Having gotten Hazel Marie officially married off to Mr. Pickens, Miss Julia has to figure out how to spread the news of the wedding and the coming twins without letting the community realize the babies will be born four months too early, starting the next adventure in Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross. The afternoon of the day Miss Julia holds her luncheon, she gets a call from her friend Edda Mae Wiggins, a home health care worker, that she is being detained at the police station. Her new employer, Francine Pitts, recently moved back to town after the death of her fifth buried husband and is living in an assisted living comple. However, she thinks herself above the use of the services at the complex and has hired Edna Mae as her regular caregiver and her impoverished cousin, Evelyn, as her maid. Someone has bashed Francine on the head, sending her to the hospital, and stolen a valuable bracelet. She is fingering Edda Mae based upon smelling collard greens, which she claims Edda Mae’ perfume smells of. Miss Julia determines to do everything she can to clear the good name of Edda Mae.
In the meantime, Miss Julia’s church has invited Dr. Fred Fowler, a so-called “Christian psychologist,” to come do a marriage seminar about renewing the spark in couples’ relationship. Miss Julia is horrified to learn about the presence of Dr. Fowler, as he once came onto Miss Julia and then called her a nymphomaniac when she started to respond. But to him, all that was in the good cause of trying to declare Miss Julia incompetent, so the church could take control of her assets left to her by her late husband. Afraid to let her now-husband, Sam, know about her disgrace, Miss Julia tries every trick in the book to keep away from Dr. Fowler, especially lying in bed for days on end to pretend to be too sick to attend the seminar, which seems really strange to be led by a single man who lives with his mother. And when Miss Julia gets dragged to one women’s only meeting, she and her close friend, the wife of Pastor Ledbetter, are horrified to discover that his whole speech is about the way-too-scary topic of S-E-X and all about how wives need to do everything they can to satisfy their husbands. Before having to listen to the second half, about specific details, Miss Julia sneaks out by crawling down the row that is too crowded to walk down.
This book continues with the pattern of the delightfulness of the Miss Julia series. It continues the fun development of the characters as they grow and progress since the first book in the series. The humor in the book made me laugh and kept me highly entertained. I like the way the books have a gentle mystery without a murder. It’s highly unusual for a mystery not to contain a murder, but the Miss Julia books have fun mysteries without the danger or threat of a murder. In addition, I rarely come across comedies that don’t base their humor on sex or crudity. It seems that lately most comedies tend to make fun of bodily functions, whether they be sex or bowel movements. So I really appreciate the fun way Ross creates great humor with total cleanliness. Miss Julia is horrified even to bring up the topic of sex between a married couple, and I can’t even imagine how much she would freak out at the mere thought of discussing bowel movements.
I am greatly impressed by the performance of Cynthia Darlow as the performer of the audio edition of the book. She creates great voices for each character, with good accents. She makes each character seem so real and believable.
I have loved almost all the Miss Julia books, and Miss Julia Renews Her Vows is a great read. Some of the books force the reader to suspend disbelief, often to a rather extensive degree. Because the books are so fun, I find myself persuading myself to do this, but in this book I had no need to suspend disbelief because it all came across as more believable. I loved this book and give it five stars.
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