Careful What You Wish For
Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses.But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.

Careful What You Wish For Details

TitleCareful What You Wish For
Author
ReleaseAug 6th, 2019
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062473653
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery Thriller

Careful What You Wish For Review

  • Lisa Leone-campbell
    January 1, 1970
    I will never drive by a flea market again without thinking of Hallie Ephron and her latest mystery Careful What You Wish For.Emily Harlow is a professional organizer married to Frank Harlow a professional hoarder (of flea market finds) as well as a lawyer. They say opposites attract right?So when Emily is called by an elderly woman to organize a storage unit she had no idea her late husband had even rented, and a young woman whose husband is an antique hoarder like Frank hires her to declutter b I will never drive by a flea market again without thinking of Hallie Ephron and her latest mystery Careful What You Wish For.Emily Harlow is a professional organizer married to Frank Harlow a professional hoarder (of flea market finds) as well as a lawyer. They say opposites attract right?So when Emily is called by an elderly woman to organize a storage unit she had no idea her late husband had even rented, and a young woman whose husband is an antique hoarder like Frank hires her to declutter belongings her husband will not allow her to bring into the house she thinks she’s hit the jackpot!But suddenly Emily finds herself embroiled in possibly aiding a thief, as well as unknowingly being involved in a murder which could possibly implicate her. Who on earth would want to frame Emily and why?Careful What You Wish for is the best type of mystery novel. You think you have it all figured out and then another clue appears sending the reader in another direction. Ephron certainly knows how to keep the reader guessing!The book would be an enjoyable beach read or even just a read in your cozy chair.And just for the record, my husband will not be visiting flea markets anymore!Thank you @HallieEphron @WmMorrowBooks #CarefulWhatYouWishFor for the advanced copy. The book will be out August 6.
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Emily thought that opening a professional organizing business was supposed to be carefree and helpful to others.Emily's new adventure had been exciting and trouble free until she met Quinn. Quinn was married to a man who wouldn't let her bring her things into his fabulous house and wanted Emily to help. She and Emily had helped themselves to more than looking at things to remove, though. They had too much wine and said things that shouldn't have been said.When Quinn's husband turns up missing, Q Emily thought that opening a professional organizing business was supposed to be carefree and helpful to others.Emily's new adventure had been exciting and trouble free until she met Quinn. Quinn was married to a man who wouldn't let her bring her things into his fabulous house and wanted Emily to help. She and Emily had helped themselves to more than looking at things to remove, though. They had too much wine and said things that shouldn't have been said.When Quinn's husband turns up missing, Quinn feels she can call on her new friend, Emily, to help her when the police arrive. This client was more than Emily bargained for.And if this wasn't bad enough, another client whose husband had passed had a storage unit she didn't know about filled with stolen books, maps, and a dead body.Emily couldn’t believe it. Could these two clients have some connection?It gets worse for Emily, and it seems as if a few of the characters are connected and involved in the disappearance and death of the body they found.CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR was actually a little on the comical side despite all the tension going on.If you are in the mood for a light, entertaining mystery you will enjoy CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. 5/5This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathy Vines
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a professional organizer, so this one was a FUN read! I couldn't help but wonder how I'd feel and act in Emily's crocs... Thanks, Hallie, for such a fun whodunnit!
  • Kathryn in FL
    January 1, 1970
    Emily and Becca leave their careers, elementary school teacher and nursing respectively, to become professional organizers. Emily is focused on the marketing aspect, while Becca does other stuff (she is involved but we aren't quite clear on her role). During this story she is distracted by family activities, leaving Emily to make quick decisions, that they would have decided jointly. These hasty decisions made under pressure will lead to a morass of trouble and a surprising resolution.A strange Emily and Becca leave their careers, elementary school teacher and nursing respectively, to become professional organizers. Emily is focused on the marketing aspect, while Becca does other stuff (she is involved but we aren't quite clear on her role). During this story she is distracted by family activities, leaving Emily to make quick decisions, that they would have decided jointly. These hasty decisions made under pressure will lead to a morass of trouble and a surprising resolution.A strange client acquisition leads to a suspicious murder, which lead the police to believing that Emily is complicit. Emily is blindsided by various other situations both in business and personal life. She must figure out if and why the various events seem to conspire against her. As her suspicions bring revelations, the murderer's end game takes a surprising turn and she is a threat to them without even realizing she is now a target. I have been a fan of Ms. Ephron's sister for years and her influence is seen on the pages of this delightful mystery. Unfortunately, I wished for more depth to the characters. I didn't buy her marriage to her hoarding husband cum criminal/corporate attorney. Becca was a flat character, who is nearly non-existent and unnecessary. Emily's mom, Lila was integral but also flat and could have been more central. Emily seemed unhappy in life particularly in her marriage. Infertility was mentioned fleetingly but never pursued in the story, a convenience to move the story forward. I enjoyed the dialogue somewhat and it reminded me of Laura Levine or Jessie Crockett style stories. I felt like I was reading a script. This may be more fitting to the television screen. It was a quick, easy read. Well suited for a summer beach read or a relaxing weekend escape. I look forward to reading more by Ms. Ephron. I want to thank William Morrow, Goodreads and Ms. Ephron for proving me with a free copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Fictionophile
    January 1, 1970
    Once an elementary school teacher, thirty-something Emily Harlow is now a professional ‘declutterer’. She and her friend Becca have started a business which they call Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers.It is ironic that Emily makes a living purging people of their possessions because Emily’s lawyer husband Frank is a ‘collector’ and a pack-rat whose hobby is verging on hoarding. Although she loves Frank, she is getting more and more impatient with his constantly bringing home other people’s junk. Also Once an elementary school teacher, thirty-something Emily Harlow is now a professional ‘declutterer’. She and her friend Becca have started a business which they call Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers.It is ironic that Emily makes a living purging people of their possessions because Emily’s lawyer husband Frank is a ‘collector’ and a pack-rat whose hobby is verging on hoarding. Although she loves Frank, she is getting more and more impatient with his constantly bringing home other people’s junk. Also, the fact that they have been trying for a baby and have not been successful has put added strain on their relationship.When Clutter Kickers gets two new clients, their business and their lives take a turn for the worse. Their first new client, an elderly woman named Mrs. Murphy, wants them to clear out a storage unit which her late husband had rented out. When Emily enters the unit she finds that it is full of old books, maps and other memorabilia. All of which was once quite valuable – but due to the failure of the storage unit’s climate control system is now moldy and quite possibly damaged beyond repair.Their second new client is a woman named Quinn Newell. Quinn wants Emily to clear out her garage. While scouting out the location, Quinn tells Emily she would love to get out from under her husband’s domineering ways. Over several glasses of Prosecco, the women ‘over-share’ and vent about their unsatisfactory marriages. The next day, Quinn’s husband is reported missing.To further Emily’s involvement, Quinn’s husband’s body is found in the storage unit rented out by Mrs. Murphy’s husband…. How could Emily’s two new clients have become enmeshed in such a way? And, more importantly, how will this affect Emily and her business?MY THOUGHTSThe New England setting and the personable character of Emily added to this book’s allure. The elaborate con-game which had Emily in its cross-hairs was well executed and devious.I quite enjoyed this book. It read almost like a ‘cozy’ mystery but was laced with elements of a domestic thriller. A light, entertaining novel, “Careful what you wish for” will be enjoyed by many readers. I think the cover lends itself to a more serious thriller, but if the cover had of been more like a cozy I probably wouldn’t have read it – and that would have been a shame.
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  • Jacqueline (We Be Book'N)
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to read this book because I am a minimalist, and a thriller talking about decluttering sounded right up my alley. I was pleasantly surprised by how well written this book was! The first sentence made me crack up laughing - and the rest of the book was a great ride! This book did feel more of a mystery to me, but it was pretty face paced and had really good characters. This book is about a wife who became famous for her decluttering videos on social media, and has her own decluttering b I decided to read this book because I am a minimalist, and a thriller talking about decluttering sounded right up my alley. I was pleasantly surprised by how well written this book was! The first sentence made me crack up laughing - and the rest of the book was a great ride! This book did feel more of a mystery to me, but it was pretty face paced and had really good characters. This book is about a wife who became famous for her decluttering videos on social media, and has her own decluttering business. The funny part is, her husband is a hoarder and fills their basement and garage with junk he brings home from yard sales. The wife's motto is that you can declutter your own stuff, but not your spouse's items. When chatting with a new client about how their husbands' are hoarders, they wish a few bad things to happen, and ultimately it comes true.I think anyone that is clean and organized would be entertained by this book, I'm certainly glad I read it!I will definitely be reading more by this author, because her writing style fit so well with my reading preferences.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Careful What You Wish For centers around a professional organizer who manages to stumble into not just one but two crimes at once. The craziest part of this whole book? Her own husband is a hoarder! I think I honestly need a bit of a break from domestic thrillers as this one was pretty predictable and lackluster for me. I liked the idea of the professional organizer aspect but never really found myself hooked into the story line quite as much as I would like and like I previously mentioned, cert Careful What You Wish For centers around a professional organizer who manages to stumble into not just one but two crimes at once. The craziest part of this whole book? Her own husband is a hoarder! I think I honestly need a bit of a break from domestic thrillers as this one was pretty predictable and lackluster for me. I liked the idea of the professional organizer aspect but never really found myself hooked into the story line quite as much as I would like and like I previously mentioned, certain aspects were predictable and I felt the overlapping plot points were just too coincidental - to the point that it was silly (how many times can X happen before it's like alright already!). I will probably pick up Ephron again in the future, this was my first by her, but maybe during a time when I've read a few less thrillers.Thank you to William Morrow for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Ludwig
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 starsA predictable, yet overall enjoyable mystery about a professional organizer becoming the prime suspect in her client's husband's murder.This book might not contain any major twists, but the author knows how to craft her characters in a compelling manner while sparking curiosity into the reader concerning whether the protagonist will find out the truth and make it in the end. The mystery picks up the pace at around 2/3 in, before which, the pieces of the puzzle are carefully structured 3.75 starsA predictable, yet overall enjoyable mystery about a professional organizer becoming the prime suspect in her client's husband's murder.This book might not contain any major twists, but the author knows how to craft her characters in a compelling manner while sparking curiosity into the reader concerning whether the protagonist will find out the truth and make it in the end. The mystery picks up the pace at around 2/3 in, before which, the pieces of the puzzle are carefully structured in a way they come together reasonably in the end. That is what mainly drew me in and why I'm curious to see what this author comes up with next!*** Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review ***
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  • amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Do husbands spark joy? I think we need to tack up a poll and put this to the test.Emily has taken charge of the minimalist movement and has a booming decluttering business alongside her best friend Becca. All is going well until the two are hit with an odd job that entails on some of the hoarding stuff being well, STOLEN. BUT WAIT - it gets weirder...Emily is called to another new client where the stunning Quinn Newell wants to get rid of all of her husband’s junk and joke joke also her husband. Do husbands spark joy? I think we need to tack up a poll and put this to the test.Emily has taken charge of the minimalist movement and has a booming decluttering business alongside her best friend Becca. All is going well until the two are hit with an odd job that entails on some of the hoarding stuff being well, STOLEN. BUT WAIT - it gets weirder...Emily is called to another new client where the stunning Quinn Newell wants to get rid of all of her husband’s junk and joke joke also her husband. It’s all Prosecco and light jokes until Quinn’s husband actually does end up dead and Emily is the prime suspect.Oh no, we are SUBMERGED IN JOY. Drowning actually amidst Prosecco and annoying rich housewives.This was a fun book! It had me hooked from the very start and I read it in uh two sittings? I’m tired today, okay, so I took a nap but picked it back up and kept right on reading. The writing at times felt disjointed and it is very easy to figure out whodunnit but it’s an enjoyable read with a host of fun, electric characters. Emily, known as Emmy to her friends and family, was awesome and her mom Lila, even more so. I feel as though this will become a cozy mystery sort of series and if so I really can’t wait to read more from Hallie Ephron. Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC. All opinions are my own, I hope my existence sparks joy in you all.
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  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    NetGalley provided me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. After the first few pages, I wasn't sure Careful What You Wish For was going to be my kind of book. I didn't want to read a "husband hating" story. But something about the first meeting of Emily and Quinn stuck with me,. I'm so glad I kept reading.I thought I knew where the plot was going. I thought I had predicted the twist. I was wrong! I love a mystery with a surprise and this book didn't let me know. NetGalley provided me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. After the first few pages, I wasn't sure Careful What You Wish For was going to be my kind of book. I didn't want to read a "husband hating" story. But something about the first meeting of Emily and Quinn stuck with me,. I'm so glad I kept reading.I thought I knew where the plot was going. I thought I had predicted the twist. I was wrong! I love a mystery with a surprise and this book didn't let me know. The character development is subtle but effective. The writing is smooth, the dialogue is tight, and the plot nicely twists and turns. This is the first book I've read by this author, and I will add others to my list. Loved it!
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    Because Hallie Ephron writes stand-alone books, her stories always present fascinating new settings and casts of engaging new characters with intriguing livelihoods. And, each story revolves around a subject or theme that is fresh, nary a rerun or redo in the lot. Put all that together with Hallie Ephron's writing genius and knack for the creepy, and readers have tales that thrill from the beginning to the end. Hallie should really write a book about writing plots and mysteries and, oh, wait, sh Because Hallie Ephron writes stand-alone books, her stories always present fascinating new settings and casts of engaging new characters with intriguing livelihoods. And, each story revolves around a subject or theme that is fresh, nary a rerun or redo in the lot. Put all that together with Hallie Ephron's writing genius and knack for the creepy, and readers have tales that thrill from the beginning to the end. Hallie should really write a book about writing plots and mysteries and, oh, wait, she has. This author practices what she preaches, too. I've noticed that in my reviews for Hallie's books, I tend to include a statement about how hard they are to put down once you begin reading them. Careful What You Wish For had me reading well into the night and finishing as soon as I got up the next morning. Compelling read? Absolutely. In fact, this latest book may just be my favorite yet with its building suspense and perfect delivery of its resolution. Careful What You Wish For takes us into the world of professional organizers, those people who you pay to confirm your borderline hoarder status and to dig you out of the depths of clutter. Marie Kondo has many people scratching their heads and asking what sparks joy and what doesn't. Business is good for those who can step in and restore order to a disordered home, and Emily Harlow and her friend Becca Jain make an impressive team in this restoration. They are building up their clientele list for Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers one disorganized home at a time when they suddenly gain two new clients over a weekend. Working weekends is not a normal practice, but adding customers is important, so they acquiesce to requests for the weekend meetings, and since Becca has weekend guests, it’s Emily handling the meetings. The first prospect is an older widow, Mrs. Murphy, whose husband liked to "collect" and has left her with an unexpected storage unit, contents unknown. The second new client proves to be someone Emily can totally relate to. Quinn is the wife of a wealthy man who has filled their home with antiques and collectibles that he is constantly in search of, but it is Quinn’s uncollectible belongings she needs the Clutter Kickers’ help disposing of. Since Emily’s husband Frank has filled their basement and attic with antiques and “treasures,” she has sympathy for Quinn’s situation. It seems Emily has found a kindred spirit in the husband dissatisfaction department in Quinn, and with the stress of infertility issues and a new business, Emily breaks the first rule of their business. Don’t get personally involved with the client should mean turning down a glass of wine, but Emily accepts Quinn’s offer. After all it is Emily’s favorite wine. From there it is a short trip to husband bashing and wishing the husbands away to the cornfield (Twilight Zone fans). But, it’s all in good fun, right? Emily makes her way home that evening in a bit of a wine haze but happy to have two new paying customers.So, it should be a normal assessment and plan of action for two new clients, but there is nothing normal about these new customers. The immediate chumminess of Quinn and her attachment to Emily segues into a suspicious connection when Quinn’s husband turns up dead, and Emily’s conversation with Quinn about annoying husbands comes back to haunt Emily. Mrs. Murphy’s situation is proving to be problematic, too, with a storage locker full of questionable acquisitions whose provenance must be examined. The Clutter Kickers haven’t had to deal with criminal matters before, only clutter matters. Clearing up criminal clutter is dealing with hazardous materials requiring a different set of organizational skills.Hallie Ephron is an author whom I can so easily recommend. She’s a repeat Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee finalist, her books are always on the must-read mystery lists. She writes domestic thrillers that are absolute page-turners. Careful What You Wish For is a read that will be well worth the anxiety you feel for Emily as she discovers that clutter in one’s life is not always as straightforward as it seems. Don’t let the summer end without this read.I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book, and I have given my honest and carefully considered review of it.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    3.75/5 - A little slow to start but once I got into the story I quickly wanted to find out where it was going.
  • Shelby
    January 1, 1970
    Emily Harlow recently left her job as a schoolteacher to start a professional organizing business with her close friend, Becca. Ironically enough, Emily’s husband, Frank, is addicted to yard sales and has filled their attic, basement and garage with useless knick knacks. The two couldn’t be any more different and Emily finds herself questioning if she truly knew who she was marrying. When Emily takes on two new clients, she’s excited that finally her business is taking off. An elderly woman name Emily Harlow recently left her job as a schoolteacher to start a professional organizing business with her close friend, Becca. Ironically enough, Emily’s husband, Frank, is addicted to yard sales and has filled their attic, basement and garage with useless knick knacks. The two couldn’t be any more different and Emily finds herself questioning if she truly knew who she was marrying. When Emily takes on two new clients, she’s excited that finally her business is taking off. An elderly woman named Ruth Murphy lost her husband to a heart attack a year previously and just discovered he had a storage unit was unaware of. And now she’s looking for help organizing his belongings. A woman about Emily’s age, Quinn Newell, lives a lavish life, but is looking to declutter the belongings she had before her marriage to her husband Wally. When Emily comes over to assess the job, Quinn and Emily strike up a conversation. Quinn’s husband, too, is a collector like Frank and the two women bond over their shared misery. And somehow, they end up joking about what would happen if the two husbands would just disappear?So when Emily discovers a dead body while on the job, she is thrust into a murder investigation, putting her life under a microscope. And what’s more, Emily is now tangled up in a thieving scheme that she unknowingly walked into. Emily thought her new clients would help her budding business, but they may just end up costing her her life. Careful What You Wish For is Hallie Ephron’s latest domestic thriller. I was pulled in by the unique premise—a professional organizer with a hoarder of a husband (seems like a cruel joke, right?). I didn’t have any expectations going into this book, as I haven’t read anything by Hallie Ephron previously. I enjoyed this domestic thriller, but even still, I had a few issues. Emily isn’t the brightest—I got frustrated by her naivety on several occasions. But then I was surprised by how clever she was at times. She started piecing together the crime for the police at one point, which seemed very unlikely coming from unsuspecting Emily. This story is full of a cast of messed up characters with shady intentions, which is something I always enjoy in my thrillers. You know the pieces of the puzzle aren’t adding up and you are kept in suspense until the very end. The ending seemed a little too muddled and rushed for my liking. I am still so glad I gave this new-to-me author a try! 3.5/5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow and Hallie Ephron for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Debbie Oxier
    January 1, 1970
    This was really good. Emily was an orginizer. She and her partner, Becca, helped people "de-clutter" their homes, whether it be closets, garages, basements, whatever. Unfortunately, Emily's husband, Frank, is a hoarder and is always bringing home boxes of junk no one wants - like old, used, doorknobs! It drives Emily crazy. They have been trying to have a baby for several years but Emily can't get pregnant. She knows how much Frank wants a baby but he refuses to talk about what they should do ne This was really good. Emily was an orginizer. She and her partner, Becca, helped people "de-clutter" their homes, whether it be closets, garages, basements, whatever. Unfortunately, Emily's husband, Frank, is a hoarder and is always bringing home boxes of junk no one wants - like old, used, doorknobs! It drives Emily crazy. They have been trying to have a baby for several years but Emily can't get pregnant. She knows how much Frank wants a baby but he refuses to talk about what they should do next. In vitro didn't work but he refuses to listen to anything about adopting. Then Emily gets two new clients. One is an elderly woman who discovers a storage unit her late husband apparently had that she knew nothing about. The other client, a younger woman whose husband is missing, wants to get rid of his things. Emily, unfortunately, doesn't realize the danger she's in and that she could actually lose her life.Kept me turning the pages. Didn't want to put it down. I was fascinated by the characters. The author did a magnificent job of creating people that came alive in the pages of her book. Emily was so easy to love and I found myself empathizing with her in everything she was going through. The antagonist turned out to be creepy, a wolf in sheep's clothing. I so wanted Emily to best her in the end. This one captured my attention and wouldn't let go. Hallie Ephron has earned her spot on my list of favorite authors with this suspenseful tale.
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  • Cassie-Traveling Sister-
    January 1, 1970
    Emily Harlow is a professional organizer whose husband is a hoarder, he doesn’t see a garage sale or flea market he won’t stop at. Emily has left her career as a teacher behind and her friend Becca has left her career as a nurse as well and now they have created their business of professional organizers. They help their clients declutter. So When Emily is called by an elderly woman who needs her help organizing a storage unit that her late husband had rented without her knowledge, And at the sam Emily Harlow is a professional organizer whose husband is a hoarder, he doesn’t see a garage sale or flea market he won’t stop at. Emily has left her career as a teacher behind and her friend Becca has left her career as a nurse as well and now they have created their business of professional organizers. They help their clients declutter. So When Emily is called by an elderly woman who needs her help organizing a storage unit that her late husband had rented without her knowledge, And at the same time a young wealthy wife calls Emily asking her help with her husbands antique hoarding, Emily thinks her business is finally taking off. Soon Emily finds herself involved in a murder investigation when a body is found and possibly aiding a thief soon she’s asking herself who is setting her up? This was a fun easy read for me. There were some twists that I didn’t see coming and some decisions made by the main character I found myself asking what are you thinking??
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  • Cyndi
    January 1, 1970
    Emily is a professional organizer whose husband happens to be a hoarder. When Emily is called to help a woman with her stash, she finds that her husband suffers from the same affliction and she suggests that they “help each other out” (wink, wink). When the woman’s husband is found dead, all signs point to Emily. As she works to solve the mystery and clear her name, Emily discovers that she is in for way more than she bargained for.This was my first Hallie Ephron book but definitely will not be Emily is a professional organizer whose husband happens to be a hoarder. When Emily is called to help a woman with her stash, she finds that her husband suffers from the same affliction and she suggests that they “help each other out” (wink, wink). When the woman’s husband is found dead, all signs point to Emily. As she works to solve the mystery and clear her name, Emily discovers that she is in for way more than she bargained for.This was my first Hallie Ephron book but definitely will not be my last. I loved this. I found the plot to be refreshing and original. I loved that Emily was a professional organizer and that she had a blog with videos of her organizing. This had a quick pace and an exciting and unanticipated twist that I totally did not see coming. I loved Ephron’s easy and interesting writing style. I highly recommend this to all.Many thanks to Netgalley, William Morrow and Hallie Ephron for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    I could tell instantly not my kind of book, gave it 30' and time to move on.
  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsEmily Harlow is a professional organizer with a husband who is a closet hoarder. She can declutter other people’s lives but not her own. Her rule is that you have to only declutter your own stuff. So she is stuck with a half messy/half perfect house and it doesn’t always spark joy.She and her best friend, Becca own a decluttering business together. Two new clients come on Emily’ radar. One is an older woman who found a storage unit her dead husband had kept from her. And a recommendatio 4.5 StarsEmily Harlow is a professional organizer with a husband who is a closet hoarder. She can declutter other people’s lives but not her own. Her rule is that you have to only declutter your own stuff. So she is stuck with a half messy/half perfect house and it doesn’t always spark joy.She and her best friend, Becca own a decluttering business together. Two new clients come on Emily’ radar. One is an older woman who found a storage unit her dead husband had kept from her. And a recommendation from Emilly’s husband’s attorney colleague, Ryan, brings Quinn into her life as well. Quinn’s husband has a big collection of things that Emily is sure her own husband Frank would love. But Quinn’s husband won’t let her put her own stuff in the house so she is wanting Emily to help her sort through it and discard the things she no longer needs. The two of them get to talking and while drinking a bit of prosciutto Quinn wonders out loud what it would be like if both of their husbands were no longer in the picture. Not long later Quinn’s husband’s car is found abandoned and Quinn wonders if Emily did something to him considering their earlier conversation. Dun dun dun!!This book was mega creepy. And I marveled at how easily it was to manipulate Emily. When Emily’s mother was brought into the picture to look at all the supposed “borrowed” things in Mrs. Murphy’s storage unit, I felt like the tide had turned and having her there lent support to Emily in her time of need.I went back and forth about who I thought had done it. The college sweater Emily recognized that was in Quinn’s possesion was the fist inkling of an idea that really panned out for me in the end. Quite a complex mystery. And I have no idea how they almost pulled it off. This was a nail-biter for sure! I almost wish there were more books in this series but it seems to be a standalone.Great book. Highly recommended.I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow for the digital galley of Careful What You Wish For. Emily is a professional organizer and her husband, believe it or not, is a hoarder. Emily finds herself in a bit of a pickle, when two of her clients have her smack in the middle of some very serious trouble.From start to finish, I was completely engrossed in this book. There aren't any laggy parts. There is no lull. The story is swift and satisfying.The characters all kept my interest. Even the unlikeabl Thank you Edelweiss and William Morrow for the digital galley of Careful What You Wish For. Emily is a professional organizer and her husband, believe it or not, is a hoarder. Emily finds herself in a bit of a pickle, when two of her clients have her smack in the middle of some very serious trouble.From start to finish, I was completely engrossed in this book. There aren't any laggy parts. There is no lull. The story is swift and satisfying.The characters all kept my interest. Even the unlikeable ones and the not so bright ones. That is with the exception of Emily's business partner, Becca. Becca is barely present. I felt like she was always at an arm's length from the story. I don't feel like I ever got a good grasp on Becca at all. The end left me a little unsatisfied. It didn't have enough. Enough of what? I'm not sure. But, it just didn't feel like enough.I would recommend this one to thriller readers who don't mind a not so bright protagonist and would like a quick, engrossing read.
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  • Randi (randi_reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Emily Harlow and her best friend, Becca, quit their jobs to start their own business as professional organizers. What's ironic is that Emily's husband, Frank, is a man who loves yard sales/auctions and is a hoarder of all things in their basement.Emily is called by an elderly woman, who needs help cleaning out her late husband's belongings in a storage locker and then she has to meet another client, Quinn, who needs help decluttering her own belongings. A dead body turns up in the storage locker Emily Harlow and her best friend, Becca, quit their jobs to start their own business as professional organizers. What's ironic is that Emily's husband, Frank, is a man who loves yard sales/auctions and is a hoarder of all things in their basement.Emily is called by an elderly woman, who needs help cleaning out her late husband's belongings in a storage locker and then she has to meet another client, Quinn, who needs help decluttering her own belongings. A dead body turns up in the storage locker and, suddenly, Emily is caught up in (and a suspect) in a murder investigation.The story is kind of predictable-from Emily's first meeting with Quinn to the CCTV footage of "Emily." I didn't care for Frank or the way he treated Emily. He acted like he knew everything about the law and that she was stupid. He, also, seemed to shady about his hoarding.This was a fun, easy mystery and my first read by Hallie Ephron. I enjoyed it. It kind of reminded me of a Stephanie Plum mystery with a little less craziness. Thank you to William Morrow for the finished copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Ramona Mead
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun thriller that kept me guessing. It's a unique premise, a professional organizer who is married to a pack rat, who makes interesting, potentially criminal discoveries when she takes on some new clients. It was a quick, easy read, written in a simple straightforward style. The characters aren't exactly likable, but that added to the reading experience - it made me think a lot about the clutter I keep and what I would do in any of these characters' circumstances.Many thanks to NetGal This was a fun thriller that kept me guessing. It's a unique premise, a professional organizer who is married to a pack rat, who makes interesting, potentially criminal discoveries when she takes on some new clients. It was a quick, easy read, written in a simple straightforward style. The characters aren't exactly likable, but that added to the reading experience - it made me think a lot about the clutter I keep and what I would do in any of these characters' circumstances.Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Irene
    January 1, 1970
    Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron is a fun cozy mystery with a interesting group of characters. Included are snippets of organizing that are interesting and doable. Emily has her work cut out for her in more ways than one. Can easily see a series of Emily, her mom and Cassie and their clients' hoarder secrets. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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  • Lori Rader-Day
    January 1, 1970
    Hallie's best book yet.
  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    As of late, the US has been on a “tidying” kick – there is Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or the Netflix series it inspired, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, or even the book that Kondo was influenced by, The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi. But with the novel, Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron, we have the chance to wonder if a professional organizer and a hoarder can live together happily under the same roof. Emily Harlow started a social media sensation wi As of late, the US has been on a “tidying” kick – there is Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or the Netflix series it inspired, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, or even the book that Kondo was influenced by, The Art of Discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi. But with the novel, Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron, we have the chance to wonder if a professional organizer and a hoarder can live together happily under the same roof. Emily Harlow started a social media sensation with her time-lapse videos of decluttering her own stuff, but stays out of the basement where her husband keeps his “collection.” Until one day, by chance, she discovers something that sends this story spiraling in a new direction toward hatred, greed and murder. The characters in this domestic suspense novel are interesting, and the twists kept me guessing until the end who is trustworthy and who is definitely not. I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of #CarefulWhatYouWishFor
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  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR will almost certainly strike a familiar chord with anyone who reads it. Hallie Ephron has written several stand-alone works, each with a different but nonetheless memorable theme. She continues that streak here with a novel that neatly and comfortably straddles the domestic thriller and cozy mystery genres and is guaranteed to appeal to fans of both.When we meet Emily Harlow, she has made a successful vocational transition from elementary school teacher to professional CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR will almost certainly strike a familiar chord with anyone who reads it. Hallie Ephron has written several stand-alone works, each with a different but nonetheless memorable theme. She continues that streak here with a novel that neatly and comfortably straddles the domestic thriller and cozy mystery genres and is guaranteed to appeal to fans of both.When we meet Emily Harlow, she has made a successful vocational transition from elementary school teacher to professional organizer. The change in occupation was occasioned by Emily organizing her sock drawer, recording the process and posting it online. The popularity of the video led Emily to partner with a friend to form a business called Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers, which assists clients in decluttering their homes and thus their lives. The hook here is that Emily’s husband is a hoarder. He calls it a collection, but it is actually by any definition an accumulation. This contradiction of sorts is a source of subtle but very real tension in their lives, an 800-pound bear in the room that they each tiptoe around to varying degrees of success.Fortunately, Emily’s business keeps her plenty busy, and as CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR gets rolling, the Clutter Kickers acquires a couple of very different clients with somewhat similar problems. One is Ruth Murphy, an older woman who explains that she is a recent widow and has discovered that her husband had acquired a storage unit without her knowledge. She wants the Clutter Kickers to, among other things, inventory its contents and help her sort everything out.The other client is a young married woman named Quinn Newell. Her husband is a pack rat who won’t let her bring things accumulated during her single life into the house. She has decided to get rid of it all and needs the help of the Clutter Kickers to do it.All the while, Ephron’s narrative creates a subtle atmosphere that something isn’t right. Wait. Actually, nothing is right. Emily makes an extremely startling discovery in the Murphy storage unit that connects the two clients. She soon finds herself on the radar of the local police, thanks to some incriminating video and an untoward incident in a coffee shop. Things snowball until Emily finds that her life is very much in danger from an unexpected source and must rely on help from another unexpected source. By the time the book comes to its uncluttered conclusion, the reader finds that almost everything has changed, and not everyone who was around at the beginning of the story will still be there at the end.Ephron displays her imaginative talents at full wattage. Readers won’t be able to drive by a storage facility without thinking of Emily, and perhaps will wish that the Clutter Kickers were around to help them sort through their accumulations/collections/whatever and regain a room or five in their households. When one can identify with a situation in a novel, you know that it’s a good one, and CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR fits that description.Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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  • Coralee Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    In a recent online chat, Ephron said she doesn't write 'cozies', she writes 'creepies'. What makes a mystery a creepy, one may ask? According to a standard definition, a creepy thing or situation is one that causes fear or unease. This definition is so valid for Ephron's oeuvre, from her unsettling titles, to her plots that build tension to the point where one might want to read the ending first. In Careful What you wish for, I was truly tempted to do just that. What if a hoarder married an orga In a recent online chat, Ephron said she doesn't write 'cozies', she writes 'creepies'. What makes a mystery a creepy, one may ask? According to a standard definition, a creepy thing or situation is one that causes fear or unease. This definition is so valid for Ephron's oeuvre, from her unsettling titles, to her plots that build tension to the point where one might want to read the ending first. In Careful What you wish for, I was truly tempted to do just that. What if a hoarder married an organizer? Someone who has no difficulty culling last years fashions, or worn out furniture might be flummoxed living with a person who is incapable of parting with possessions. Frequent hoarders attach emotional value to items and may express extreme distress when challenged with removing them (i.e. "I had plans for that rock.") Emily, the organizer, has recently transformed herself. She created a wildly popular video showing the organization of a sock drawer. The video prompted a human interest news story, which in turn led to her leaving teaching and starting her own decluttering business. Frank, her husband, who lives for Saturday yard sales, has supported the change. Perhaps this new business will help ease the trauma of the couple's fertility problems. Emily's life is moving in a positive direction. Then, within 24 hours, two new clients request help. The first is a widow who has not been able to deal with her late husband's things. It appears that he had a collection of sorts that was kept in a storage locker. Emily and her partner, Becca agree to due an assessment. Later that day, Emily is asked to help someone who is acquainted with Frank's law partner. Quinn asks for help with sorting the possessions she brought to the marriage. Quinn is soft and waif like. Sympathetic to Quinn's distress, Emily breaks a personal rule, and accepts a glass of wine. One glass leads to another, Emily finds herself commiserating over Quinn's life with a hoarder, even sharing her own experiences with Frank. Wine besotted, Emily finds herself cheering on ideas of proposed mayhem plotted against the errant spouses. Thus, step by step, Emily has walked into a trap. One that does involve a murder. One that might result in her imprisonment. One that the police will not believe was a set up. It remains for Emily, together with her supportive mother, and Becca, to untangle the strings of deception. Ephron is a master at plotting. She sets the stage, leaves the clues, always plays fair, and leaves a reader thinking.."how did I miss that?"A creepy mystery is not one that is filled with blood and guts. Rather is it one that leaves the reader checking behind doors and bringing a flashlight to bed. Careful What you Wish For's, lovely plot and elegant style gives a reader everything they could wish for. Highly recommendedFull disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to William Morrow and Harper Collins for this opportuntity.
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  • Laurel-Rain
    January 1, 1970
    Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds. Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to de-clutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together the Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds. Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to de-clutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses. But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life. My Thoughts: I loved how Careful What You Wish For began immediately with Emily’s process of “sparking joy,” and I could visualize the delightful videos she created for her clients to motivate them in their own journeys.Of course, once Emily took on her two newest clients, one of whom had questionable items in that storage unit, I knew we were in for some darkness ahead. Now it was not so much about sparking joy, but about staying out of trouble and even staying alive. I was also worried about the newest client and where her odd behavior would take them.Could Emily turn the focus of the cops away from herself and on the path to solving the mysteries? Frank’s bossy actions made me dislike him intensely, so I kept turning the pages and rooting for Emily’s success. 4.5 stars.
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  • BOOKLOVER10
    January 1, 1970
    In "Careful What You Wish For," Halle Ephron taps into a challenging issue that has generated a multi-billion-dollar industry—decluttering. The author pokes a bit of fun at gurus who are making a mint trying to alleviate the angst of desperate hoarders. Emily Harlow, a former educator, quit her teaching job to become a personal organizer, and she uses photography as an important part of her sales pitch. Emily and Becca Jain, her friend and partner, encourage their clients to discard and donate e In "Careful What You Wish For," Halle Ephron taps into a challenging issue that has generated a multi-billion-dollar industry—decluttering. The author pokes a bit of fun at gurus who are making a mint trying to alleviate the angst of desperate hoarders. Emily Harlow, a former educator, quit her teaching job to become a personal organizer, and she uses photography as an important part of her sales pitch. Emily and Becca Jain, her friend and partner, encourage their clients to discard and donate extraneous stuff in order to regain control of their living spaces. Emily has a personal stake in this battle, since her husband, Frank, is forever picking up junk at yard sales. The Harlows' basement is crammed with so many bulky objects that it has become a health hazard.When Emily and Becca take on a pair of new customers—the first, a widow, Ruth Murphy, and the second, an unhappy housewife named Quinn Newell--they get more than they bargained for. Ruth tearfully informs them that the late Mr. Murphy passed away a year ago, but she needs help going through his belongings. Emily and Becca inspect a storage unit that Mr. Murphy had rented and make some unnerving discoveries. Adding to Emily's woes, Mrs. Newel is a demanding and bossy woman who vents at length about her personal problems. The setup is promising. Emily still cares for Frank, but his obsession with acquiring more and more possessions, in addition to their infertility issues, has created a rift in their marriage. Ephron ramps up the suspense when the heroine finds a dead body and becomes a person of interest in the ensuing homicide investigation. She has reason to suspect that someone may be framing her, but to what purpose? Although she is clueless and impulsive at times, Emily is also tough, tenacious, and determined to find out who is targeting her. Her sharp and effervescent mom, Lila, a retired librarian, adds spice to the story when she arrives to lend her daughter a hand. It is too bad that the novel's contrived, implausible, and overly pat conclusion is such a disappointment. The intriguing premise deserved a more coherent and believable finale than the one that Ephron delivers.
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  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    Review of Uncorrected ProofDespite her lawyer-husband’s propensity for collecting yard-sale “treasures,” professional organizer Emily Harlow and her friend Becca Jain are making de-cluttering their livelihood. They’ve given up their previous careers . . . teaching for Emily, nursing for Becca . . . to start their own business. Emily creates and posts freeze frame videos of vanishing possessions and prospective customers come to them seeking similar results in their own lives. As their client lis Review of Uncorrected ProofDespite her lawyer-husband’s propensity for collecting yard-sale “treasures,” professional organizer Emily Harlow and her friend Becca Jain are making de-cluttering their livelihood. They’ve given up their previous careers . . . teaching for Emily, nursing for Becca . . . to start their own business. Emily creates and posts freeze frame videos of vanishing possessions and prospective customers come to them seeking similar results in their own lives. As their client list slowly grows, the Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers begin to build their reputation.Emily cannot do anything about Frank’s growing stockpile of stuff since she and Becca have an inviolable rule that a person can only de-clutter their own things. Still, she frets over her husband’s growing accumulation of paraphernalia that’s rapidly filling the empty spaces of their home. When Ruth Murphy needs her late husband’s storage unit cleared out and Quinn Newell has a garage full of belongings her husband won’t allow in their house, both women come to Emily and Becca for assistance. And despite these seemingly-straightforward requests for help, a bewildered Emily soon finds herself embroiled in a spiraling-out-of-control situation that may well cost her everything.Although Emily seems to have cornered the market on too-dumb-to-believe decisions, the characters are credible; the writing is taut and compelling. The unfolding story addresses intuition and trust as it looks at how people judge others; at the same time, it inspires understanding and compassion. Unexpected plot twists, coupled with surprising reveals, keep the pages turning. As the suspense builds and the tension mounts, readers are likely to find that this creepy mystery, with its unique premise, sparks joy in their reading.Highly recommended.
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