Friday, September 13, 2013

#BookReview: Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble by Ann B. Ross

I never thought I'd see the day when I only gave Miss Julia two stars, but Ann B. Ross' latest, Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble, is only deserving of two stars.  While I usually enjoy the books and story lines, this one should not have been written, at least not in the format that it was.

It seems that Ann B. Ross wanted to write a cookbook and decided to do that, but couch it in a Miss Julia book.  I wasn't looking for a cookbook, I was looking for a novel. I don't mind the occasional recipe thrown into stories that I'm reading.  Occasionally, I'll even make note of the recipes and try them out.  But I don't need recipes on top of recipes in each chapter when I'm trying to read a book.  Even worse, I listened to the audio version and, apparently, the publisher gave little to no thought about how reading a recipe would come across.  It was awkward.  I couldn't fast forward through them, so I was stuck listening to the narrator read off the list in Miss Julia's voice.

The premise of the book is Hazel Marie doesn't know how to cook and with a house full of people, she should.  James has injured himself and can't cook for the family as he usually does, so  Miss Julia rallies the women (and some men) of town.  They show up prepared to teach Hazel Marie some of their favorite and easiest recipes.

In the meantime, the household is dealing with the arrival of Hazel Marie's uncle, Brother Vernon Puckett.  A self-proclaimed minister of the gospel, Brother Vern criticizes Hazel Marie every chance he gets.  Miss Julia sets him on the path to a project that will keep him out of every one's hair and house.

While the idea behind this fourteenth book in the series is cute, but it certainly didn't need a full book.  I remember my sister having an American Girl cookbook as a kid. Perhaps the publisher could have explored this idea, a standalone cookbook.  I'm sure fans of Miss Julia who were interested would have purchased it.

Listening time: 9 hours, 50 minutes
Publishing time: April 2013

Theme: Too Many Cooks by Robert Cray
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