Spotlight Review: THE HOMEWRECKERS by Mary Kay Andrews

May 3, 2022

From the publisher:

Summer begins with Mary Kay Andrews, in this delightful summer read about flipping houses, and finding true love.

Hattie Kavanaugh went to work restoring homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at eighteen, married the boss’s son at twenty, and became a widow at twenty-five. Now, she’s passionate about her work, but that’s the only passion in her life. “Never love something that can’t love you back,” is advice her father-in-law gives her, but Hattie doesn’t follow it and falls head-over-heels for a money pit of a house. She’s determined to make it work, but disaster after disaster occurs, and Hattie’s dream might cost Kavanaugh & Son their livelihood. Hattie needs money, and fast.

When a slick Hollywood producer shows up in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. Soon, there’s more at stake than bad pipes and dry rot: during the demolition, evidence comes to light that points to the mysterious disappearance of a young wife and mother years before.

With a burned out detective investigating the case, an arsonist on the loose, two men playing with her emotions, and layers upon layers of vintage wallpaper causing havoc, it’s a question of who will flip, who will flop, and if Hattie will ever get her happily-ever-after.

https://amzn.to/3vZfeKK

I love that with her thirtieth book in thirty years, MKA has gone back to her mystery roots. Many years ago, I was a bookseller for Borders Books & Music, a large chain of bookstores (think Barnes & Noble, but with a better collection) when I discovered the Callahan Garrity mystery series by Kathy Hogan Trocheck and I loved them. When as Mary Kay Andrews, she turned towards romance/chick lit, I went along for the ride. So I can say with some certainty that I like her writing style, and the genre just doesn’t matter to me. I feel like my summer doesn’t begin until I get the new MKA book, so hello summer!

This book was an especially fun one, involving a reality TV show on a HGTV-type network. Since I spend half my weekend watching that channel, this book was right in my wheelhouse. Mo is a producer in search of his next hit when he stumbles across Hattie working on restoring an old Victorian house in Savannah. She’s a beautiful young woman running a job site, and Mo is hooked. To his surprise, Hattie has no interest in becoming a celebrity but he is determined to make her one anyway.

After a series of events leaves Hattie hurting for money, she acquiesces and “Saving Savannah” is born. However, Mo’s contact at the network hates the title and wants to create a home renovation/dating show called “The Homewreckers.” She sends a celebrity interior designer, Trae, to Savannah to “help” with the renovation of the 100 year old beach house on Tybee Island. And in the process, a romance between Hattie and Trae will help jumpstart the series.

Hattie is a young widow with quite the back story, and she works for her father-in-law, Tug, renovating these old Savannah houses. But as they start the demolition, a wallet is found in the wall. It belongs to a young woman and mother who had gone missing seventeen years earlier, a beloved teacher at the girls school where Hattie went. The police are brought in and get to work trying to figure out how it ended up in the walls of the home. A short time later there is a dumpster fire at the job site, pictures of Hattie & Trae having a romantic dinner go viral, and a body is found. This is not your typical reno!

The Homewreckers has a bit of mystery and a bit of romance, and the combination makes this an unputdownable read. I loved it!

5/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE HOMEWRECKERS by Mary Kay Andrews. St. Martin’s Press (May 3, 2022). ISBN:‎ 978-1250278364. 448p.

 Kindle

Audible

 

 

 


AUNTY LEE’S DEADLY SPECIALS by Ovidia Yu

October 19, 2014

Click to purchase

Everyone knows that the Singaporean specialty buah keluak can be deadly if prepared incorrectly. This is why Rosie Lee pays such special care and attention when making the dish.

Aunty Lee’s Delights has been hired to cater a special event honoring the promotion of Sharon Sung. Sharon’s mother (and employer), Mabel Sung, hired Aunty Lee on the recommendation of her assistant and insisted on a nasi lemak buffet – with all the sides – and Rosie’s special chicken buah keluak. When Mabel and her son Leonard are later found dead of apparent poisoning, the buah keluak is immediately blamed. But Rosie Lee knows full and well that neither she nor her dish are to blame.

Rather than allow the public to push responsibility of the deaths onto her and her business, Rosie Lee and her employees begin their own search for the killer’s identity. What they discover is a nest of vipers hidden amongst Singapore’s elite society.

Ovidia Yu offers readers a tasty look at Singaporean culture and food in this cozy culinary series. Aunty Lee, who is introduced in Yu’s Aunty Lee’s Delights, is a bit of a busybody. A widow who runs her own restaurant, Rosie Lee still has plenty of time to involve herself in happenings, goings on, and criminal investigations.

This series is light and fun. Perfect for cozy fans who like a change of scenery and great for readers like me who like a lighter change of pace every once in a while.

10/14 Becky LeJeune

AUNTY LEE’S DEADLY SPECIALS by Ovidia Yu. William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (September 30, 2014). ISBN 978-0062338327. 3840p.