Series: #10 in the Miss Julia series
Publication Date: 2009
Read by: Cynthia Darlow
Challenges: Support Your Local Library #50
The Short Version:
Lighthearted antics of a Southern ‘woman of a certain age’ who gets herself into a mess while playing cupid and solving a crime.
Why I Read It:
I’ve listened to this series and enjoy the light humor and need to catch up with the most recent books.
This is a series so if you haven’t read the previous books, there might be spoilers of events prior to this one.
Miss Julia as usual manages to get herself all wrapped up in other people’s business while steadfastly declaring that she does no such thing. Miss Julia’s household consists of herself, her longtime housekeeper Lillian, Julia’s kind and charming second husband Sam, and single mother Hazel Marie and her son Lloyd. Hazel Marie is the former girlfriend of Miss Julia’s first husband and Lloyd is his son. If you want to find out how they all end up living happily together at Julia’s, then you’ll just have to read or listen to the earlier books.
After Hazel Marie admits to feeling ill and being concerned that it’s something serious, Miss Julia takes charge (as usual). The doctor’s diagnosis is a surprise to all. On top of that, Miss Julia is distressed to hear that Hazel Marie has broken off her relationship with Private Detective J.D. Pickens. As much as Mr. Pickens drives Miss Julia crazy, she does think he’s good for both Hazel Marie and Lloyd and she’s determined to get the them back together.
Then, Sam’s house that he uses for an office is broken into, vandalized, and burglarized. Julia convinces Sam to put Mr. Pickens on the job and of course, she can’t help getting involved herself.
These are just light enjoyable driving around listening for me. I probably wouldn’t read the books in paper format, but I enjoy listening to them in my short daily driving type of audiobook consumption. The Hazel Marie story is predictable and the outcome is really never in question. The minor mystery of the incident at Sam’s office is less predictable, and a good addition. I was less sure of how that one would play out.
As always I enjoy Miss Julia’s interactions with the other characters, particularly the ladies from her church. Her insistence that she’s not judgmental or a busy body is usually strongest when she is actually being one or the other. Nevertheless her devotion to Hazel Marie, Lloyd, Sam and Lillian show the true kindness in her heart.
Cynthia Darlow does a fairly good job with most of the characters, but I’m not fond of the way she reads Lillian’s character. I think Lillian is much smarter than Ms. Darlow’s vocal characterization makes her out to be.