If you love books that combine romance, mystery, and Southern charm, then look no further! In this ultimate reading guide to Mary Kay Andrews’s books, we’ll provide an overview of her three decades worth of writing.
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 30 novels, several short stories, and one cookbook. She is celebrated for the unique blend of Southern charm, wit, and warmth in her beach read and mystery novels. Her vivid depictions of Southern life and landscapes create distinctive backdrops for her books, with many set in Florida and Georgia.
Her approachable yet sophisticated writing style, weaves together romance, mystery, and personal growth. The plot of each story is lighthearted on the surface. But they actually have more depth and substance than the back covers imply. Common elements in her work include strong female protagonists, intriguing relationship dynamics, and a love for antiques and Southern cuisine. Her books regularly appear on bestseller lists. Many of our readers have noted that they enjoy picking up a Mary Kay Andrews book between heavy reads.
Throughout this reading guide, you’ll find books by Mary Kay Andrews organized in a number of ways:
-Chronologically in order of publication date
-Sorted by type, including full-length novels, short stories, and more
-Ranked in order based on a vote of our readers
We’ll also answer some FAQs and recommend other authors and books for fans of Mary Kay Andrews.
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MARY KAY ANDREWS IS THE PEN NAME FOR KATHY HOGAN TROUCHECK
Beginning in the early 1990s, the author now known as Mary Kay Andrews, published her first novels under her given name, Kathy Hogan Troucheck. These early works were mysteries making up two distinct series. You’ll find more about the eight-book Callahan Garrity mystery series and the two-book Truman Kicklighter series below.
In 2002, she assumed her pen name with the publication of Savannah Blues. Since that time, her early books have been republished and remarketed under her Mary Kay Andrews pseudonym.
NOTE: In researching the less recent books on this list, we discovered that in some cases, the characters use terms and stereotypes in conversations that would have been unfortunately common in some areas during the 90s/early 2000s. We never condone racist, homophobic, or xenophobic terms, and you won’t find them in the newer books on this list.
MARY KAY ANDREWS BOOKS IN ORDER
We pulled together a complete chronological list of Mary Kay Andrews books, including her novels, short stories, and her cookbook.
- Every Crooked Nanny, Callahan Garrity #1 (1992)
- To Live and Die in Dixie, Callahan Garrity #2 (1993)
- Homemade Sin, Callahan Garrity #3 (1994)
- Happy Never After, Callahan Garrity #4 (1995)
- Lickety Split, Truman Kicklighter #1 (1995)
- Heart Trouble, Callahan Garrity #5 (1996)
- Strange Brew, Callahan Garrity #6 (1997)
- Crash Course, Truman Kicklighter #2 (1997)
- Midnight Clear, Callahan Garrity #7 (1998)
- Irish Eyes, Callahan Garrity #8 (2000)
- Savannah Blues, Weezie and Bebe #1 (2002)
- Little Bitty Lies (2003)
- Hissy Fit (2004)
- Savannah Breeze, Weezie and Bebe #2 (2006)
- Blue Christmas, Weezie and Bebe #3 (2006)
- Deep Dish (2008)
- The Fixer Upper (2009)
- Summer Rental (2011)
- Spring Fever (2012)
- Ladies’ Night (2013)
- Christmas Bliss, Weezie and Bebe #4 (2013)
- Save the Date (2014)
- Beach Town (2015)
- The Weekenders (2016)
- The High Tide Club (2018)
- Sunset Beach (2019)
- Hello, Summer (2020)
- The Newcomer (2021)
- The Santa Suit (2021)
- The Homewreckers (2022)
- Bright Lights, Big Christmas (2023)
- Summers at the Saint (expected publication May 7th, 2024)
Short Stories & Novellas
- Fatal Fruitcake, Callahan Garrity Christmas Short Story (2012)
- Killer Fudge, Callahan Garrity short story (2012)
- The Family Jewels, Callahan Garrity short story (2014)
- Change of Scene, novella prequel to Beach Town (2016)
The Beach House Cookbook (2017)
PRINTABLE MARY KAY ANDREWS BOOK LIST
Looking for a printable version of this chronological Mary Kay Andrews book list? Our Buy Me a Coffee BFFs have access to a cute two-page printable tracker featuring the covers of all her novels! Join our membership site today for instant access to your copy, along with some other fun perks!
MARY KAY ANDREWS SERIES BOOKS
At the start of her writing career, Mary Kay Andrews published two series of books under her real name. Writing as Kathy Hogan Troucheck, she penned the Callahan Garrity series and the Truman Kicklighter series. These books have since been republished under her Mary Kay Andrew pen name. Additionally, after adopting the pseudonym, she also wrote a 4-book series called Weezie & Bebe.
Callahan Garrity Series
The Callahan Garrity series includes 8 primary works published throughout the 1990s. Three related short stories were published a decade later. The series features a middle-aged protagonist named Callahan Garrity. She is an ex-cop from Atlanta who trades in her badge for a broom and now owns and operates a house cleaning service. But the job is messier than she ever imagined. In each book, she finds herself drawn back into a mystery. Callahan, together with her crew of eccentric cleaners, serves up some industrial-strength sleuthing.
For a list of all the books in the Callahan Garrity series in order of publication, see the list above.
Truman Kicklighter Series
The two books in the Truman Kicklighter series feature a retired reporter in St. Petersburg, Florida. He heard and saw a lot during his newshound days, but none of it compares to the recent goings-on in his sleepy retirement community. In the first book, Lickety-Split, his longtime friend is accused of murder. Truman has to face a pack of ruthless gamblers to prove his friend’s innocence. In the second book, Crash Course, another friend is accused of the murder of a used car salesman.
The Truman Kicklighter series books are listed in order of publication on the list above.
Weezie & Bebe Series
The Weezie & Bebe mystery series is also sometimes referred to as the Mary Kay Andrews Savannah Series or Southern Series. It includes four books all set in Savannah, Georgia, and features two main protagonists. Eloise “Weezie” Foley is a recently divorced antique dealer. She combs the alleys and garage sales of Savannah in search of hidden treasures. Bebe Loudermilk has been divorced three times and runs a restaurant in town. In order to scrape together enough income to get by after her divorce, Weezie takes a job as a dessert baker at Bebe’s restaurant.
The four books in the Weezie and Bebe series are listed in order of publication on the list above.
BEST MARY KAY ANDREWS BOOKS RANKED
While all of her books are highly rated, we asked our readers to vote on their favorites. We received more than 100 responses to our survey. Based on those votes, the novels below were the crowd favorites.
Our readers had the option to tell us why they voted for each of their picks, so we’ve included some of their words. Some readers had beautiful quotes but preferred to remain anonymous, so you’ll notice that some quotes have attribution and others do not, but they all came from our reader survey in June 2023.
When the books have been a part of one of our reading challenges, we also included reader ratings from the book logs our challenge participants submitted.
MARY KAY ANDREWS NEW BOOK FOR 2024
We’re excited for the upcoming release of Mary Kay Andrew’s newest beach read, Summer at the Saint. The expected publication date is May 7th, 2024, just in time for summer vacations! Summer at the Saint is set at a historic, tradition-filled hotel off the coast of Georgia, which has seen better days. The widowed owner only has one season to turn things around, and she’ll have to rely on a motley crew of summer help to make it happen. We hear this one has the same warmth, humor, and surprise twists as the other MKA books we love!
MARY KAY ANDREWS NEWEST CHRISTMAS BOOK
Mary Kay Andrews newest book, Bright Lights, Big Christmas, was released on September 26, 2023. Kerry’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in North Carolina. Each year, her brother and father drive up to NYC to sell their trees at a street corner stand in Greenwich Village. But this year, her father isn’t up for the trip, so Kerry – who is newly unemployed and romantically unattached – reluctantly agrees to take his place. But doing so means she has to live in a tiny camper with her gruff older brother, Murphy, and his dog.
Many in the neighborhood know Murphy from his past Decembers at the tree lot, and they are quick to welcome Kerry to their quirky corner of the city. Especially Patrick, a single dad, and his adorable son Austin. Her new friends are starting to feel like family as Kerry gets into the holiday spirit. But with Christmas fast approaching, a secretive elderly neighbor goes missing.
We love a story set in NYC, and nothing beats the bustle and cheer of the city at Christmas! Early readers of this novel praise it as quintessential Mary Kay Andrews – a perfect blend of romance and mystery! It’s described as a heartwarming and uplifting holiday story with a message of kindness.
More Mary Kay Andrews Christmas Books
If you enjoy books set around the holidays, don’t miss Mary Kay Andrews’s other Christmas books. We highly recommend The Santa Suit (which our readers ranked one of their favorite Mary Kay Andrews books, as noted above).
Two of the four books in Mary Kay’s Weezie and Bebe series are set at Christmas, Blue Christmas and Christmas Bliss. While these holiday books can be read as standalones, they are better enjoyed after Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze.
The seventh book in the Callahan Garrity series, titled Midnight Clear, is less of a Christmas book, and more a story that happens to be set during the week of Christmas. It can be read as a standalone, and it’s a great pick if you enjoy seasonally set stories, but don’t necessarily want to read a book specifically about the holiday. This mystery involves a custody dispute, a young mother who has been murdered, and a deadbeat father who is eager to redeem himself.
One of the short-story sequels to the Callahan Garrity series, Fatal Fruitcake, is also set at Christmastime. This one is very short and is probably best enjoyed by those who have read other books in the series. As an added bonus, the story also includes Mary Kay Andrews’s personal recipe for a not-so-fatal fruitcake.
ARE THERE ANY MARY KAY ANDREWS MOVIES?
Mary Kay Andrews was one of the writers for the 2019 Hallmark Christmas, Merry & Bright, starring Jodie Sweetin, Andrew Walker, and Sharon Lawrence. In response to questions from fans on Facebook, Andrews said the film was based on one of her short stories that was “not in print… yet.” If and when the story is published, we’ll be first in line to read it. But in the meantime, you can stream this Mary Kay Andrews Hallmark movie on Hallmark Movies Now, or purchase it on DVD.
AUTHORS LIKE MARY KAY ANDREWS
Mary Kay Andrews is the queen of mixing beach reads with an element of mystery, but sometimes one new book a year from your favorite authors just isn’t enough. That’s why we’ve put together a list of authors similar to Mary Kay Andrews that we think you’ll want to add to your TBR list.
If You Like Beachy Reads With a Side of Mystery
For more page-turning, beachy mysteries, authors similar to Mary Kay Andrews in this genre include Jennifer Weiner and Elin Hilderbrand.
Jennifer Weiner’s novels span a variety of literary styles, but we especially enjoy her recent summery novels set in Cap Cod, Massachusetts. We particularly enjoyed the mystery element of Big Summer, in which plus-size influencer Daphne suddenly finds herself a murder suspect after attending a fancy society wedding on the Cape.
Elin Hilderbrand has an incredible backlist of beach reads, with most set against the backdrop of Nantucket, off the coast of Maine. Her stories explore themes such as love, friendship, and sometimes mystery. Several Hilderbrand titles that stand out specifically for their mystery elements include The Hotel Nantucket, Golden Girl, and the three books in the Paradise Series (set in the US Virgin Islands).
Some of Mary Kay Andrews’s books fit into the “cozy mystery” subgenre. If you’re not familiar with this term, “cozies” are mysteries that don’t take themselves too seriously. They are less graphic, scary, and intense than other books in the mystery genre. They allow readers to enjoy a murder mystery without too much violence or darkness, instead mixing in humor and light suspense. If this describes everything you love about books by Mary Kay Andrews, you’ll want to check out our curated list of Summer Cozy Mysteries Set on the Beach. Or, if you want to explore beyond the beachy vibes, we also have several other cozy lists for you to pursue, including Culinary Cozy Mysteries.
If You Like the Southern Setting
Mary Kay Andrews’s books are primarily set in coastal Florida and Georgia. If you enjoy this setting, we recommend Kristy Woodson Harvey and Mary Alice Monroe.
Kristy Woodson Harvey, who Elin Hilderbrand called “a major new voice in Southern fiction,” is the bestselling author of ten novels. Her books are set in coastal towns and dripping with southern charm. Her newest book is The Summer of Songbirds, in which four women come together to save the summer camp that means so much to them. Woodson is also the author of the popular Peachtree Bluff series, which is currently in development with NBC.
Mary Alice Monroe is the best-selling author of more than 25 novels, and she has been inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame. She uses her writing as a way to champion the preservation of the coastal southern landscape. She does extensive academic research regarding the fragile wildlife habitats in this region and works with wildlife experts to incorporate this into her novels. If you are new to her work, a great place to start is her beloved Beach House Series or her Lowcountry Summer series.
Kristy Woodson Harvey, Mary Alice Monroe, and Mary Kay Andrews, together with two other bestselling authors, run a Facebook Group called “Friends and Fiction.” Each Wednesday evening, they do a Facebook Live to chat about books, their current reads, and their favorite independent bookstores.
If You Share Mary Kay Andrews’s Passion for Renovating Old Homes
When she’s not writing, Mary Kay Andrews enjoys flipping houses and antique hunting. Two of her most popular books, according to the vote of our readers, are The Homewreckers and The Fixer Upper. Both of these books fall into a fun subgenre called “Renovation Romance.” Some of our favorites in this category include The Beach Trap by Ali Brady (set in Destin, Florida), The Spring House by Mary Ellen Taylor (set on Virginia’s eastern shore), and The Suite Spot by Trish Doller (set on an island in Lake Erie).
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand, which we mentioned above for its mystery element, also has a fun renovation element surrounding the historic Nantucket Hotel.
MARY KAY ANDREWS BIOGRAPHY
Mary Kay Andrews was born Kathy Hogan Trocheck on July 27, 1954. Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, she graduated from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. She began her journalism career at the Savannah Morning News and later worked for The Marietta Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In 1992, after 14 years as a journalist, she published her first novel, “Every Crooked Nanny,” featuring the character Callahan Garrity. This was the first in a decade-long series that she wrote under her real name before adopting the pen name of Mary Kay Andrews in 2002. Three decades after launching her fiction career, she has penned more than 30 books that have regularly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list.
She is married to her high school sweetheart, Tom Trocheck, and together they had two children, Katie and Andy. Tragically her her daughter passed away in 2022 at the age of just 39. But she gets great joy from spoiling her grandchildren!
She splits her time between her homes in Atlanta and on Tybee Island, off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. In Tybee, she and Tom have restored two beach homes that they call The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide, named after fiction places in her novels. Both of these houses are available for rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals.
When she’s not writing, Andrews has a passion for cooking and antiques – both interests that often find their way into her novels. She enjoys renovating houses and seeking out treasures to fill them with. She’s known for hosting book launches and other social events that reflect the culture and cuisine of the South, which serve as testaments to her commitment to the region’s charm and hospitality.
Whether you’re just starting out, or reading deep into Mary Kay Andrews’s backlist, we hope this guide has been helpful. We’d love to hear which of her novels is your favorite in the comments below.
Guides for Other Authors
We’re actively creating more guides for our readers’ favorite authors. Check out our other author guides below, and let us know what authors you’d like to see next:
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