The Queen's Governess - Karen Harper
The Information Superhighway has finally plowed through Maggody, Arkansas, and depending on various views this is either a proud moment in the town's history or the first sign of the Apocalypse. When the local high school is granted the funds to install a computer lab complete with Internet access, citizens of Maggody are suddenly "wired," trading pie recipes with each other and working to construct a Web site which hopefully will help put Maggody on the map. Chief of Police Arly Hanks dismisses the concept as just another distraction and remains a bystander in all the fervor. It's difficult not to blame her, too, for the advent of the Internet has not stopped trouble in this sleepy little town.

Elderly residents of the Pot O'Gold Trailer Park are arming themselves, fitfully frightened of a new long-haired biker tenant, and wayward single mother Gwynnie Packwood struggles to eke out an existence despite help from Arly's mother Ruby and Gwynnie's disappoving aunt and uncle. When Gwynnie is found dead, Arly doesn't need a computer to tell her somebody in Maggody is guilty.

Now, I usually don't read series novels out of order, but being so active on the Internet I had to pick up this title before reading the remaining Maggody novels. I'm glad I did, too, because has great moments of hilarity and silliness. Arly is cantankerous, her mother and friend Estelle delightfully precocious, and the Buchannons are aplenty. Maybe by the next novel everybody will have mastered Javascript. I could use a few pointers myself.