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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 (424 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!”

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: 965 KB
  • Print Length: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Jinx Schwartz (September 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005S65704
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 80 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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40 of 41 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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28 of 29 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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74 of 86 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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32 of 37 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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28 of 32 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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12 of 13 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
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it and highly recommend it
I subscribe to a service that provides me free books for my kindle. I have collected and read hundreds of them. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Allan Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!! Good humor and lots of fun. As a boater who has been in...
Highly recommend this book, now I 'm reading Just Add Salt! We have also boated on the Sea of Cortez and have friends we've visited in Loreto in Baja so it made it extra fun!
Published 6 days ago by Darlene Bren
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series if it's your kind of humor; it's definitely mine.
Really funny and pretty well-written. Have read three in the series, to date, and laughed aloud numerous times. Read more
Published 7 days ago by ST
4.0 out of 5 stars fun read
This was a fun book to read. I will soon be living aboard so I like that someone is writing good fiction about live aboards!
Published 9 days ago by Cookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A fun series to read.
Published 10 days ago by curly
5.0 out of 5 stars Baja fun.
You will see my review on every Hetta Coffey. I’m a big fan. She has the job and boat I want. She’s cocky, yet vulnerable. Mexico can be trying. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mahree
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters!! Tons of FUN.
I loved each and every well defined character in this book. I wish I had friends like Hetta Coffey. The story took awhile to get exciting, but once it did, I was hooked. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Although this is the first in the series it was ...
Although this is the first in the series it was my second to be read. An enjoyable bit of light reading.
Published 20 days ago by Les Down Under
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Quirky 'sort of' Mystery
Just Add Water was quirky and fun to read. I love her original words and french accents. It is light reading so it is a great before bed read. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Linda L. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to see Hetta again!
Love these books and hope there's more to come. Hetta is a disaster waiting to happen and she always comes through! But in an interesting way I'd recommend these to anyone!
Published 20 days ago by Frickmom
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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.

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