10 Authors Like Mary Kay Andrews for Fans of Contemporary Women’s Fiction And Mystery Novels

If you’re looking for authors like Mary Kay Andrews, the authors on our list will keep you turning the pages. Discover your next favorite in our guide.

Mary Kay Andrews is a well-known American novelist who writes novels that fall into the genres of mystery and contemporary women’s fiction. She is the author of nearly 30 novels, several of which have reached the number one spot on The New York Times Best Sellers List.

The characters of Andrews’ novels are often strong women attempting to navigate the complexities of life, love, and profession in the context of small southern towns or on the beaches of the southeastern United States. If you enjoy the work of Mary Kay Andrews, you might also like the best Agatha Christie books!

Here Are The Top Authors Like Mary Kay Andrews

1. Debbie Macomber, 1948 –

Debbie Macomber
A photograph of a middle-aged woman with red hair

Debbie Macomber is a bestselling American author known for her heartwarming contemporary romance novels and women’s fiction. She was born in Yakima, Washington, in 1948 and began writing fiction in the early 1980s. Throughout her career, she has written over 200 novels and novellas, translated them into multiple languages, and sold millions of copies worldwide. 

Macomber’s stories often feature relatable characters facing real-life challenges, such as divorce, illness, and loss, and finding hope and love in unexpected places. Her books have been praised for their feel-good messages and uplifting themes, such as The Inn at Rose Harbor, published in 2012.

“When I first learned that Paul had been killed, the grief had been all-consuming, and I didn’t think I would be able to go on.”

Debbie Macomber, The Inn at Rose Harbor
The Inn at Rose Harbor: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Macomber, Debbie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 08/14/2012 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

2. Emily Giffin, 1972 – 

Emily Giffin
A photograph of a woman dressed in a floral dress standing with her left hand on her hip and smiling into the camera

The blockbuster novels of American author Emily Giffin that examine the difficulties of contemporary relationships and family dynamics have made her a household name. Giffin’s works have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into over 30 different languages. Something Borrowed, released in 2004, is one of Giffin’s best-known works.

The book’s protagonist is Rachel, a successful lawyer who develops feelings for her best friend Darcy’s fiancé, Dex. As the wedding draws near, Rachel must face her emotions and choose between being true to her friend or her heart. In 2011, a movie version of the New York Times best-selling book Something Borrowed was released.

“I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.”

Emily Giffin, Something Borrowed
Something Borrowed: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Giffin, Emily (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 354 Pages - 04/01/2010 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Press (Publisher)

3. Jennifer Weiner, 1970 –

Jennifer Weiner
A photograph of a middle-aged woman with mid-length brown hair, dressed in a white dress and standing in front of a body of water

American novelist Jennifer Weiner is well-known for writing contemporary women’s fiction, frequently addressing serious subjects with fun and compassion. In Her Shoes, is among her most well-known works. In the book, Rose and Maggie, two sisters who are entirely different from one another and have never gotten along, relate their experiences.

Maggie moves in with Rose, a successful attorney who her younger, more attractive sister has always overshadowed because of a series of poor mistakes that leave her jobless and homeless. The two women face deeper family secrets and personal struggles as they acknowledge their differences and grow to respect one another. A well-received film version of In Her Shoes was released in 2005.

“She might not have a great job-or, okay, after last Thursday, any job at all.”

Jennifer Weiner, In Her Shoes
In Her Shoes: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Weiner, Jennifer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 560 Pages - 08/30/2005 (Publication Date) - Atria Books (Publisher)

4. Jane Green, 1968 –

Jane Green
A photo of a coiffed woman smiling into the camera, wearing earrings, a necklace, and sporting shoulder-length brown hair

Modern women’s literature written by best-selling British author Jane Green frequently addresses themes of love, family, and personal development. She was born in London in 1968, and in addition to authoring more than 20 books, she has often contributed to several magazines and media sources. Because they both center on women’s lives and relationships and are frequently situated in tiny towns or closely knit communities, Green’s works and Mary Kay Andrews’ stories have certain things in common.

Along with creating realistic, sympathetic characters that readers can’t help but pull for, they both have a warm, engrossing writing style that blends comedy and emotion. Jemima J, The Friends We Keep, and The Beach House are among Green’s best-selling works.

“The woman on the bike raises her head and looks at the sky, sniffs, smiles to herself.”

Jane Green, The Beach House
The Beach House: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Green, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 364 Pages - 06/17/2008 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

5. Susan Mallery, 1970 –

Susan Mallery
A photograph of a middle-aged woman with strawberry blonde hair reclining on a white sofa, holding a white mug, and smiling into the camera

American best-selling novelist Susan Mallery is recognized for her works of women’s literature and contemporary romance. She was born in 1948 in California, where she authored over 100 novels and received several honors. The works of Mallery and Mary Kay Andrews are comparable in that they both emphasize small-town settings and likable, sympathetic individuals dealing with real-life difficulties.

Family, friendship, and community are topics that Mallery frequently explores in her writings, with a focus on the strength of female connections. Some of Mallery’s most popular books include The Girls of Mischief Bay, The Summer of Sunshine and Margot, and the Fool’s Gold series.

“As she finished speaking, her smile faded and a muscle twitched in her cheek.”

Susan Mallery, The Girls of Mischief Bay
The Girls of Mischief Bay
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Mallery, Susan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 409 Pages - 02/24/2015 (Publication Date) - MIRA (Publisher)

6. Marian Keyes, 1963 –

Marian Keyes
A photograph of a middle-aged woman with black hair reclining on a crocheted couch and wearing a chunky cable-knit pink sweater

Marian Keyes is an Irish author known for her witty and insightful women’s fiction books. One of the main similarities is that both authors write engaging stories featuring relatable characters facing personal challenges. In Keyes’ books, the protagonists often navigate issues like relationships, mental health, and addiction and are learning to overcome obstacles to find happiness and fulfillment.

One of Marian Keyes’ books that is especially similar to Mary Kay Andrews’ books is The Brightest Star in the Sky, published in 2009. The novel is set in a Dublin apartment building and follows the lives of several residents, each dealing with their struggles and challenges.

“The years have been good to you. It’s the weekends that have done the damage.”

Marian Keyes, The Brightest Star in the Sky
The Brightest Star in the Sky: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Keyes, Marian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 483 Pages - 12/17/2009 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

7. Cecelia Ahern, 1981 –

A photograph of a young woman with a blonde, pixie haircut and a sparkly blue shirt, signing autographs at a bookstore and smiling

Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern is renowned for her uplifting and inventive books. While Mary Kay Andrews’ books and hers may have distinct tones and subjects, their writing styles share some commonalities that could appeal to both writers’ audiences. The fact that both authors frequently infuse their works with warmth and humor, even when dealing with more somber subjects, is one area of similarity.

One of Cecelia Ahern’s most popular books is P.S. I Love You, published in 2004. The novel tells the story of Holly Kennedy, a young widow struggling to cope with losing her husband, Gerry. Before he died, Gerry arranged for a series of letters to be delivered to Holly at unexpected times, helping her navigate her grief and find the courage to move on. The book explores love, loss, and personal growth themes and has been praised for its warmth and emotional resonance.

“Holly held the blue cotton sweater to her face and the familiar smell immediately struck her, an overwhelming grief knotting her stomach and pulling at her heart.”

Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You
PS, I Love You: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ahern, Cecelia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 02/03/2004 (Publication Date) - Hachette Books (Publisher)

8. Olivia Goldsmith, 1949 – 2004

Olivia Goldsmith
A book cover with a photograph of two cities, New York and London, side by side, with arrows pointing to each in opposite directions

American novelist Olivia Goldsmith was renowned for her witty and compelling books, many of which were about the lives and relationships of women. The fact that both Goldsmith and Andrews focus on character-driven storytelling when they write stories is one of their key points in common. Like the women in Andrews’ novels, strong female protagonists in Goldsmith’s works frequently struggle to find their place in the world while navigating the difficulties of modern living.

One of Olivia Goldsmith’s novels that fans of Mary Kay Andrews might enjoy is The First Wives Club. The book tells the story of three middle-aged women who were all dumped by their wealthy and successful husbands for younger women. The women band together to get revenge and reclaim their lives, using their intelligence, wit, and charm to outsmart their ex-husbands.

“A thin, tanned arm snaked out from under the blankets, reaching expertly for the receiver without upsetting the lowers or the books.”

Olivia Goldsmith, The First Wives Club
The First Wives Club
  • Hardcover Book
  • Goldsmith, Olivia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 03/15/1992 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

9. Maggie Barbieri, 1954 –

Maggie Barbieri
A photograph of a happy-looking middle-aged woman with brown hair leaning against a stair banister and smiling into the camera

It’s probable that readers who like Mary Kay Andrews will appreciate Maggie Barbieri’s writings. American mystery and crime fiction novelist Barbieri share certain parallels with Andrews’ works, even if her books may have a different tone and cover different topics. Barbieri’s works frequently have to deal with complex personal and professional problems. These writers also write novels that have a strong feeling of family and community and are frequently situated in tiny towns or close-knit communities.

One of Maggie Barbieri’s most popular books that fans of Mary Kay Andrews might enjoy is Murder 101, the first novel in her Murder 101 mystery series. The book follows the story of Alison Bergeron, an English professor at a small college in Upstate New York, who gets caught up in a murder investigation when a colleague is found dead on campus.

“I stood up and slammed my file cabinet shut and turned to face her.”

Maggie Barbieri, Murder 101
Murder 101 (A Murder 101 Mystery Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Barbieri, Maggie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 321 Pages - 11/27/2007 (Publication Date) - Minotaur Books (Publisher)

10. Jeanne Ray, 1952 –

Jeanne Ray
A book cover drawing of a colorful florist shop with a green striped awning and an abundance of multi-colored flowers

Jeanne Ray is an American author known for her heartwarming and often humorous novels. She was born in 1948 in Tennessee and worked as a registered nurse and an English teacher before turning to writing. One of Ray’s most popular books is Julie and Romeo, published in 2000. The novel tells the story of two feuding florists, Julie Roseman and Romeo Cacciamani, who are forced to work together to save their struggling businesses.

They begin to fall in love as they navigate their differences and work to put aside their past conflicts. Julie and Romeo is a witty and engaging story that explores themes of family, love, and second chances, similar to Mary Kay Andrews’ books. Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best romance authors!

“I had given up on sexy shoes back when the girls were born.”

Jeanne Ray, Julie and Romeo
Julie and Romeo: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ray, Jeanne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 242 Pages - 02/08/2012 (Publication Date) - Crown (Publisher)

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

Powered by ConvertKit