Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind (Miss Julia, #1)Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Miss Julia is a recently widowed woman of a certain age living in a conservative North Carolina town. She has been accustomed to doing whatever her autocratic banker husband told her to do and think whatever he told her to think. Suddenly wealthy, she doesn’t even know how to write a check, much less balance a checkbook, and there are plenty of people eager to help her decide where her money should be applied. Then a young woman, a bit rough around the edges, shows up at her door with a child in tow, deposits him with Miss Julia, and takes off, leaving by way of explanation only a few words about the boy being fathered my Miss Julia’s deceased husband.

The story is at times cute, at times suspenseful, and at times farcical. Miss Julia turns out to be more discerning than we are first led to believe, but she is not entirely likeable. The young boy is clearly her husband’s child and her initial disdain is understandable, but she can be unnecessarily cold to him. Her cook/housekeeper Lillian, a rather stereotyped black woman, is the one in the household with the most warmth and common sense. Soon there is a kidnapping of sorts and the boy’s mother goes missing. The greedy pastor is trying to have Julia declared incompetent so that a guardian can be appointed, and, presumably, donate the money to the church as the dead banker would have wished. How will it all resolve?

The book was mildly amusing throughout, but the nympho part was too ridiculous to swallow. You’ll roll your eyes when you get there. It wasn’t good enough to make me want to read more in the series, but it was good enough to make three stars.

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