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Just Add Water (Hetta Coffey Series, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jinx Schwartz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (507 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Just Add Water, winner of the National EPPIE Award for BEST MYSTERY.

Hetta Coffey is a globe-trotting civil engineer with a swath of failed multi-national affairs in her jet stream.

Plying the San Francisco waterfront, trolling for triceps, her attention is snagged by a parade of passing yachts—especially their predominantly male skippers—and experiences a champagne-induced epiphany: If she had a boat, she could get a man.

In spite of a spectacular ignorance of all things nautical, Hetta buys her dream boat, but a shadowy stalker, an inconvenient body, and Hetta’s own self-destructive foibles imperil her goal. Hetta Coffey brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “sink or swim!”

Books In This Series (6 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews


    5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Constructed Plot, Enjoyable Story and Colorful Characters, September 6, 2006
    FictionAddiction.NET - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Just Add Water (Hetta Coffey) (Paperback)
    Can't get a man? Just add water.

    Hang on tight for a rollicking adventure with Hetta Coffey, a globetrotting civil engineer with an attitude. After a lifelong swath of failed romances, Hetta prefers living with her dog and commiserating her single status with best friend, Jan.

    But old habits die-hard and one morning while brunching with Jan at the waterfront, Hetta's attention is snagged by a parade of passing yachts and their hunky male skippers. She decides that if she had a boat, she could get a man.

    Despite her naiveté of all things nautical, Hetta buys her dream boat and sets about learning to sail.

    A series of events, including a shadowy stalker and an inconvenient body threaten to imperil her new lifestyle. As her past comes back to haunt her, Hetta must use all of her gritty resources to foil an attempt on her life to figure out who is determined to kill her and why.

    Author Jinx Schwartz will need to change her name to Lucky when readers discover Book One of the Hetta Coffey series, Just Add Water. Schwartz has not only hit a home run, her first book is out of the ballpark.

    This book is a refreshing antidote to the seriousness of the mystery genre. Readers will fly through the pages in anticipation of what Hetta will do and say next.

    Schwartz ties up all the loose ends at the conclusion of the book, leaving readers eagerly anticipating Book Two of the Hetta Coffey series.

    From the Author

    Just Add Water, first in my Hetta Coffey series, was a delight to write and I hope my readers get a good laugh, or cry, or scare!

    Product Details

    • File Size: 982 KB
    • Print Length: 428 pages
    • Publisher: Jinx Schwartz (September 25, 2011)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B005S65704
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars not much time on the mystery plot of the story November 2, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I had expected an entertaining mystery...the key word is mystery. There was a mystery in the plot, but very little time in the book is spent on the mystery. The book starts out great and catches your interest immediately. It bogs down from about 1/4 into the book until the last few chapters. There is much more time spent about the main character's search for a boat, and discussion of her financial issues, fear of relationships, drinking/partying, relationship with her pet dog and job issues and minimal time on the actual mystery plot. That was what I found most disappointing. I think the mystery had great potential, but wasn't developed. I also wish much less time had been spent on the main character Hetta's drinking. This was a book with great potential but fell flat. The writer appears to be a gifted writer and her writing style is good, it just needs better plot development. The characters also need to mature. They are a bunch of 30+ year old adults acting like high school kids.
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    42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Sassy, and an excellent read November 12, 2011
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I was really thrilled to have gotten this fun book on audio,read by Beth Richmond. I recommend starting the series from Just Add Water. Hetta and best friend, Jan are on a perpetual man hunt as most their past relationships, haven't ended well. When the book starts out, Hetta is living and working in Japan and engaged to Hudson Williams, when he jilts her days before the wedding. He's packed his bags and off to catch a flight out of Japan but not before taking Hetta's ATM card and draining her bank account.
    A few years later Hetta is living and working in California. Had a couple unsuccessful relationships and she and her best friend Jan are always on the prowl for that elusive romance. Hetta's inspired one day while brunching at the marina, that if she had a boat they'd meet a lot more men. The antics they get into while pursing this goal are hilarious. Hetta is so headstrong and outspoken that she finds herself in trouble a lot. Hetta, has a lot of misadventures while pursuing this dream, from the flooding of her house to someone breaking in and going through her things. Hetta, gets into many funny and often serious situations. A corpse in her hot tub is the hardest to explain her way out of.
    If you enjoy a lot of fun and action packed adventure in your mystery books then you will love Just Add Water. It's well written, fun, and you will not want to stop reading. In my case listening. I loved this book. Kudos to Ms.Schwartz for writing something fresh and original.
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    30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Fun Read November 26, 2011
    By Jacquie
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This is the first book of the Hetta Coffey series and now I'm absolutely convinced that the author can provide not only great stories of intrigue, murder and cozy mystery but great fun and laughs. Hetta is an absolute riot - fun, funny and surprising in many ways - she's a colorful character with a capital "C".
    Even if you've never sailed or spent any time on a power boat, now is the time - it makes one want to sell out, abandon home and hearth and head for the salt water ASAP.
    You absolutely MUST read all of Jinx Schwartz's books - they are definitely in the hard-to-put down category and every one is an enjoyable read!
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    78 of 91 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars I am just glad it was free! July 26, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    As a PRIME member all I can say is that I am glad this book was free. I read a lot and this book was just awful. The main character has no character except to be sarcastic and mean spirited. She and her friend drink too much, swear like street teens, lie, and are generally obnoxious nasty women. The search for love is shallow and selfish. A love story with sailing implied some romance but there was none here. A romance only works when you can fall in love with the characters. Even the mystery part was tawdry at best. For a good mystery romance try Nora Roberts/JD Robb and others like her. Needless to say I was disappointed.
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    35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Glad to have finished it August 18, 2012
    By ginky
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Glad to have finished it, I thought it would never end. It was suppose to be a mystery but not really. Actually the whole book was just a prop for the protagonist. The protagonist, Hetta was the only well developed character, and quite frankly a little of her went a long way. She was self absorbed, neurotic & egotistical. Before I began this book, I downloaded two more in the series. I have not decided if I will read them or delete them. For now I am taking a break from the haughty, head strong Hetta.
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    30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Awful book March 20, 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    gave it a good try but it made me ill with all the sex talk and neediness of these women. I thought it was a mystery. It's a mystery it was published.
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    13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars More Chick Lit Than Mystery October 12, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Just Add Water started out strong. What's going on with this man? He's obviously being audited by the company he works for. What did he do? Why's he packing his bags and getting out of Japan? Clearly because he doesn't want to get caught. Probably an embezzler. And what's going on with this key that his fiancee has?

    Then the story begins and now its told in the first person from the point of view of Hetta Coffey. A bit of a jolt seeing as how the prologue was written in the third person. From a real strong opening this book goes into slow speed and drags along. Eventually Tokyo man makes an appearance and the mystery key is revealed. Slowly.

    Hetta is 30 something and needs to grow up and realize the party is over. If she quit drinking for a month she could probably pay off that credit card debt that was holding her back from getting a loan to buy a sailboat that she wanted. Part of a major lifestyle change where she sells her house and with no sailing experience decides to buy a boat to live on.

    The story just dragged along and then it became really weird when French words were continuously thrown in to the story for no particular reason. These people are in San Francisco not Montreal. Even though I grew up in a bilingual household I don't randomly throw out the French when I'm talking to people, not even when I'm talking with my Quebec cousins. I was really puzzled by the overusage of French. Then I remembered the times when I've been in Quebec and France and talking to someone and when I struggle to remember the French word I just toss in the English word and keep right on going. Perhaps the author has the reverse problem and when she struggles for the English word just tosses in the French word instead.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
    Before I finished reading this book I went to to see what other readers had to say about it. Mostly everyone said good things and I understand why. Read more
    Published 4 days ago by wordwitch
    3.0 out of 5 stars Slow start but cute
    Sassy and cute. Not a lot of intrigue though. Predictable, slow starting. More minor threads than mystery, but entertaining nonetheless.
    Published 6 days ago by smyle_b
    5.0 out of 5 stars best of a great series
    I started this series with a free book in the middle somewhere. But I loved the characters so much I wanted to read the series. Read more
    Published 11 days ago by jessesgirl1212
    5.0 out of 5 stars Saucy and sassy!
    A fun read from start to finish. Hetta Coffey is a woman making it - on her own terms - in a man's world (engineering). A dash of romance in the mystery adds to the tale!
    Published 13 days ago by WantedToLikeIt
    4.0 out of 5 stars So exciting and you gotta luv Hetta. I live ...
    So exciting and you gotta luv Hetta. I live on a boat and can relate to her problems. Can't wait to read the rest of the series
    Published 18 days ago by pattypilot
    4.0 out of 5 stars I like this series
    Ok, I really like this series. Wish I had read them in order, but am still enjoying them. Light read with likable characters.
    Published 19 days ago by Flippy
    4.0 out of 5 stars Jinx Schwartz did it again.
    I love the Hetta Coffey series. The main character is a riot. She keeps you on your toes and laughing all the way. I look forward to more of these stories.
    Published 22 days ago by Dawn Baca
    5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
    I chose this book because I wanted something light and funny and this fit the bill. I laughed out loud many times. Can't wait to start on the next one.
    Published 27 days ago by Susan Kuhn
    5.0 out of 5 stars JUST ADD WATER FOR INSTANT COFFEY
    Jinx Schwartz has fleshed out an awesome cast of characters! Hetta is the just the confident mound of insecurities that makes the reader anxious to get to the next installment to... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by kjkearns
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    A great interdiction to ms. Jinks and her hijinks
    Published 1 month ago by G. B. Wise
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    More About the Author

    Jinx Schwartz is the author of nine books, including the award-winning Hetta Coffey series. Hetta is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she's not afraid to use it!

    A ninth-generation Texan, Jinx has lived and worked all over the globe, and much like the protagonist in her Hetta Coffey mystery series, she's a woman with a yacht and not afraid to use it.

    Read more about Jinx at
    Follow Jinx on Twitter here:
    Stop in and say hello to Jinx here:

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