Monday, July 30, 2012

Blaize Clement’s Cat Sitter Mysteries



Reviewed by Jeanne
It’s no secret that I like light mysteries, preferably with cats and not just the real cats at my house who try to sit on the book as I read.  There are any number of these books, though some are just teases:  the artist slaps a cat on the cover and no cat appears in the book.  I’ve concluded that often a cat (or a dog, let’s be non-speciesist) is the artistic shorthand for “relatively non-violent, not a lot of explicit sex and not too much cursing.” Sadly, sometimes it’s also shorthand for “bland and formulaic.” Too many series books nowadays feature first person narration from a feisty if somewhat ditzy heroine,  who always finds herself involved in mystery, with a man or men she’s attracted to but either they don’t notice her or she’s trying to convince herself she’s not interested, attempts at snappy dialog, intriguing location, and some sort of quirky profession.
I’d heard good things about the Dixie (“no relation to Ernest”) Hemingway series, so I decided to give one a try.  Dixie is a former deputy who left the force after her husband and three year old daughter were killed in a traffic accident.  Her grief made her unstable as an officer, so she’s working as a pet sitter while she tries to get her life back together.  She lives with her firefighter brother Michael and his partner, Paco, in their late grandparents’ home on Siesta Key.
I didn’t think this sounded particularly promising.  In fact, it sounded a lot like all the things I just said I didn’t like but I decided to read the first book anyway. Why?  Because every now and then I’ll find an unexpected gem and that makes it worth all the digging. 
I’m happy to report this was one of those times.  Clement has a feel for both characterization and pacing.  Dixie has her problems, but she’s also a tough, decent woman who has a strong sense of justice for the underdog (or undercat, as the case may be.)  While animals always figure into the plots, they aren’t excuses to get sentimental.  Dixie treats them as individuals and with respect, even the ones who aren’t exactly lovable. There are funny lines, but they aren’t forced and there’s no attempt to draw attention to them.  One of my favorite lines is “Since I love chocolate second only to crisp fried bacon, the devil could leave a trail of it and I’d probably eat my way straight to hell.”  I can relate. Also, Clement never lets the plot drag but moves things along at a brisk pace.  Even when there’s a bit of down time to enjoy hot coffee and crisp bacon, she manages to keep the story from dragging and there’s no sense that the author is stalling or padding the book—that’s a pet peeve of mine, and no pun is intended.
Siesta Key is wonderfully depicted. It’s a small island off the Florida coast, just about eight miles long. Snowbirds and tourists swell the ranks in winter, but the small number of permanent residents give the place a small-town feel.  After a couple of books, I was ready to visit there myself, have some of those extra crispy hash browns, coffee, and eggs at the diner even though I don’t really like eggs, and maybe meet some of the retired circus people who live on Siesta Key.  I certainly wouldn’t mind meeting Detective Guidry in his hand-made Italian suits or lawyer Ethan with his lovely manners and dark good looks.  There’s a bit of judicious cursing and the occasional risqué comment, but nothing too off color. Some of the murders are brutal but Clement doesn’t sensationalize.  In short, these aren’t  fluffy sweet cozy books; they have a bit of grit and sand in there.
Unfortunately, Blaize Clement passed away July 20, 2011 after, as her son John put it, “a year-long disagreement with cancer,” which makes me think that Blaize was a lot like Dixie.  I’m sorry we lost her so young.  The good news is that her son is going to continue the series, at least for a book or two.
The books don’t have to be read in order but if you are one of those who prefers to read ‘em that way then here’s the list:
1.       Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter
2.       Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund (Note: if animal deaths bother you, be warned that some do occur in this book.)
3.       Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues
4.       Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof
5.       Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs
6.       Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons
7.       Cat Sitter’s Pajamas
8.       Cat Sitter’s Cradle by Blaize and John Clement (2013)


To keep up with news, events and a countdown to the next book's publication date, visit the website:  http://www.dixiehemingway.com

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Leftovers by Tom Perotta




Reviewed by Nancy

It was the cover of “The Leftovers,” by Tom Perotta that enticed me to open the book and read the blurb on the inside, and reading the blurb made me feel pretty sure that I wanted to read the book.The cover features a pair of men’s shoes, empty, with mist or steam or smoke drifting up from inside them. This was enough to arouse a great curiosity in me.

The plot revolves around a rapture-like event that occurred three years before the action in the book starts. During this event, which came to be known as the "Sudden Departure," millions of people all over the world disappeared in the same instant. Christian believers who did not disappear with the millions who did disappear were troubled and perplexed by this. This event was also confusing in terms of Biblical theology, since many of the people who disappeared were not Christian. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, alcoholics, Eskimos, homosexuals, Mormons, you name it: the disappearance just seemed to be a random harvest as far as anyone who was left could tell.
In the aftermath of this bizarre and confusing occurrence many people attempted to return to normal, while others were so bewildered and forlorn that this was impossible. 

Kevin Garvey, newly elected mayor of Mapleton, is among the group who feel that everyone should get back in gear and get on with their lives. Unfortunately, others members of his family can’t seem to do this. His wife, Laurie, tries to carry on, but after a time leaves home to join a group called “The Guilty Remnant.”
Members of the G.R., as it comes to be known, take a vow of silence, wear all white all the time, smoke cigarettes constantly, and travel in pairs, stalking non-G.R. individuals and staring at them to the point of total discomfort. The in-your-face silent treatment is rooted in the G.R.’s belief that nothing will ever be normal again, and it is their duty to wake up people who think things will be.

Kevin’s daughter, Jill, comes a little unmoored after her mother joins the G.R. She shaves her head, stops going to school, and undertakes casual sex with her peers. Her friend, Aimee, equally as directionless as Jill, moves in with Jill and her father in order to escape her overly friendly step-father.

A few months after the Sudden Departure Kevin’s son, Tom, dropped out of community college to become a devotee of a newly risen cult figure known as Holy Wayne. Holy Wayne, sincere at the outset, eventually allows the fame and power to go to his head, claiming his right to have seven teenage brides as well as the wife he had before he became Holy Wayne. Eventually the authorities catch up with Holy Wayne and in the end he pleads guilty to various unspecified charges and gets twenty years in prison.

This leaves Tom at loose ends. He undertakes a hitchhiking trek across the United States, accompanied by one of Holy Wayne’s pregnant teenage brides. During this adventure Tom and Christine, the “bride,” pose as “Barefoot People.” 

Barefoot People, guess what! They refuse to wear any footwear other than flip flops. They are unshaven, unwashed, and unconcerned about anything except where the party is. They seem to be the hippies of the era, seeing the Sudden Departure as a great excuse to drop out and party. (I think if I were embroiled in this plot I would be much more likely to join the Barefoot People than the Guilty Remnant.)

I could go on and on, but I won’t.  You get the picture. This book is kooky, fun to read, but even more fun to tell people about. And don’t worry. I have not told you so much about the plot that you will be bored reading it. There are still plenty of surprises, and even until the last page you will not, nay, not simply until the last page, but until the last paragraph you will not know how things are going to turn out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Inn at Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts



Reviewed by Doris
One of the most prolific writers in the world, Roberts is called the “Queen of Romance” for good reason. Her books are vastly popular, filled with gorgeous men and women, sassy dialogue, and the fairy tale ending that romantics expect.  Often writing trilogies or quartets that involve sets of brothers, sisters, or friends, Roberts can lay out romantic settings and love stories with enough twists and turns to make even the most cynical of us go, “Awwwwww.”
Roberts has a new trilogy set in the town of Boonsboro, a real town in Maryland where Roberts lives. Inspired by a renovated inn owned by her husband and his family, Roberts details small town Boonsboro with all its best characters and small town quirks. Following her proven formula for success, Roberts writes about three brothers named Montgomery.  Ryder is the oldest, hardest on the outside and maybe even inside. Owen is the organizer who keeps everyone on schedule and holds a tight rein on the budget. Beckett is the architect and visionary for the family projects. Their mom is Justine who rules her boys with an iron glance and unconditional love.  She and Beckett are the ones who see a building and transform it into something very special. Center to their vision is the renovation of a derelict inn that anchors the main street and pre-dates the Civil War.
The Next Always is Book One and tells the story of youngest Montgomery brother Beckett and beautiful Clare. All through high school he had a crush on Clare, but Clare was in love with another guy. After her husband is killed in Afghanistan, Clare returns to Boonsboro with her two little boys and pregnant with her third. Beckett, who has always had a way with the ladies, finds himself totally tongue-tied around Clare but just as attracted to her as he was at fifteen.  Along with the developing friendship and trust between Beckett and Clare there is also the beginning of the renovation of the inn which becomes a central character in this trilogy. And, there is Lizzie. Lizzie is a ghost who haunts the inn and who seems to love the Montgomery boys.  Sweet, funny, tender, the love between Clare, Beckett, her boys, and the whole Montgomery family is delightful.
The Last Boyfriend is Book Two and this time it is middle brother Owen Montgomery and fiery Avery McTavish .  At six Owen gave Avery a Cracker Jack engagement ring and was her first boyfriend.  Both moved on to other relationships but always stayed close as friends. Now it seems they find themselves wondering what it would be like to take their friendship to a new level. While Book One laid down much of the ground work for the whole trilogy and introduced all the characters, this book looks at friendship and family. There’s the background story of Beckett’s and Clare’s wedding and the renovation of the inn. We also find out a bit more of Lizzie’s story and her love for her Billy for whom she is waiting. (There is a scene in this book that is priceless involving Owen and his mother that will make you laugh and cry at the same time.)
The Perfect Hope is Book Three and the story of oldest brother Ryder and Hope who has come to Boonsboro to be the innkeeper at the inn. Hope is best friends with Avery and Clare. She is also drop dead gorgeous, smart, and totally capable of holding her own with the often surly Ryder. From the first moment he met her, Ryder has been less than friendly to Hope who he thinks is just too perfect to be real.  Hope isn’t sure why he dislikes her so much, but she knows her heart stopped the first time she saw Ryder. Meanwhile the Inn at Boonsboro is thriving. Then, a past mistake turns up to haunt Hope which makes Ryder take a longer look at his innkeeper. Just maybe he has been all wrong about her. With a little help from friends, family, and Lizzie, Ryder and Hope will wrap up the love stories of Boonsboro.  (This book has not yet been released.)
* Roberts has used real businesses in Boonsboro for these stories. Avery’s pizza parlor - Vesta’s-is near the real Inn at Boonsboro as is Clare’s floral shop, the gift shop and the bookstore so detailed in the trilogy. Check out Roberts’ website at www.noraroberts.com to visit Boonsboro and see the real Inn at Boonsboro and the town. By the way, each suite in the Inn is named after a happy, fictional couple such as Tatiana and Oberon, Jane and Rochester, Nick and Nora, Elizabeth and Darcy, and the décor is done accordingly—just as it is written in the trilogy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fairy Tale Interruped by RoseMarie Terenzio




Reviewed by Nancy P.
July 16, 2012 was the thirteenth anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr.  He died along with his wife and sister in law when his private plane crashed en route to a family wedding.  His former assistant, RoseMarie Terenzio, has written a spell-binding account of his last five years, telling a story that could only be told by someone who worked with him on a daily basis.
As a self-described ill-tempered, insecure girl from the Bronx, Ms. Terenzio backed into her dream job as personal assistant to the most famous man in the world.  She recounts her trial and errors, naiveté, the awesome highs and bitter lows as they worked to publish the political magazine George. Her easy style puts the reader in the same room with her, but is so exciting that it makes the book a real page-turner. I thought it was very interesting to see the private personality of a world figure who left us much, much too soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's Hot for July!


Dog days are here and it's a great time for reading! These are the most requested books for July at the Bristol Public Library:
12. Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed chronicles her wilderness trek along a thousand mile trail in an effort to get her life back together.
11. Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews is the “delicious new escapist novel about small towns, old flames and deep secrets.”
10. Porch Lights by Dorotha Benton Frank is set on Sullivan’s Island where three generations of a family share an unforgettable summer.
9. Kiss the Dead by Laurell Hamilton is the latest in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series.
8. I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge has the NY police detective taking his family to the vacation cabin to escape a threat of violence from the city, but he soon learns that no place is safe.
7. Unwritten Laws by Greg Iles is still scheduled for December, 2012.
6. Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen has Kendra Michael, a music therapist drawn into an FBI investigation of a possible serial killer.
5. XO by Jeffery Deaver sees Special Agent Kathryn Dance assigned to a pop singer who is being stalked by an obsessive fan.
4.  Robert B.  Parker’s Lullaby by Ace Atkins, the first of the Spenser novels written by someone other than Parker, starts when Spenser is called upon by a teenage girl who wants her mother’s murder investigated again.
3.  Backfire by Catherine Coulter has FBI agents Sherlock & Savich on edge after a judge is shot during a murder trial, the prosecutor is threatened, and Savich receives a menacing note.
2. Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich is the second in the Lizzy and Diesel series.  This time the search is on for the stone that represents the sin of lust.
And the most requested books are:
1.  Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bob Tarte's Animal Magnetism



Reviewed by Jeanne


As readers have noticed, I have a penchant for cat books.  I do like nonfiction at times, but when it comes to animals I tend to regard nonfiction books with suspicion. Those are the only books I routinely flip to the back and read the end before I start the book so I know if the animal in question survives or if I need to lay in an ample supply of tissues. 
That’s how I approached Kitty Cornered:How Frannie and Five Other Incorrigible Cats Seized Control of Our House and Made It Their Home by Bob Tarte.  Cats seemed okay at the end, so I decided I’d read a chapter or two.  I had a pretty good idea of where this was going by the diagram of the house (including the area where black cat Agnes makes daily attempts on Bob’s life) and the cast of characters (“Lucy:  snapping crocodile disguised as a ‘diluted tabby’”), but by the time I laughed my way through the introduction, I was sure he couldn’t sustain this level of humor.
So help me, he did.  He kept me laughing from the first chapter to the last and all the ones in between. Bob has a wonderfully semi-cynical, self-deprecating sense of humor and a keen eye for the absurd. I resisted the impulse to call friends up in the middle of the night to read passages from the book, but oh, the temptation was there.  The true reason I didn’t was that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing long enough to read the passages aloud in understandable English and might be mistaken for an obscene phone caller.

But I have to say that the sentence that completely won me over and made me know that I would love this book came right after Agnes -um, "accidentally"  intersperses herself between Bob's foot and the stair:  "I pitched backward, trying to avoid her, my hand attempting to latch onto the nonexistent rail which I had been intending to have someone else install for years."

That is the story of my life.
Lest you think I was too much swayed by the feline aspect of this book, let me hasten to add that I was so amused by that first book that I checked out Tarte’s first book, Enslaved by Ducks:  How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order.   This filled in a lot of background as to exactly how Bob, a non-animal person, ended up with rabbits, several varieties of ducks, geese, turkeys, a pocket parrot, doves, parakeets, and I can’t remember what all else.  He lays the blame at the feet of Linda, described as “long suffering wife to unfortunate author,” a country girl with Tennessee roots who likes having animals around. It all started out innocently enough with one bunny, Binky.  Binky was a Dutch dwarf rabbit which, as Bob found out much too late, is a breed characterized as being “moody.”  This is sort of like saying Dr. Jekyll had some personality quirks.  Binky’s favorite pastime was chewing, and while he was especially fond of electrical cords he also enjoyed books, furniture legs, carpet, shoes and electronic cables.  Just to vary his activities, he also liked to play hide and seek—inside the house walls.
You’d think Bob would have been discouraged by this, and he was.  It just didn’t stop him and Linda from accumulating a veritable zoo, primarily of birds. By the end of the book, he was even hand-raising orphan songbirds and complaining just as loudly as he did at that first bunny.  Some of these characters made appearances in Kitty Cornered   which is his most recent book.  This means I need to re-read that now that I know the origin of Ollie, Stanley Sue, et al and sort of catch up with what’s been going on with them.  However, I’m going to wait until I read Fowl Weather, his second book, so that I’m sure I know all the characters.
Whether or not you know a Muscovy duck from a call duck, you’ll be entertained by these books. My personal favorite section, though, has to be the one where their cat Moobie has to wear a cone which becomes her “Funnel of Happiness.”  I won’t tell you how.  You have to read the book, because I don’t think there is any way they could possibly make a movie—at least not one as funny as this book.


You can see photos of the cats & other characters as well as read more about Bob and his books at www.BobTarte.com.  He also has a lively Facebook page and Twitter account, though the latter is periodically usurped by one or more of the cats, bent on dispensing feline advice and wisdom.
 

  
"What are we looking for?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness




Reviewed by Doris
This is one of those books that I am really not sure if I liked or not. It is at first reading a conglomeration of all things popular in fiction over the last ten years—magic, witches, vampires, daemons, alchemy, secret societies, time travel, codes, and revisionist histories. Harkness said in an NPR interview that she took themes and ideas to which her students could relate and used them for the trilogy, of which this is the first book. There is a great sense of familiarity with many of the themes and ideas which you will also find in the Twilight series, books by J. K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Charlaine Harris, and several other authors who have landed on the best seller lists in recent years.
Let’s start by talking about the author of this highly successful first novel. Harkness is a history professor with a specialty in Renaissance England. She has won a bunch of high level academic awards and scholarships including a Fulbright. She is obviously quite a story teller whose fascination with detail probably makes her a very interesting lecturer for her students. Scattered throughout the book are bits and pieces of history that alternately move the story and bog it down. And, at 579 pages, Harkness obviously has a lot of story to tell.
Diana Bishop is a history of science professor who is an expert on alchemy manuscripts and a professor at Yale. She is also a witch descended from the Bishop and Proctor lineages of powerful witches, but she has denied her magic most of her life. She says she does not want anyone to think her achievements come from the magic rather than her hard work. While studying manuscripts in the Bodleian Library she encounters an enchanted manuscript. Missing for hundreds of years, Ashmore 728 holds secrets paramount to the survival of witches, daemons, and vampires. Each species wants the book, and each is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
After Diana finds Ashmore 728 and it opens briefly for her, she returns the book to the stacks without understanding the importance of it. Then otherworld creatures begin to collect around her. These are led by Matthew Clairmont a tall, gorgeous, mysterious, ancient vampire who settles in to be Diana’s protector. Since witches and vampires have really bad blood between them, Diana is slow to trust Matthew. She is also confused by the fact that he is a brilliant doctor specializing in genetics, a fellow in several of the colleges at Oxford, and he keeps secrets that go back hundreds of years.
The remainder of the story is Diana and Matthew falling quickly and madly in love, the dangers they encounter when others realize Diana is the only witch with the power to open Ashmore 728, the story of Matthew’s and Diana’s families (I like his mother Ysabeau and her Aunt Sarah), and secrets revealed that leave everything Matthew and Diana hold dear at risk. Characters abound with some of them being really interesting and fun, some being so plucked from the vampire/witch stereotypical folklore that it is ridiculous. Diana discovers just how much power she has and finds she has to learn to use it wisely or Matthew is lost. At one point I thought Harkness was going to tell the readers Matthew was Jesus, but he is not. I was still left with the feeling if she could work that into the story she would.
Harkness needs a strong editor who can reign in the endless pages of details that are done over and over. The concentration on Matthew’s super keen hearing and sense of smell, how she likes her tea told at least forty-seven times, the descriptions of the vampires hunting and bloodletting, how Matthew smells of cinnamon and cloves (didn’t they use those spices to disguise the smell of death???), her endless recounting of her wardrobe, all make this book much longer than it needs to be. Matthew knew Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Kit Marlowe, several Popes, innumerable kings and queens including Elizabeth I and Isaac Newton. Some of the historical details are fun and very interesting, but Harkness almost buries the reader in it. She has created some good plot lines and characters, but she teeters on the edge of letting it all get away from her.
The second book of the trilogy is now out. It is almost six hundred pages so I don’t think Harkness has found that editor. It is set in Elizabethan England where Diana and Matthew have time traveled to find powerful witches to instruct Diana. Since this is the time period in which Harkness has her expertise, I am sure the details will be very true and give much color to the plot. Will I read it? Sure! While the book has a number of irritating faults, it is still basically a good story. As long as the vampires don’t sparkle and the witches don’t have magic mirrors or poisoned apples, and the Knights Templar don’t crusade again, I can handle it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Buy Local, Eat Local, Read Local!


Looking for a book for summer reading?  Take a look at some of these new books by local authors!
Chrissie Anderson Peters worked at Bristol Public Library for awhile before accepting a job at a college library.  She has been attending writing workshops for several years and has her work published in various magazines, mostly regional publications.  She’s self-published a collection of her work, including short stories, poetry and some non-fiction in Dog Days and Dragonflies.  My favorite sections were the ones in which she recounts memories of growing up in Southwest Virginia.  Her writing is graceful and evocative, and reminded me greatly of some of my own childhood.  The warm relationship between Chrissie and her grandparents is a joy to read.  The book is available through amazon.com.

If you watched “The Hatfields and McCoys” on the History Channel and want to know the real story, then Kingsport native Lisa Alther has a new book for you!  After Washed in the Blood, her critically acclaimed novel about the Melungeons, Alther’s publisher suggested she write about the Hatfield-McCoy Feud.  Alther was vaguely familiar with the Feud but didn’t know she was actually related to one of the families until she was deep into her research. Alther said she wanted to try to present both sides of the story, both from public records and from stories handed down by the families.

Amanda Lee aka Gayle Trent has a new Embroidery Mystery out, The Long Stitch Good Night.  It’s the fourth book in the series, but don’t let that deter you.  Marcy’s hunky neighbor, Todd, owns the pub The Brew Crew.  It’s a natural setting for a college fraternity reunion, but things go terribly awry and a man is shot.  Todd’s fingerprints are found on the murder weapon, and so are his friend Blake’s.  Marcy doesn’t believe either man could be guilty, and she’s out to prove it.  There will be another book in the series out in December:  Thread on Arrival.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross



Reviewed by Doris

Miss Julia is one of those book characters who becomes a dear, old friend. From the beginning of the series with Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind to the newest entry Miss Julia to the Rescue, you grow more and more attached to this denizen of Abbotsville, North Carolina, and the cast of characters who surround her. Ann B. Ross has a sharp wit and sharp sense of comedy as she moves Miss Julia through adventures that tend to be one step from calamity and make readers laugh out loud. Perhaps because I have known a Miss Julia or two while growing up not far from Ross’s home in Asheville, I always look forward to Miss Julia and her housekeeper Lillian getting in to the car to go check on “something.”  

We first meet her in Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind. Miss Julia has recently buried her husband of 44 years, Wesley Lloyd Springer. Though Wesley was the town’s banker, largest real estate holder, and generally most obnoxious man, Miss Julia has been kept in the dark about the nature of his wealth—not to mention some of his other activities. Discovering that she is now a very, very wealthy widow and no longer under the glare of a mean-spirited miser, Miss Julia has been making slow adjustments to her new life. She’s feeling at loose ends and unsettled when a short-skirted, bleached blonde named Hazel Marie drags a nine year old boy into Miss Julia’s parlor and announces the child is Wesley Lloyd’s son. One look at the child’s eyes which are exactly like his unlamented father’s, and Miss Julia knows she is facing a scandal that could feed Abbotsville’s gossip mill for years to come. There is also her minister who wants to help Miss Julia spend a bunch of that new wealth adding to his church coffers, a kidnapping, and possibly a murder. “Ah, Lawd,” as Miss Julia would say,” It is more than a body should have to bear!” Miss Julia, in the finest tradition of the steel hand in the velvet glove, takes charge of young Lloyd, Hazel Marie, and numerous other characters while she solves a mystery or three and is helped along by Lillian and Mr. Sam, the charming and handsome lawyer who lives just down the street.

One of the best things about the Miss Julia series is the development of the characters. Ross writes with a sure hand as Miss Julia opens her heart to young Lloyd and you see a lovely relationship develop between this childless woman and bright, overly mature child. Her relationship with Lillian is based on their respective strengths, mutual respect, and years spent working together. Sweetest of all is Miss Julia’s developing romance with Mr. Sam. After years of neglect and disdain from Wesley Lloyd it is fun to follow Miss Julia’s first real romance with a man who is enchanted with her in every way.

Grab a glass of lemonade, settle back in the porch swing, and enjoy a little time with Miss Julia!

The series in order: (All are available at the main BPL)


Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind


Miss Julia Takes Over


Miss Julia Throws a Wedding


Miss Julia Hits the Road


Miss Julia Meets Her Match


Miss Julia’s School of Beauty


Miss Julia Stands Her Ground


Miss Julia Strikes Back


Miss Julia Paints the Town


Miss Julia Delivers the Goods


Miss Julia Renews Her Vows


Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle


Miss Julia to the Rescue