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Careful What You Wish For

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,245 ratings  ·  257 reviews
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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.36  · 
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I listened to the audiobook for this and it was incredibly boring. This is a mystery thriller that feels about 50% contemporary, 50% mystery and 0% thriller. I don't really have muhc to say about this book other than that it was really slow, and the main character was really naive and drove me crazy. This thriller just wasn't really my thing.
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.
Lisa Leone-campbell
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it

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
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
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,
Kathy Vines
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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!
/ 5

Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron took me a bit to get into but once I did, I really really enjoyed it!

What it's about: Emily runs an organization company with her friend called Freeze-Frame Clutter Kickers, even though her husband Frank can't pass a yard sale without stopping and has filled their home with his 'finds'. They were trying to get pregnant and have so far been unable to which has added another strain to their marriage. But Emily takes on two new clients which will
Kathryn in FL
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
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
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,
Frank Phillips
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was pretty good, but just not great. I'd definitely categorize it as more of a cozy mystery and not a suspense/thriller. I was fully engaged and there weren't any boring parts, but I did find the ending fairly predictable. I'm still intrigued with this author and what her other books might be like, and will keep reading her.
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
Solid 3 stars.. This is a well written, easy reading book. I found it pretty predictable.. But for some reason I still enjoyed it. I think this is perfect for when you’re tired & don’t want to think, or maybe after a heavy hitter (like Tana French..) when you just want to relax. It was just good for me, but I’d be interested to see what else this author has in store.
Jacqueline (We Be Book'N)
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2019; William Morrow/HarpeCollins Canada
(Review Not on Blog)

I probably would have given this novel a higher rating, but I felt that the ending was a bit convoluted. I was hooked early on in the novel, and finished it in one day while I was cleaning the house (listened to this one on audio). This is a good "beach/rainy" day read. It wasn't a heavy or dull book, but it is one that also won't stay with you. As I write this review a month later, I don't really remember that many
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

A 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
Nov 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, 2019-abandoned
Like being left in an empty elevator with someone else's fart.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m rounding up on this one. Clutter clean up gone wrong. The good news... I wanted to clean up my house after reading this. The bad news... the plot was a mess.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This book was an enjoyable thriller/suspense story that would be an organized woman's nightmare. Emily Harlow has quit her teaching job to open her own organizing business with her best friend. They are hired to help an older widow clean out her home and a storage unit that she found out about when a bill arrived in the mail. What the ladies find in the unit is surprising. It appears that her late husband has been stealing books and documents from libraries. While hiring her mother to help ...more
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, ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
3.5 stars. This was a fairly predictable light thriller, but I was in the mood for a light, easy read and this fit the bill perfectly. Professional organizer Emily becomes embroiled in a murder case that links two seemingly unconnected new clients, and tensions heighten as the evidence seems to point to her. I really enjoyed reading this and in some ways it felt like a cozy mystery (professional organizers investigating theft from libraries seems like total cozy territory) crossed with a ...more
Edwin Hill
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
What do you do when you are a professional organizer and your husband is a "collector" of anything and everything? You get yourself involved in a complex conspiracy leading to murder. This is a great mystery filled with well-developed characters and a unique and timely story. The protagonist, Emily, is well drawn with a strong voice, but she's also surrounded by women from different generations, all with their own stories. A great read!
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Cassie-Traveling Sister-
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 ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
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
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Even the Ephron lineage and references to Marie Kondo can't save this mystery from being equal parts far fetched and dull . For the plot to work at all it requires the main character to behave stupidly over and over again.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
***Spoilers included***
This definitely wasn’t the most compelling choice I could have made for my first fiction read of 2020, but domestic “thrillers” are typically palatable for me even if they aren’t groundbreaking, and the element of hoarding was an added personal interest.

Plot: Emily (continuously called Emmy by people) is a former teacher turned professional organizer who goes into the business after a friend after she comes up with the genius idea to video/photograph items before
...more Mystery & Thriller
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
Debbie Oxier
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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Hallie Ephron ( is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense novels. Her last five have all been Mary Higgins Clark Award finalists.

Her (August 2019) Careful What You Wish For tells the story of a professional organizer married to man who can't pass a yard sale without stopping. In this respect, Hallie is writing from personal experience. Early praise comes from