Another in the series by Ann Ross, about fiesty Miss Julia, who has the unlikely, but charming, history of taking in her late husband’s mistress and her son, the product of his years long affair, of which she was entirely unaware until they both appeared on her doorstep after his demise. In this tale, Hazel Marie, the former mistress, has gone missing after a date with a man from out of town who is doing some professional fund raising for the Presbyterian church which sits conveniently right across the street from Miss J’s house in Abbottsville. Miss Julia reports this to the police but they seem unconcerned, thinking they are both adults and just off on a good time. Miss Julia knows better and when Hazel Marie calls but is disconnected during the conversation, she is convinced she is being held against her will. Miss Julia engages the services of a private investigator, but insists that she and Little Lloyd (named after her late husband, of course) go along. They meet up with race truck drivers and Miss Julia even takes a lap on a race track in her efforts to get Hazel Marie back. To add insult to injury, Hazel Marie’s Bible thumping TV evangelist uncle has accused her of neglect in her care for the boy which Miss Julia knows is entirely untrue and is just another scheme to get his hands on the fortune Little Lloyd inherited from his father.
I love this series, it’s lighthearted and full of southern lady wisdom and charm. Might not be for northerners but many of the characters are easily identifiable by anyone born and bred in the south.