Review: Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross
Title: Miss Julia Renews Her Vows
Author: Ann B. Ross
Genre/Pages: Fiction, Mystery /352
Publication: Viking, April 6, 2010
Rating: 2 Bookmarks*
Source: Review copy courtesy of Viking Books
The 11th installment in this charming Southern mystery series, Miss Julia proves her mettle once again as an amateur sleuth, proper Southern lady, wife, and friend.
Miss Julia has her work cut out for her as she orchestrates a shotgun wedding, attempts to clear the name of a friend accused of assualt and burglary, and faces off with two antagonists from books past. To complicate matters further, Julia’s second husband encourages her to accompany him to marriage classes, sparking insecurity that she isn’t living up to Sam’s expectations.
Jumping into an established series without reading at least the first book is difficult because it’s hard to get a full sense of the characters and story. I intended to read the first book of the Miss Julia series before reviewing this novel but didn’t have the chance. Prior knowledge of the characters and back story would have greatly increased my enjoyment of this novel, hence my asterisked rating.
Some series authors, Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich come readily to mind, dedicate a few paragraphs at the start of each installment to back story. Unfortunately, Ann B. Davis hit the ground running, and I had difficulty trying to piece together relationships, characters, and events from previous stories.
That said, the novel was enjoyable and well written, though the actual mystery and scandals were a bit watered down. Davis writes great dialogue and her characters are dynamic and funny. Characterization, especially physical description, was a bit scant but may have been given in earlier novels. Compounding my inability to visualize the characters was the fact that this series seems to be geared to a more mature audience, if you will.
Miss Julia Renews Her Vows was a light and fun romp through a quick Southern mystery. I’m sure fans of the series will be delighted, but new readers should start at the beginning to enhance their appreciation.
* Indicates that this book will be more well-received by fans of the series.