This follow-up to Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind (1999) takes up where the first installment left off. Julia Springer, a happily widowed Southern Belle, is living with Hazel Marie Puckett (her late husband Wesley’s mistress) and Hazel’s (and Wesley’s) nine-year-old son Lloyd. Everything is going along quite splendidly (all the denouement and betrayal stuff was in the earlier story) until Hazel goes out on a date with the creepy church fundraiser Wilson T. Hodge and fails to come home. In fact, Hazel Marie makes a frantic telephone call to Miss Julia, declaring that she is in trouble, but she is cut off and the line goes dead. The sheriff refuses to intervene until 24 hours have passed (claiming that Hazel Marie can’t be missing if she is making telephone calls), so Miss Julia pursues the case herself with the help of private detective J.D. Pickens. Naturally, there turns out to be a lot more hidden than meets the eye, so Miss Julia finds herself traipsing through parts of the great state of North Carolina (in stock cars, 18-wheelers, and police cruisers) that she never even knew existed.
Earnest and a bit too heartwarming: still, a good yarn with some nice local color.