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Hissy Fit Hardcover – August 17, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Interior decorator Keeley Rae Murdock has designed her whole life, right down to the antique Oriental rug planned for the foot of her bed. What she never counted on was discovering her fiancé, A.J. Jernigan, cavorting with her maid of honor in the middle of her rehearsal dinner. She pitches a hissy fit that reverberates through her tiny hometown of Madison, Ga., and captures the attention of Will Mahoney, a newcomer who recently purchased an antebellum plantation house. Headstrong, freckled Will pressures Keeley to restore the rundown mansion within six months. His plan: to woo a woman whom he has seen only on television by designing the house of her dreams by Christmas. Keeley knows it's an insane plan, but the Jernigans are now trying to put her out of business, so she begrudgingly accepts. As the house comes together, Keeley discovers links between the Jernigan legacy of infidelity and her mother's disappearance many years ago. Darker than the book's fluffy title suggests, this black comedy is riven with shocking secrets. And Keeley's vast knowledge of all things antique offers a fascinating peek into the luscious world of designer home furnishing, sure to make readers drool with envy over sideboards and sofas.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Andrews is the pseudonym of Kathy Trocheck, primarily known for her Callahan Garrity mystery series. This is the third Andrews title, following Savannah Blues (2002) and Little Bitty Lies [BKL S 1 03], and it's obvious she's on a roll. In the midst of a posh rehearsal dinner for her upcoming nuptials, interior decorator Keeley Murdock discovers her fiance, A. J. Jernigan, and her maid of honor in a lusty embrace. One major hissy fit later, the wedding is off, and Keeley is left trying to salvage her dignity. The disgraced Jernigans use their considerable clout to undermine Keeley's business. Desperate to shore up her finances, she takes a rush job redecorating an antebellum mansion for Will Mahoney, a wealthy entrepreneur who has recently purchased a failing local lingerie factory and whom she indelicately refers to as "bra boy." Andrews' descriptions of antique furniture and heart-pine flooring are so lush and appealing that they will seduce even the decorating-challenged. Throw in the idyllic southern setting and the humorous, often-scintillating banter, and you've got yourself another winning read. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (August 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060564644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060564643
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Kay Andrews is the author of the New York Times bestselling Ladies' Night, Spring Fever, and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin's Press, as well as Savannah Breeze, Blue Christmas Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies and Savannah Blues, all HarperPerennial. On Oct. 15 St. Martin's Press will release her newest novel, CHRISTMAS BLISS

A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, originally under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. The Callahan mysteries have recently been re-released by HarperPerennial, as Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida (and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), she started her professional 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.

As a lifelong ""junker"" the author claims to know the location of every promising thrift store, flea market and junkpile in the southeastern United States, plus many parts of Ohio.

She has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!), and is a frequent lecturer and writing teacher at workshops and book festivals.

Married for more than 36 years to her high school sweetheart, Tom, she is the mother of two grown children and she divides her time between a restored 1926 Craftsman bungalow in Atlanta and a rambling old beach house on Tybee Island Georgia.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By doctor_beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The first few pages read like a typical "chick lit"-type book: during her rehearsal dinner, main character Keeley discovers her fiancé and best friend inappropriately engaged, and she flies into a rage which gives the book its title. Predictably, she seeks comfort from another close friend, Austin, the requisite gay character. Beyond this point, however, Hissy Fit is anything but predictable.

Enter Will, new in town and both single and rich--a perfect new love interest for Keeley, right? Well, not exactly, as he has already fallen head-over-heels for a blond knockout, but he does hire Keeley's interior design firm to renovate a local mansion in order to win over his heart's desire. In the midst of her hectic new work schedule, Keeley finds herself not only questioning her beliefs about love and fidelity but also longing to discover the fate of the mother who left Keeley and her father when she was just a child.

This is a light read but with a breadth and depth rarely seen in this humourous genre. You will laugh, you will think, but most of all, you will enjoy this book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Tryon on July 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
What a funny, funny book. The main character is a completely believeable young woman caught in the unfortunate situation of discovering a cheating fiancé the night before the wedding. What's a woman to do? Pitch a fit.

Like other Mary Kay Andrews stories, this has an element of fairy tale: in this case, restoring a Southern mansion and having access to unlimited funds. There are also several fairy-tale-like antique buys that had me sighing. And then there is the matter of the perfect bra...

A strong sense of place -- of several places, actually -- permeates this light read. If you come away without wanting to visit rural Georgia and several locations of flea markets in the South, you will not have been paying attention. In all these places readers meet up with deftly drawn characters, people you would certainly recognize on the street. The mystery at the heart of the story solves itself in the reader's mind with at least a third of the book to go. But the places and people kept me engaged and laughing out loud until I turned the last page.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By jeanne-scott on October 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that you do not want to read if you are somewhere that has little toleration for laughing and giggling while you read.......add a few gasps for outrageous behavior!!!!

Hissy Fit is the story of a young interior designer, Keeley, whose life will be taking a sudden unexpected turn when she finds her fiancé and her best friend in a compromising position the night before her wedding is to take place.

Mary Kay Andrews fills her book with laugh out loud humor, crazy, outrageous behavior and reactions as well as a tender, loving father daughter relationship whose very ground may be rocked by the events that will unfold. She surrounds Keeley with a group of unique and interesting characters that move this book along at high speed. You simply have to turn the page to find out what will happen next, only to be surprised time and again. This is too good not to read!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Moe811 on September 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Keely Murdoch's life is all set. She is a successful interior designer, with her work published in several magazines, and she is marrying a handsome wealthy banker in the morning, after she gets through this nightmare rehearsal dinner. When a drunken guest gives her a margarita shower, she rushes off to clean up. As she passes the boardroom door, she hears the distinctive sounds of her fiance and her maid of honor "doing it" inside, she opens the door, catches them in the act and throws a hissy fit that will go down in the history of Madison, Georgia. Naturally, the wedding is off, but for some reason, everyone except for her family and a few others, blame Keely. To top it all off, the family of the almost groom are trying to run her and her aunt out of business. Into this mess walks, Will Mahoney. He has bought the local bra plant and plans to bring it back to prosperity. He has also bought a local plantation house and wants Keely to restore and decorate it for him and his future bride. The problem is, he hasn't actually met her yet and doesn't exactly know her tastes. He saw her on a PBS pledge drive and fell in love. Since the Murdochs business is not exactly booming, they take on the job and its crazy deadline and get to work.

The plots, subplots and characters of the novel are all wound together wonderfully. I love the southern setting and the quirky characters of the story. They all seem very real. This story has it all, humor, romance, mystery and a great cast of characters.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lazy Day Gardener on June 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mary Kay Andrews wrote Savannah Blues, a book that I really really liked. Hissy Fit is the book that has convinced me to strike Andrews from my reading list.

Briefly, it's the story of interior designer Keeley Murdock, who throws a 'hissy fit' when she finds her fiancee and her maid of honor doing the deed at the country club rehearsal dinner.

This seems to be a book that tries to capitalize on the current interest in decorating and shopping that fuels HGTV. It's page after page of descriptions of furniture, rooms, shoes, clothes, food....I love all that....but this is more than even a dedicated shopper, gourmet, home decorator can take.

My suggestion? Find yourself a chocolate cupcake and a glass of milk, and just go on and turn on HGTV.
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