It’s a happy dance Monday at Thoughts in Progress. Why you ask? Well, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest installment in one of my favorite hilarious series. And to make it even better, Catherine and the great folks at Viking/Penguin are giving a copy of the book away to a lucky visitor (more on that at the end of the post).
I first became aware of this series in 2000 when I came across the first installment (MISS JULIA SPEAKS HER MIND). Since it featured a Southern heroine, I couldn’t resist and have been hooked every since. Now for the latest (#14) installment in the funny series by talented author Ann B. Ross.
MISS JULIA STIRS UP TROUBLE by Ann B. Ross
What starts out as a seemingly calm autumn day in Abbottsville, NC, with Miss Julia enjoying her yard and newly remodeled house (well, three rooms at least), quickly turns to chaos. Her friend Hazel Marie’s housekeeper falls down the stairs and winds up bedridden. This leaves Hazel Marie to tend to him, care for her newborn twin daughters, manage the household, and cook (when she can barely boil water) all while her husband, Mr. Pickens, is away on private investigation business.
Miss Julia steps in with a plan. She recruits the ladies of Abbottsville to not only share their recipes and a covered dish (as any southern lady would do during illness), but also teach Hazel Marie how to prepare the recipe. All is going according to plan until Hazel Marie’s greedy uncle, Brother Vern, an itinerant preacher shows up claiming sickness and needing his family (Hazel Marie) near. To make matters worse, Mr. Pickens has been seen driving different women around town while he was suppose to be working.
Miss Julia has her hands full as she tries to bring calm and order back to the lives of her friends and her family.
This time around Miss Julia’s adventure is more of a home-bound type without some of the crazy antics she has pulled in the past. However, author Ann B. Ross gives a fun look at how quickly everyday life can turn upside down and become a snowball-effect of trouble. Miss Julia continues to give advice with a sharp-tongue, but more of her tender spirit comes through this time.
Ross has created a fun protagonist in Miss Julia readers can’t help but love. She may be prime and proper, but she’s had difficult times and overcame them with dignity giving readers laugh-out-loud moments along the way. All of the characters are well-developed and realistic with their flaws and emotions. Ross continues to evolve her characters with each installment keeping fans of the series anticipating the next development.
MISS JULIA STIRS UP TROUBLE moves at a swift pace with the story flowing smoothly. Readers are also treated to the delicious recipes the ladies of Abbottsville provide Hazel Marie as Miss Julia receives them. The notations included with each are a cute reminder that Miss Julia is in charge.
This is the 14th installment in the Miss Julia series and can be read on its own. However, I would recommend reading the series in order to fully appreciate Miss Julia and how the various characters have grown throughout the series. If you can’t read the series in order, at least try to read the first installment first to completely understand where Miss Julia began and what makes her who she is.
The residents of Abbottsville are entertaining characters you will want to visit time and time again. Miss Julia is someone you’d like to live next door to as long as you had a book of proper etiquette handy at all times.
MISS JULIA STIRS UP TROUBLE is a delightful read that will have you smiling from the opening page to the last paragraph.
Author Ann B. Ross’ website is www.missjulia.com
Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble by Ann B. Ross, Miss Julia Series #14, Viking Adult Publication, @2013, ISBN: 978-0670026104, Hardcover, 368 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Now for the giveaway guidelines. To enter, send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line, “Win MISS JULIA.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. Just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of MISS JULIA STIRS UP TROUBLE is 8 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, May 7.
Thanks so much for dropping by today. Hope your Monday is off to a good start. Do you know any prime and proper southern ladies that sound like Miss Julia? Have you read any of the Miss Julia books? Is so, what’s your thoughts on Miss Julia?