but what's a little homicide among the general hilarity? Even if the Maggody formula—a murder plot and principals from outside, uninterrupted comic relief from regulars too lovable in their cunning stupidity to be suspects—isn't as fresh as it once was, this installment is certified merriment. (Author tour)