A Little Forward: While exploring a garage sale one Sunday morning, I came across a book, Hissy Fit, by an author I had never heard of, Mary Kay Andrews. It had the initial quality that attracted me to it, a fun cover depicting a woman, seemingly having a hissy fit, dragging a tablecloth leaving a trail of broken dishes and crystal in her wake. That coupled with the assurance from its soon to be ex-owner that it was a “great” book drove me to pick up Hissy Fit for a quarter. It was a quarter well spent and by the time I was done, I found a new author I wanted to follow.
Book Description: The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
A political scandal…a congressman of dubious integrity...a disgraced junior lobbyist… the FBI? Wait a minute, didn’t I just see this story on the 10 o’clock news?
Dempsey Jo Killebrew, the disgraced junior lobbyist, suddenly finds herself in a mess of trouble as she puts together the pieces of a very BIG problem. She has been singled out by her boss as an employee who took things a little too far and bribed a U.S. Congressman. As Dempsey navigates that proverbial creek without a paddle, she’ll have to dig deep to find the courage to restore her reputation and to bring the real culprit to justice. Illegal activities will put you behind bars but the only thing Dempsey is guilty of is being young and naïve.
In the meantime, unemployed and about to be given the boot by her roommates, Dempsey accepts her father’s offer of being the fixer upper of an ancestral home he just inherited in the middle of Nowhere Podunk, actually Guthrie, Georgia. The hope is that in the time it takes to fix the old place, the steam will have blown over in D.C. and Dempsey can move on with her life. But sometimes life just doesn’t go as we plan.
Birdsong is a faded rose of the Southland but as far as Dempsey is concerned it should have been named Bird Droppings. The house comes complete with its own curmudgeon in the form of one Miss Ella Kate, a crabby elderly relative and her equally cantankerous little dog. Both have claimed squatter’s rights at the old house. Ella Kate also harbors a lifelong grudge for anyone on two feet named Killebrew.
Finding the old family home in more desperate shape than she was lead to believe, Dempsey rolls up the sleeves of her flannel shirt and begins ripping up old linoleum and sanding wood floors. What started out as an old pink Victorian that could easily have made the cover of House Impossible soon starts turning into a viable home once again.
Dempsey finds herself getting to know the townspeople and even has the beginnings of a new love if she could ever open her heart again. But before she can do that, she has to claim her dignity and reputation back. Working in cahoots with the FBI, Dempsey starts to reclaim her life and maps out a plan to out the real culprit who bribed a U.S. Congressman.
Will true love stake a claim? Will Dempsey stay in Podunk or return to life in D.C.? Only Dempsey can tell you and the only place she's talking is at your nearest library or bookstore.
My take: If you like your chick lit Southern fried with a generous glass of sweetened ice tea then this is the book for you. Known for her portrayal of feisty Southern Belles, Mary Kay Andrews again delivers a fun filled novel with an original Georgia peach to boot. The Fixer Upper is the latest in a string of best sellers including the series Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze.
Meet the Author:
Mary Kay Andrews is a former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and started her journalism career in Savannah, Georgia, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Andrews is a lifelong "junker" and knows a thing or two about re-habbing old homes much like her heroine Dempsey Killebrew. Visit with the author at her website, on Twitter and on Facebook.