Do-gooders who are smugly pleased with their newest plan roil the waters in a quiet Southern town.
Miss Julia is feeling her age. With her husband, Sam, away in Europe, she’s bored until her friend Hazel Marie calls in a state of shock because she’s learned that someone’s bought the house next door and plans to use it as a group home for troubled boys. The house, rather small and located in a historic residential neighborhood, is entirely unsuitable for that purpose, but Madge Taylor has influenced the new pastor and many members of the local church to help. Outraged that the whole plan has been conceived in secrecy for an area that isn’t even zoned for such a project, Miss Julia decides to rally a few friends to stop it. As a woman who’s done many good works in her life, she’s furious to be verbally attacked as an un-Christian NIMBY Scrooge by newcomers who live in gated communities that forbid group homes. With the help of a few close friends and an excellent lawyer who helps her investigate, Miss Julia learns that the anonymous group that bought the house is using it as a wedge to lower the value of nearby houses they want to buy up at bargain prices. Realizing there’s a lot more to this story than the sanctimonious drivel Madge Taylor’s promoting, Miss Julia resolves to find the truth.
The hunt for the troublemakers is surprisingly captivating for so slight a mystery. And of course fans of Ross’ long-running series (Miss Julia Inherits a Mess, 2016, etc.) will be eager to learn the latest about many of their favorite characters.