Miss Julia to the Rescue
"Delightful . . . Those who like smiles with their crimes will be satisfied" by the latest in the popular Miss Julia series (Publishers Weekly)
As we know from her many trips to the New York Times bestseller list, Miss Julia simply can't abide sitting idle. And with young Lloyd moving out and husband Sam off to the Holy Land, everybody's favorite steel magnolia is feeling restless. Maybe it's time for that long-delayed home makeover. But before Miss Julia can even pick a color swatch, Hazel Marie's new husband, private eye J.D. Pickens, goes missing—and police in West Virginia have detained an injured man fitting his description. Meanwhile, a religious cult is out to convert the locals—and Miss Julia must pick up the pace to free J.D. and get back in time to stop them.
Mr. Pickens could’ve been almost anywhere, well, anywhere in the country. I didn’t think he was licensed as a private investigator in foreign lands, although who knew? For all I knew, his license could be limited to our own state and he’d strayed off the reservation. So to speak. Still, I couldn’t believe that he would take off for parts unknown without letting his wife know. So, no, he was most likely somewhere in the southeast, most likely in the state, on some kind of case that he’d been hired to look into.
“I could ask her,” Lloyd said. “He always tells her where he’s going, but lots of times he ends up somewhere else. You know, he follows the case wherever it leads.”
Lillian said, “I don’t think y’all ought to worry that little woman ’fore you have to. He might already called her, too, lettin’ her know where he at an’ when he be home.”
“That’s true,” I said, nodding my head, “and let’s hope he has. Or,” I went on, “he was trying to reach Sam because he didn’t want to upset her. I mean if he’s in trouble. And with a deputy answering his phone, I can’t help but think something has happened. Maybe he’s been hurt or injured or something.”
“Well, what do we do? What can we do?” Lloyd was walking back and forth, wringing his hands.
“Two things,” I said, trying to sound decisive and in control. “I think it’s likely that he’s somewhere in the state, so, Lloyd, you run up to your computer and see if you can find the names of all the North Carolina counties. Maybe you’ll recognize the one you heard. And while you do that, I’ll try to find Coleman and see if he’s had a call. At least I think Mr. Pickens mentioned ’Coleman,’ although he might have been saying the county he’s in, because both start with a hard C.”
“Don’t stay on the telephone too long,” Lillian said. “He might call back.”
“Oh, my goodness, you’re right. Lloyd, let me use your cell phone.”
Lillian said, “He might call on that one, too.”
Lloyd was on his way out of the room, but he turned back. “Use yours, Miss Julia.”
“I can’t. Which will teach me to keep the thing charged. Well, that’s out, so I guess I’ll have to take a chance and use this one. I won’t stay on it long.” Hoping that I wasn’t giving Mr. Pickens a busy signal if he called back, I went to the kitchen phone and dialed the Sheriff’s Department.
When the dispatcher answered, I said, “I need to speak to Sergeant Coleman Bates, please, on a matter of some urgency.”
Somewhat surprised that I wasn’t given a runaround, as they were prone to do on the nonemergency line, I waited only a few seconds until Coleman answered.
“Coleman, this is Julia Murdoch. Have you heard from Mr. Pickens?”
“What?” he said. “No. Should I have?”
Miss Julia to the Rescue
“Delightful . . . Those who like smiles with their crimes will be satisfied.”
“This latest in the Miss Julia series has a bit more punch . . . in part because it takes her away from home for awhile. There’s plenty here to satisfy fans.”
Miss Julia Rocks the Cradle
“Steel magnolias kick butt.”
"Charming [and] engrossing."
Miss Julia Renews Her Vows
“Fast-paced, hilarious and thoroughly fun.”
“This is the coziest of cozy mysteries . . . I was absolutely charmed by Miss Julia and her friends.”
—Story Circle Book Reviews
“Fans will have a ball.”
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