The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews #BookReview #WomensFiction #Mystery

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.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Mary Kay Andrews’ thirtieth book, The Homewreckers, is a spellbinding story about renovating old homes, making a tv show, and solving a seventeen-year-old murder case.

Initial Expectations:
The Homewreckers is a Mary Kay Andrews book, so I’m expecting a heartwarming theme mixed with a bit of mystery and maybe even some thrills, and the book blurb confirms this. I love the setting. My favorite vacation spot is near Savannah, GA. And the first part of the description reminds me of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, so I think there will be humorous moments. I expect this to be a delightful mix of genres that will be an absolute pleasure to read.

Actual Reading Experience:

Right from the start, this story about Hattie Kavanaugh and her attempt to renovate and flip a large old home in historic Savannah, Georgia, drew me in. She works with her father-in-law, Tug Kavanaugh, and her best friend, Cassidy Pelletier, at Kavanaugh and Sons – a family-owned home renovation company. Hattie’s passion for restoring these homes radiates off of the page, and that is just the start of the development of this character into someone that is easily relatable and a person that is easy to root for. All the characters feel like home and spending time with them – a warm hug. I enjoyed the heartwarming family theme and getting to know everyone important in Hattie’s life.

But that’s only a piece of this story. Another significant piece is the home improvement reality show she is talked into doing after losing so much money on the renovation that begins this tale. She only agreed to do it because she was afraid that she cost the company too much money for her father-in-law to be able to retire, and she needed to recoup the loss. Mo, a Hollywood producer for a home improvement channel (like HGTV), came along and proposed a unique solution to her problem, one that she didn’t want to do until she realized that she had no choice if she was going to make up for her mistake. The result is many laugh-out-loud moments and thrills when workers find the wallet of a missing teacher on the site, and someone(s) commits acts of sabotage on her new project.

The third large piece of the story is Hattie working to solve her missing teacher’s case from seventeen years ago. When she starts asking questions and making people scared that she will uncover the truth, Hattie quickly and unexpectedly finds herself in danger. This mystery aspect of the story captivated me and kept those pages flipping long into the night. Was the same person sabotaging her show and job site, the killer of her teacher long ago, or were the two mysteries separate?

Only Mary Kay Andrews can take these three unique genres and mash them up into a story I couldn’t put down even if I tried. I loved every thrilling, laugh-out-loud, and heartwarming moment and there are plenty of each. The setting is explored to humid perfection. I’ve been to Savannah and vacation near there every summer, so I know the area very well. I can honestly say that the story catches every nuance of the setting and explores it to perfection, including the sense of entitlement felt by the old families of the area. It has me ready to go to the beach in a few weeks!


Hattie Kavanaugh is the main character and the one that the third-person narration focuses on from start to finish. She grew up in Savannah and stayed in the area through the shame of her father being convicted of embezzlement, her parent’s divorce, and her mother leaving. Her best friend’s family took Hattie in so that she could remain in the area. Hattie’s family loyalty is strong and extends to her in-laws and the family that took her in when her biological family fell apart. She is intelligent, determined, and driven by a passion for restoring old homes to their former glory.

Cassie Pelletier is Hattie’s best friend, and their relationship is as close as any biological sister relationship. Cassie’s mother, Zenobia, also works for Kavanaugh and Sons. I just loved both of these characters as they remind me how small a big area like Savannah can feel when it comes to the old families.

Then there is the cast of characters from Hollywood, and what a fun juxtaposition they are to the old southern families. Mo is, in particular, a wonderful character who shares Hattie’s passion for restoration, just from a different angle. I loved his heart and ability to make lemon-aid from life’s lemons.

Reminds Me Of:

This is my third book by MKA, and all three books contained that same basic mashup of genres. So if you read this book and enjoy it, I can recommend the twenty-nine other books she has written in the last 30 years.

To Read or Not to Read:

If you are looking for a book to start your summer off on the right foot, The Homewreckers is perfect.

My Rating:


23 Replies to “The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews #BookReview #WomensFiction #Mystery”

  1. I didn’t think this would be up my alley but now I’ve read your review I’m reconsidering. I love the sound of the setting and the home improvement bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Savannah, and I also enjoy watching house renos on HGTV – and then the mystery is a bonus. I know I’d enjoy this book. Great review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It makes me think of Judi Lynn’s Jazzie Zanders series which is a cozy series with a mash of mystery and home restoration. I always enjoy those. This sounds like it would be a good read. Great review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m about 3/4 way through this book and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Terrific review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, this sounds so good. I do enjoy a good MAK book and this sounds like it is definitely a good one. I love the mashup of genres. Excellent review, Tessa. I can’t wait to get to this one next week.

    Liked by 1 person

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