Little Bitty Lies

Little Bitty Lies

by Mary Kay Andrews


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“Little white lies have never been so risky—or so much fun.” —Orlando Sentinel

New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews delivers a tantalizing tale about an abandoned Atlanta housewife and mother who tells one tiny white lie that sets her world spiraling outrageously out of control. This winning and wonderful romp focuses on all the important things in life: marriage and divorce, mothers and daughters, friendship and betrayal. Throw in small town secrets, one woman’s lifelong quest for home, and the perfect chicken salad recipe, and you have an ideal escape for fans of Fannie Flagg, Jennifer Crusie, Adriana Trigiani, Emily Giffin, and the Sweet Potato Queens. No lie!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060566692
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/10/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 83,580
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels, most recently The Weekenders, as well as 10 critically acclaimed mysteries. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Atlanta, Georgia

Date of Birth:

July 27, 1954

Place of Birth:

Tampa, Florida


B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976

Read an Excerpt

Little Bitty Lies

By Mary Kay Andrews

Harper Collins Publishers

Copyright © 2003 Mary Kay Andrews All right reserved. ISBN: 0060199598

Chapter One

Mary Bliss McGowan and Katharine Weidman had reached a point in the evening from whence there was no return. They had half a bottle of Tanqueray. They had limes. Plenty of ice. Plenty of time. It was only the Tuesday after Memorial Day, so the summer still stretched ahead of them, as green and tempting as a funeral home lawn. The hell of it was, they were out of tonic water.

"Listen, Kate," Mary Bliss said. "Why don't we just switch to beer?" She gestured toward her cooler. It had wheels and a long handle, and she hauled it down to the Fair Oaks Country Club pool most nights like the little red wagon she'd dragged all over town as a little girl. "I've got four Molson Lights right there. Anyway, all that quinine in the tonic water is making my ankles swell."

She thrust one suntanned leg in the air, pointing her pink-painted toes and frowning. They looked like piggy toes, all fleshy and moist.

"Or maybe we should call it a night." Mary Bliss glanced around. The crowd had been lively for a Tuesday night, but people had gradually drifted off - home, or to dinner, or inside, to their air conditioning and mindless summer sitcom reruns.

Bugs swarmed around the lights in the deck area. She felt their wings brushing the skin of her bare arms, but theynever lit on Mary Bliss, and they never bit either. Somebody had managed to hook up the pool's PA system to the oldies radio station. The Tams and the Four Tops, the same music she'd listened to her whole life - even though they were not her oldies but of a generation before hers - played on.

She and Katharine were the only adults around. Three or four teenaged boys splashed around in the pool, tossing an inflated beach ball back and forth. The lifeguard, the oldest Finley boy - Shane? Blaine? - sat on the elevated stand by the pool and glowered in their direction. Clearly, he wanted to lock up and go to the mall.

"No," Katharine said, struggling out of her lounge chair. "No beer. Hell, it's early yet. And you know I'm not a beer drinker." She tugged at Mary Bliss's hand. "Come on, then. The Winn-Dixie's still open. We'll get some more tonic water. We'll ride with the top down." Mary Bliss sniggered and instantly hated the sound of it. "Well-bred young ladies never drive with their tops down."

Katharine rolled her eyes.

The Weidmans' red Jeep stood alone in the club lot, shining like a plump, ripe apple in the pool of yellow streetlamp light. Mary Bliss stood by the driver's door with her hand out. "Let me drive, Kate."

"What? You think I'm drunk?"

"We killed half a bottle of gin, and I've only had one drink," Mary Bliss said gently.
Katharine shrugged and got in the passenger seat.

Mary Bliss gunned the engine and backed out of the club parking lot. The cool night air felt wonderful on her sweat-soaked neck and shoulders.

"I can't believe Charlie gave up the Jeep," Mary Bliss said. "I thought it was his baby. Is it paid for?"

"What do I care?" Katharine said, throwing her head back, running her fingers through the long blonde tangle of her hair. "My lawyer says we've got Charlie by the nuts. Now it's time to squeeze. Besides, we bought it with the understanding that it would be Chip's to take to Clemson in the fall. I'm just using it as my fun car this summer. We're having fun, right?" "I thought freshmen weren't allowed to have cars on campus," Mary Bliss said.

"Charlie doesn't know that," Katharine said.

Mary Bliss frowned.

"Shut up and drive," Katharine instructed.

The Winn-Dixie was nearly deserted. A lone cashier stood at the register at the front of the store, listlessly counting change into her open cash drawer. Katharine dumped four bottles of Schweppes Tonic Water down on the conveyor belt, along with a loaf of Sunbeam bread, a carton of cigarettes, and a plastic tub of Dixie Darlin' chicken salad.

"Y'all got a Value Club card?" the cashier asked, fingers poised on the keys of her register.

"I've got better than that," Katharine said peevishly, taking a twenty-dollar bill from the pocket of her shorts. "I've got cash money. Now, can we get the lead out here?"

The fluorescent lights in the store gave Katharine's deeply tanned face a sick greenish glow. Her roots needed touching up. And, Mary Bliss observed, it really was about time Katharine gave up wearing a bikini. Not that she was fat. Katharine Weidman was a rail. She ran four miles every morning, no matter what. But she was in her forties, after all, and the skin around her neck and chest and shoulders was starting to turn to corduroy. Her breasts weren't big, but they were beginning to sag. Mary Bliss tugged at the neckline of her own neat black tank suit. She couldn't stand it the way some women over thirty-five paraded around half naked in public - as if the world wanted to see their goods. She kept her goods tucked neatly away, thank you very much.

Mary Bliss made a face as she saw Katharine sweeping her groceries into a plastic sack. "Since when do you buy chicken salad at the Winn-Dixie?" she asked, flicking the tub with her index finger.

"It's not that bad," Katharine said. "Chip loves it, but then, teenaged boys will eat anything. Anyway, it's too damn hot to cook."

"Your mother made the best chicken salad I've ever tasted," Mary Bliss said. "I still dream about it sometimes. It was just like they used to have at the Magnolia Room downtown." Katharine managed a half-smile. "Better, most said. Mama always said the sign of a lady's breeding was in her chicken salad. White meat, finely ground or hand shredded, and some good Hellmann's Mayonnaise, and I don't know what all. She used to talk about some woman, from up north, who married into one of the Coca-Cola families. 'She uses dark meat in her chicken salad,' Mama told me one time. 'Trailer trash.'"

"She'd roll over in her grave if she saw you feeding her grandson that store-bought mess," Mary Bliss was saying. They were right beside the Jeep now, and Mary Bliss had the keys in her hand, when Katharine shoved her roughly to the pavement.

"What on earth?" Mary Bliss demanded.

"Get down," Katharine whispered. "She'll see us."

"Who?" Mary Bliss asked. She pushed Katharine's hand off her shoulder. "Let me up. You've got me squatting on chewing gum."

"It's Nancye Bowden," Katharine said, peeping up over the side of the Jeep, then ducking back down again. "She's sitting in that silver Lexus, over there by the yellow Toyota. My God!" "What? What is it?" Mary Bliss popped her head up to get a look. The Lexus was where Katharine had pointed. But there was only one occupant. A man. A dark-haired man. His head was thrown back, his eyes squeezed shut, his mouth a wide O, as if he were laughing at something.

"You're crazy, Katharine Weidman. I don't see Nancye Bowden at all." She started to stand. "I'm getting a crick in my calves. Let's go home."

Katharine duck-walked around to the passenger side of the Jeep and snaked herself into the passenger seat. She slumped down in the seat so that her head was barely visible above the dashboard. "I'm telling you she's in there. You can just see the top of her head. Right there, Mary Bliss. With that guy. Look at his face, Mary Bliss. Don't you get it?" Mary Bliss didn't have her glasses. She squinted, tried to get the man's face in better focus. Maybe he wasn't laughing.

"Oh. "My. "Lord."

Mary Bliss covered her eyes with both hands. She felt her face glowing hot-red in the dark. She fanned herself vigorously.

"You're such a virgin." Katharine cackled. "What? You didn't know?"

"That Nancye Bowden was hanging out in the Winn-Dixie parking lot giving oral sex to men in expensive cars? No, I don't think she mentioned it the last time I saw her at garden club. Does Randy know?"

Mary Bliss turned the key in the Jeep's ignition and scooted it out of the parking lot, giving the silver Lexus a wide berth. She would die if Nancye Bowden saw her. "It's called a blow job. Yes, I'm pretty sure Randy knows what Nancye's been up to. But you can't bring yourself to say it, can you?" Katharine said, watching Mary Bliss's face intently.

"You have a very trashy mouth, Katharine Weidman. How would I know what perversion Nancye has been up to lately?"

"I guess y'all were down at Seaside when it happened. I just assumed you knew. Nancye and Randy are through. She moved into an apartment in Buckhead. He's staying in the house with the kids, at least until school starts back in the fall, and his mother is watching the kids while Randy's at work. Lexus Boy is some professor over at Emory. Or that's what Nancye told the girls at that baby shower they had for Ansley Murphey."

"I had to miss Ansley's shower because we took Erin down to Macon for a soccer tournament," Mary Bliss said. "I can't believe I didn't hear anything, with them living right across the street. The Bowdens? Are you sure? My heavens, that's the third couple on the block. Just since the weather got warm."

"Four, counting us," Katharine said. "You know what they're calling our end of the street, don't you?"


"Split City."


Excerpted from Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
Copyright © 2003 by Mary Kay Andrews
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Little Bitty Lies 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 120 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down, I love all of her books!
tchrreader More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, it was a bit unbelievable (the story I mean). This is the story of Mary Bliss who doesn't notice that her own marriage is in trouble. She then starts to realize the trouble when she finds a note her husband left her and he took all of their money. She has a teenage daughter named Erin and her best friend named Katherine. This book was a good book to read, it was fun, funny and entertaining but a bit hard to believe. Give it a try- it is a fun summer book.
ARE More than 1 year ago
This was my very first Mary Kay Andrews novel. I REALLY enjoyed the book and the characters. I rarely have time to read but I found myself carrying this book everywhere so I could find out what was going to happen next. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I will have to say that it did start out a little slow for me but I decided to stick with it and I am so glad that I did. I would love to see a sequel! I fell in love with Mary Bliss and Katharine. I'm so thrilled to have found a new author!!! I'm off to read "Hissy Fit" next. Thank you Mary Kay Andrews!
P_A_Little_4 More than 1 year ago
It was an enjoyable summer reading book. Full of fun and adventure. The characters were the kind of "people" that you would love to hang with. I especially loved the bond between Mary Bliss and Katherine. It really showed the meaning of true friendship and sisterhood. My girlfriends have been with me through thick and thin and also through sick and sin. Thats why I love them.
QuilterJB More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read of this author and have now purchased all of her books. I laughed so hard and thorougly enjoyed this book. I would highly recommend this book as well as all other books by Mary Kay Andrews. I have passed this book to other people and they also loved it.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A few weeks ago I read Mary Kay Andrews' Savannah Blues and really enjoyed it, so I thought that I'd give Little Bitty Lies a try. The reviews that I read at Amazon pretty much said that it's okay but not as good as Savannah. And that pretty much hits it.Lies is the story of Mary Bliss McGowan, an Atlanta yuppie who doesn't realise that her marriage is in trouble until the night she finds a note from her husband telling her that he's gone - with all their joint assets. Mary Bliss responds by telling one 'little bitty lie' - that he's just out of town. The one little lie escalates until she and her best friend end up faking his death to collect the insurance.Andrews [who is really Atlanta author Kathy Trocheck] does a great job catching the Atlanta/Southern ambience, but it's hard to see Mary Bliss as a sympathetic character when she lies to her daughter and mother-in-law about her husband's death and when her major concern with the end of her marriage is financial. I'm giving this one two stars and hoping that Ms Andrews will slow down and do better preparation before she writes her next one.
madamejeanie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ok, this is "chick lit" and I almost stopped reading it in the first few chapters, but I'm glad I didn't. It's funny and insightful and well written. And it delves a bit deeper than it first appears. It was satisfying, I must say, and I enjoyed it. Kathy Hogan Trocheck wrote this (and a couple of other "chick lit" books) under the pen name Mary Kay Andrews, and part of the reason I almost stopped reading it was that it just felt different from her writing usually does. Trocheck is the author of the Callahan Garrity mystery series, and those stories feel grittier and meatier than this one did to start with. But eventually, I was able to catch the rhythm of her writing in this genre and have to say that she did a pretty good job. I'll give it a 4 and order some more of her stuff from Booksfree.
SouthernGirlReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I read from Mary Kay Andrews. I found it really funny and scince I live in the south, i connected with the characters. I was an instant fan.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading lots of dark books for the past few months I decided to go a different direction. This was truly genteel fiction. Nothing to offend the masses, but quite humorous anyway. It was nice to see the 'good' girl win in the end :).
magst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I never laughed so hard in my life. Great book & I didn't want it to end!!!!!
musicalmary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an easy, light read... much like Hissy Fit. It was a bit of a mystery, though, and kept me wanting to stay up all night and finish the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like another reviewer stated this was my first Mary Kay Andrews book and I was hooked, Yes in some ways it is unbelievable but in todays world who cares. I found myself loving the characters and this book is in my top 5 for this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story!
bookloverfl12 More than 1 year ago
Another MKA book and it did not disappoint! I thoroughly enjoy MKA's books as they have just enough suspense and mystery to them and you just want to keep reading to find out the answer (must be the news reporter background of MKA). The narrator seemed familiar with the book and portrayed the characters appropriately so I enjoyed listening to it. This would be a great beach getaway weekend read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Andrews' use of strong Southern women who do what needs to be done no matter what. This novel is funny, mysterious, and romantic. Plus, there is the best chicken salad recipe included. It is a great summer read.
dianevit More than 1 year ago
Loved this book along with all of the other Mary Kay Andrews books. She does not disappoint. Can't wait for her new one to come out in a few days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like her style of writing.
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LC112648LC More than 1 year ago
Little Bitty Lies .... I have read every one of Mary Kay's books - this was the second time I read this one (which I don't usually do unless they're exceptional! I felt this one of the very best books that Mary Kay has ever written. Great story plot and kept you reading continually. In fact, I almost feel that May Kay put a little more time into this book then her newer ones. Really enjoyable and highly recommend this book with such a different plot! Enjoy!!!!!