Miss Julia Takes Over — Ann B. Ross

As we start the second book in the Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross, we find Miss Julia in a distracted tizzy. Too upset to invite her friend Sam over for lunch, she can’t keep from worrying – Hazel Marie didn’t come home last night. Miss Julia has already called every hospital in the county, and none of them have seen the attractive bottle-blonde. Hazel Marie’s son Little Lloyd doesn’t know his mother is missing, and Miss Julia doesn’t know what she’s going to tell him; he’s already lost one parent and is a sensitive child to boot.

Finally she decides to pay Sam a call. He’ll know what to do. But no – he’s a little too distracted with his new home health aide, Miss Wiggins – an affectionate gal who has taken a shine to him. Curse that broken leg – the sooner the cast comes off, the better, in Miss Julia’s opinion.

It seems Miss Julia has to take matters into her own hands if she wants the mystery solved. A private investigator – that’s just the thing. Putting her reservations aside, she hires J.D. Pickens, a smooth-talking, slick-haired man with a penchant for beer and women. These sinful behaviors aside, he’s the best at what he does, or at least, this is what he tells Miss Julia. She decides to ignore his questionable habits and turns the case over to him. At least, she turns it over partway. When it comes to Hazel Marie, she’ll do whatever it takes, and if that includes getting in there and solving the mystery herself and possibly having a high speed car chase on a NASCAR speedway, well, that’s what she’ll do.

Another great story in the Miss Julia tradition, you’ll enjoy this story quite a bit. I do remind you that there is some mild language, but I didn’t find it enough to offend me.

(This book was published by Penguin Books in 2001)