Monday, April 19, 2010
Format: 8 discs (10 hrs, approx) 352 page equivalent
Characters: Julia Springer Murdock, Hazel Marie, Mr. Pickens, Lillian
Setting: any small town in North Carolina
Series: Miss Julia
Genre: cozy mystery
Source: public library
Challenge: audio books, support your local library
Miss Julia is always good for a dose of Southern charm, manners, and lessons on the proper way for a lady to comport herself and butt into everybody's business. In this episode, Miss Hazel Marie finds herself "in the family way" without benefit of the propriety of matrimony. Miss HM has sent Mr. Pickens (her erstwhile suitor) packing, and refuses to have anything to do with him, or to tell him of his impending fatherhood. Oh, and Miss Julia has to help Sam, the police, and Mr. Pickens the private detective find out who broke into Sam's office and stole the papers he had for the book he was writing.
She is concerned, naturally, about Hazel Marie's reputation in this small town, but HM swears Miss Julia to secrecy. The zany schemes concocted by Hazel Marie, Miss Julia, and the long-suffering maid Lillian, for keeping her 'condition' hidden from the busybodies, and how and what she is going to explain to her son Lloyd, are quite entertaining. The author could have probably chopped 50 pages out of this one without losing anything. Reading this is like eating fudge....one piece is delicious, two is great, but by the time you get to the third piece, you realize you've had about enough. Miss Julia's interference in everyone's life, and Hazel Marie's over-the-top performance as the put-upon (can you say "Woe is ME"?) southern belle got to be a bit much toward the end. If you're a fan of southern cozies, this is one for you. If you prefer your tea unsweetened, this one may need several slices of lemon to tame it.