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Just The Pits

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Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she's not afraid to use it! As a self-employed engineering consultant with a penchant for oddball—read: shady—projects, Hetta Coffey has a history of inviting trouble. But now that she's been hired for a legitimate mining project in Mexico's Baja, it looks like smooth sailing ahead...until she discovers that people and Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she's not afraid to use it! As a self-employed engineering consultant with a penchant for oddball—read: shady—projects, Hetta Coffey has a history of inviting trouble. But now that she's been hired for a legitimate mining project in Mexico's Baja, it looks like smooth sailing ahead...until she discovers that people and pesos are disappearing faster than you can say, "This job is the pits!" And Hetta Coffey as sleuth? Goodness knows she's nosy enough, but her detective skills leave a lot to be desired. Luckily for her she gets help from her best friend, Jan, and a mysterious Velveeta thief.


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Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she's not afraid to use it! As a self-employed engineering consultant with a penchant for oddball—read: shady—projects, Hetta Coffey has a history of inviting trouble. But now that she's been hired for a legitimate mining project in Mexico's Baja, it looks like smooth sailing ahead...until she discovers that people and Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she's not afraid to use it! As a self-employed engineering consultant with a penchant for oddball—read: shady—projects, Hetta Coffey has a history of inviting trouble. But now that she's been hired for a legitimate mining project in Mexico's Baja, it looks like smooth sailing ahead...until she discovers that people and pesos are disappearing faster than you can say, "This job is the pits!" And Hetta Coffey as sleuth? Goodness knows she's nosy enough, but her detective skills leave a lot to be desired. Luckily for her she gets help from her best friend, Jan, and a mysterious Velveeta thief.

30 review for Just The Pits

  1. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    Hetta Coffey and her gang again off on another adventure. The Raymond Johnson is moored at the harbor in Santa Roselia. Hetta has promised Jenks that she would not take the boat out until returns. Hetta has accepted a job at mine where higher costs overruns are occurring. The drive to mine on Hell Rise Hill is terrifying that she wants her own car. Santa Roselia is surrounded by volcanoes. Hetta spots a dog on the highway and decides to recuse him. Po Pong enters the story. The twists and turns Hetta Coffey and her gang again off on another adventure. The Raymond Johnson is moored at the harbor in Santa Roselia. Hetta has promised Jenks that she would not take the boat out until returns. Hetta has accepted a job at mine where higher costs overruns are occurring. The drive to mine on Hell Rise Hill is terrifying that she wants her own car. Santa Roselia is surrounded by volcanoes. Hetta spots a dog on the highway and decides to recuse him. Po Pong enters the story. The twists and turns of the story will keep you laughing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scot

    I had to force myself to keep reading this book. I found the characters and plot development to be unbelievable; the dialogue, which tried desperately to be witty and clever, was dull and forced. The author and all the other characters seemed to find the heroine a spitfire of energy, talent, and skill—I thought she was shallow, self-focused, inconsistent with her needy whining/I can do it all myself shifts, and actually disturbing with her ethnic slurs and penchant for doing whatever she wanted I had to force myself to keep reading this book. I found the characters and plot development to be unbelievable; the dialogue, which tried desperately to be witty and clever, was dull and forced. The author and all the other characters seemed to find the heroine a spitfire of energy, talent, and skill—I thought she was shallow, self-focused, inconsistent with her needy whining/I can do it all myself shifts, and actually disturbing with her ethnic slurs and penchant for doing whatever she wanted when she wanted. I get that it’s an escapist fantasy, and having best friends that include a millionaire, a sexy undercover international agent, and an Amazon martial artist/superb cook/sex goddess must be nice, but the constant retelling of what happened in all the previous books got old fast (not that I ever will read any of them anyway). There is a gratuitous anti-Muslim subplot thrown in to a story set in a Baja California mine near the Sea of Cortez for no other reason than, well, I guess the author thought it would make the main character more endearing. Hundreds of Goodreads raters seem to disagree with me, but I say life is too short and there are so many better written series in this genre—don’t waste your time reading in this series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erica Childress

    Fun. Full of adventure, drama, and fun. Love the series and don't want it to end. Don't want the series to end! Fun. Full of adventure, drama, and fun. Love the series and don't want it to end. Don't want the series to end!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rissi

    Oi! Got to chapter 13 and just couldn't take any more of Hetta's self-absorbed, not so funny, carryings-on. So long, Hetta. I'm off to look for a good book, with characters who actually do something and have real conversations with the othe characters. Oi! Got to chapter 13 and just couldn't take any more of Hetta's self-absorbed, not so funny, carryings-on. So long, Hetta. I'm off to look for a good book, with characters who actually do something and have real conversations with the othe characters.

  5. 4 out of 5

    R.P. Dahlke

    In Just the Pits, Hetta Coffey is naturally in trouble again--we expect that, don't we? But this time, The Trob (her sometime boss) is actually paying her to use her naturally nosey skills—which just makes sense, 'cause Hetta will dig at a problem until it either comes clean or bleeds to death. Some authors just get better and better, and Jinx Scwhartz is one of them! Just the Pits refers to the mine she's been hired to work at--uncovering the 20% overages in purchasing. Boring job? Nope, not wi In Just the Pits, Hetta Coffey is naturally in trouble again--we expect that, don't we? But this time, The Trob (her sometime boss) is actually paying her to use her naturally nosey skills—which just makes sense, 'cause Hetta will dig at a problem until it either comes clean or bleeds to death. Some authors just get better and better, and Jinx Scwhartz is one of them! Just the Pits refers to the mine she's been hired to work at--uncovering the 20% overages in purchasing. Boring job? Nope, not with Hetta, and the author has really let loose with the fun, even the Mexican's think she's funny—they're probably still talking about how she drove that monster gravel hauler through traffic, then ditching it to leave the federales scratching their heads. The fun never stops (and who doesn't need a good laugh) besides, there's a darn good mystery in it too. Pick it up, better yet, read all of them, you won't be sorry.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hayley Shaver

    I loved to read this book. Again, this book was startlingly good. I loved the plot line. Hetta Coffey gets a job at a mine to see why costs at the place are 20% over a very generous budget. The day before she started the job, a man was murdered that worked there, or was he? Can Hetta find out a few very crucial answers before she finds herself hurt or dead?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ellen White

    Hetta. In Mexico, hired to be a engineer consultant, of why they are having over charges. When a missing or dead guy turns up very much alive, but said it was the workers that were involved. The odd jinks we associate come into play and a different type of mystery comes into play. There is humor and with her friend Jan the plot is not dull.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Oops, just missed adding this to the series I read, another great book, can't say enough great things about this series, if you love mystery, adventure and a little romance tucked in for good measure, this series is a must read. Oops, just missed adding this to the series I read, another great book, can't say enough great things about this series, if you love mystery, adventure and a little romance tucked in for good measure, this series is a must read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    I love the Hetta Coffey books. Just can't say any more than that. She is a fun and scarey person to hang around, but everything always turns out ok. But don't be complacent. People, places and things are always at risk when Hetta is around. Just enjoy the ride. I love the Hetta Coffey books. Just can't say any more than that. She is a fun and scarey person to hang around, but everything always turns out ok. But don't be complacent. People, places and things are always at risk when Hetta is around. Just enjoy the ride.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kay Mcaloney

    Good book and I would recommend it. Interesting characters and a good story line. I love the writer's sense of humor and look forward to reading more from this author. Good book and I would recommend it. Interesting characters and a good story line. I love the writer's sense of humor and look forward to reading more from this author.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda T

    Lots of strong women in this book, which works for me! Baja California setting is well done. Plot is a bit contrived. I will probably read this author again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Judy Davey

    Another fun installment in the series I have read all the Hetta Coffey books in order. They are very entertaining. Recommended for any one who enjoys cozy mysteries with humor.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kat Lebo

    Just The Pits, Hetta Coffey Mysteries Book 5 By Jinx Swartz I’ve enjoyed getting to know Hetta Coffey and her circle of friends and family. I have 5 of the 6 books on my Kindle, missing only book 3. I started reading this series as a way to pass the days between Labor Day and the delivery of a couple of books in series that I follow – both are scheduled to arrive later this month, so I just may make it through all of the Hetta Coffey books by then. As usual, when you read a series, and especially Just The Pits, Hetta Coffey Mysteries Book 5 By Jinx Swartz I’ve enjoyed getting to know Hetta Coffey and her circle of friends and family. I have 5 of the 6 books on my Kindle, missing only book 3. I started reading this series as a way to pass the days between Labor Day and the delivery of a couple of books in series that I follow – both are scheduled to arrive later this month, so I just may make it through all of the Hetta Coffey books by then. As usual, when you read a series, and especially when you read the entire series straight through, without an intervening novel by another author, you get to know the characters pretty well. In this series, the only character I feel I don’t know well is Nacho, who surfaced in the 3rd book – the one I don’t have. But as for Hetta, Jan, Chino, Craig, Trob, Allison, Jenks and, even Hetta’s Aunt Lillian, I have begun to think of them as friends. However, this type of familiarity can sometimes also bring up annoying foibles, not so much in the characters themselves (they aren’t real people, ya know), but in the writing about the characters and their surroundings. For instance, in this case, at about 708 on my Kindle, Schwartz gives a thorough description of Chino’s whale watching camp set up. Then, at 908 (I know – exactly 200 location points later), she again describes the camp, sometimes in almost exactly the same words. Maybe because I really already felt I had a decent handle on how the camp would be set up in this novel from situations/descriptions from the previous novel, I found this double description very annoying. While I understand the need to explain things thoroughly to those readers who are reading this novel as a stand-alone book, rather than as part of a series, twice in 200 location points seems excessive. Other, at least to me, redundancies include (location 513) a description of the Raymond Johnson. Sigh, again, being a series reader I’ve seen this same description before (and yes, it seemed to me to be almost as if Schwarts simply lifted the description from earlier novels and plugged it in to this one). Again – I know the boat needed to be described for first time readers, but please, please, make the description at least sound as though it was originally crafted for this novel! Included in that description is Hetta’s explanation of how to pronounce the boat’s saloon. Yes, I know it is pronounced like a beauty salon and not like a wild west saloon – but would it really make a difference if a reader of the book didn’t know that? I mean, how many of those readers will find themselves making some huge nautical faux pas by mispronouncing this word? This pronunciation primer is included in every book of this series I’ve read to date. It just made me feel talked down to. On the good side, I don’t think either Hetta or Jan uttered the dreaded “lit-tle” in any of their conversations in this book. Either that, or I’ve become so accustomed to it that I no longer notice it (and it did not show up in a Kindle search). I was also a bit put off by what seemed to me to be two non-well informed and a bit racist comments about Muslims. The first occurs at 824: “..a silent hallelujah to Jenks in Dubai. ‘Course, Dubai being Muslim, I suppose that hallelujah had to bread through a few religious barriers,…” The word hallelujah is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Alleluia, which simply means “praise be to God.” Muslims might opt for the Arabic word which translates as “praise be to God,” Alhamdulillah. As Hebrews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same deity, it wouldn’t be wrong for a Muslim to say the word, although he/she might choose to use the Arabic word instead. Also at 5492 is this text about a criminal Hetta shot with a bacon rind buckshot load: “Turns out bacon rind boy is still part owner in a carnitas stand in Hermosillo and when that information somehow leaked out, his Muslim jailhouse buddies dropped him like a hot porker.” Not sure about this, but just as the buck shot infusion into his body occurred prior to his conversion, so would probably not affect his ability to convert to Islam, I don’t know of any restriction on owning an interest in a business that sells pork products, especially if the ownership predates the conversion. In fact, many Muslims own delis and groceries, etc. that distribute pork products to anyone who wants to buy them. Is it strictly okay for them to do so? I’m not sure, but just as good Methodists aren’t supposed to drink alcohol, but do, practicing Muslims sometimes have businesses that sell pork products (and alcohol, too, for that matter). Both of those politically incorrect references could have been omitted from the text in which they occurred without damaging the message of said text, unless, of course, the message of that section of text was to make racist remarks in the guise of humor. I also find Hetta a little (should I have said “lit-tle” for emphasis there?) too quick to opt for a gun to solve her problems. Yes, she finds herself in situations where being armed would come in hand – and in most every case, she either wasn’t armed or then had a form of buyer’s remorse about having used said firearm. Okay – so what did I like? I like that Hetta is so independent and that she is always willing to jump in with two feet, especially when her friends are in need, where so many others would decline to get involved. I like that, in most cases, it is her ability to think on her feet that solves the problem (well, with a lot of help from the likes of Jenks and Nacho) rather than the fact that she is good with a firearm. I like that Hetta has a sense of humor and that she is quick to trust, often when she should have been suspicious. I like that she is a loyal friend. I like that she is an animal lover. I was very happy to see her obtain a new dog, and I was happy to see the new dog have a different persona than the dear departed RJ. I like that the author does a bang up job of plotting, a decent job of editing and proof-reading, a great job of characterization, a nice job of pacing, and that she has a style of writing that keeps the reader engaged from page 1 through to the end. So, for all that I did not like about this novel, there was much more I did like. The next book in the series, Book #6 “Just Needs Killin,” is the most recent in the series, being published earlier this year (2014). I started it immediately after finishing this one. Will I read the next in the series when/if it is published sometime next year? I don’t know. Given how many of the items I listed above truly annoyed me in Book 5, it probably all hinges on whether I feel the same way once I’ve finished reading Book 6.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Jenks, Hetta's boyfriend, was on a job in Dubai--He made her promise that she would not take her boat out until he returned. Trob managed to get her a job in a mining operation. It seems money was missing and he wanted Hetta to ferret out who was doing what. Safe and simple? Not with Hetta around!! She is befriended by a guy in charge and other then nearly getting killed while being driven to the job site--things seemed normal. Because of the maniac driver she decided to go get her car and stay Jenks, Hetta's boyfriend, was on a job in Dubai--He made her promise that she would not take her boat out until he returned. Trob managed to get her a job in a mining operation. It seems money was missing and he wanted Hetta to ferret out who was doing what. Safe and simple? Not with Hetta around!! She is befriended by a guy in charge and other then nearly getting killed while being driven to the job site--things seemed normal. Because of the maniac driver she decided to go get her car and stay on her boat for the weekend. There was an intruder--and he had stolen her Velveeta Cheese! She calls her BFF Jan and they capture the thief-turns out he is supposedly dead? The good news is Hetta is able to rescue "po Thang" (a Golden Retriever-once they got him cleaned up) from the side of the treacherous highway! The thief starts giving Hetta clues and help on who is stealing funds--Jan is a CPA and a really good number cruncher-- There are many many many twists and turns in this one--What Hetta manages to do to get back to her boat is ingenious! And all this with Earthquakes disseminating the job site! Are the culprits found --were they really all culprits? Read this book to find out and have a million laughs along the way!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Awesome The saga and crime continue in Hetta style. Mexico appears to be a crazy place to live; but I bet the beaches are incredible. Hetta is assigned to a mining company that is monetarily questionable concerning large amounts of missing money. When she starts her investigation she finds lots of roads that lead in all directions causing more questions to be answered. Between her and Jan they had their work cut out. Between criminals, burned out boats, missing people, earthquakes, bulldozers and Awesome The saga and crime continue in Hetta style. Mexico appears to be a crazy place to live; but I bet the beaches are incredible. Hetta is assigned to a mining company that is monetarily questionable concerning large amounts of missing money. When she starts her investigation she finds lots of roads that lead in all directions causing more questions to be answered. Between her and Jan they had their work cut out. Between criminals, burned out boats, missing people, earthquakes, bulldozers and tsunamis ; they had gotten in deep. The only question is would they survive?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carol Lewis

    I really think this was probably a 1 star book but went ahead and gave it 2 stars just for the fact that the author is, indeed, a fair writer. However, in this particular book, the actions of her characters were not believable and neither of the two main female characters were likeable. I did not care about what happened to any of them, unfortunately. I will not be reading any further books in the Hetta Coffey Mysteries. However, I may take a chance and read a book with different characters writ I really think this was probably a 1 star book but went ahead and gave it 2 stars just for the fact that the author is, indeed, a fair writer. However, in this particular book, the actions of her characters were not believable and neither of the two main female characters were likeable. I did not care about what happened to any of them, unfortunately. I will not be reading any further books in the Hetta Coffey Mysteries. However, I may take a chance and read a book with different characters written by this author.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Chiarillo

    Wasn't real sure about this one, but, I truly loved the un-PC view & kept reading out of order. This series seems to allow that & I Loved that about this series!!! I actually spent ABOVE my spending limit on a book, since newly retired. I really need to STOP reading so much & get ahold of my retirement $'s! I'll probably back-track later! LOVED IT! P.S. I try to NEVER give up the plot! Much better reading that way!! Wasn't real sure about this one, but, I truly loved the un-PC view & kept reading out of order. This series seems to allow that & I Loved that about this series!!! I actually spent ABOVE my spending limit on a book, since newly retired. I really need to STOP reading so much & get ahold of my retirement $'s! I'll probably back-track later! LOVED IT! P.S. I try to NEVER give up the plot! Much better reading that way!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Appel

    There She Blows Hetta starts a three month job at a Mexican mine investigating cost overruns above normal. She gets her best friend Jan involved with the math side of things and picks up Po Thang, a lost or abandoned golden retriever. And of course, Hetta as usual finds trouble wherever she goes. This is the best series and highly recommend it to those who love humorous adventures.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Richard Howiler

    Another fun read I have loved every book I've read. Swartz writing style is so easy to read and makes you feel like you are part of the story. I don't believe in writing a review that tells the story. Suffice it to say...let the book speak for itself!! Enjoy! Another fun read I have loved every book I've read. Swartz writing style is so easy to read and makes you feel like you are part of the story. I don't believe in writing a review that tells the story. Suffice it to say...let the book speak for itself!! Enjoy!

  20. 5 out of 5

    PortCityDeDe

    Another Hair-Brained Adventure This was a great summer read. Once again, I'm longing for the Sea of Cortez. I probably won't run into Hetta but the descriptions of all her haunts sound like great fun. Wonder if I'll have such fun if purchased a 45-foot yacht? Another Hair-Brained Adventure This was a great summer read. Once again, I'm longing for the Sea of Cortez. I probably won't run into Hetta but the descriptions of all her haunts sound like great fun. Wonder if I'll have such fun if purchased a 45-foot yacht?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    Great fun in The Pits Hetta Coffey simply cannot stay out of trouble or out of humor! Another who-dunnit with the outstanding twists and turns to keep us guessing while we cannot help but laugh at her sarcastic genius.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Ersari

    Another great book! Hey ya is hired at a reopening of a nine in Mexico to find out where finds are disappearing. What she finds with the help of her best friend Jan, is more trouble than they bargained for. I love her adventures!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gail Baugniet

    Never a dull moment Hetta Coffey is always good for more than a few laughs and unending trouble. The bad guys always lose in the end while the biggest winner is always the faithful reader.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wendy H.

    These books are a light, but fully enjoyable, read. Having now read the first five books in the series, I am fully invested in the characters and love reading about them. It is more a light hearted caper than full blown crime but that is what expected from a cozy mystery. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  25. 4 out of 5

    L Kate

    Crazy Mystery in Mexico Betta hashed boat docked in lovely little Santa Rosalia when she gets a job at a mining camp. This job seems to include everything from murder, money mayhem, volcanoes and earthquakes. All the usual fun and chaos ensues. Great series!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nola Arganbright

    Delightful Hetta's fortieth birthday has her in a funk but a new job to occupy her time and supplement her bank account manages to keep the dreaded day off her mind. With her usual ability to draw unsavory characters and loads of dangerous situations she accomplishes her task. Delightful Hetta's fortieth birthday has her in a funk but a new job to occupy her time and supplement her bank account manages to keep the dreaded day off her mind. With her usual ability to draw unsavory characters and loads of dangerous situations she accomplishes her task.

  27. 5 out of 5

    William B. Dunleavy

    Just the pits is a good read I enjoyed the book very much . Good characters. My only complaint was too long to get to the meat of the story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gay Ingram

    No disappointment here. Author Jinx Schwartz maintains her high level of excellent writing. Look forward to the next in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Good book You people should just read this book yourselves and write your own review on this novel yourself and I really enjoyed reading this book very much so. Shelley MA

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charleen

    Keep it Coming. Great read action and on my toes. Really great storyline and attention grabber. Good work keep them coming. It doesn't get boring at all. Thanks! Keep it Coming. Great read action and on my toes. Really great storyline and attention grabber. Good work keep them coming. It doesn't get boring at all. Thanks!

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