Just the Pits (Hetta Coffey Series) (Volume 5) by Jinx Schwartz

Just the Pits by Jinx SchwartzReviewed by Teri Davis

Having a job that allows you to travel in your own yacht is perfect for Hetta Coffey. Her yacht, named the Raymond Johnson, makes life a little easier when your destination is close to a harbor and convenient with a home that is wherever you drop anchor.

So being a self-employed engineer contractor who is portable sometimes places her in awkward situations with the male dominated mining industry for her newest assignment. Hetta’s long-time friend and employer, Trob, realizes her resourcefulness as well as her commitment to getting a job completely, quickly and efficiently, also knows that he can rely on her to solve any problems or situations, even those involving danger.

This latest opportunity places her at a mining facility near the historic town of Santa Rosalia, Mexico in the Baja. So far, there is a problem with exorbitant cost overruns and people who work with company seem to be disappearing. Are the two linked?

As usual, Hetta’s love, Jenks is as usual, independently completing an assignment in Dubai. Even though they Skype frequently, Hetta still feels abandoned. To help with her loneliness, Jan, her long time friend, agrees to stay with her for awhile. Jan has her own problems and is probably best to also take a break from the man who loves her. These two women do find love in the form of an abandoned dog which is appropriately named, Po Thang.

The characters in this latest installment are realistic with the continuation of friendships from the previous novels. The new characters definitely make you wonder about who you can trust and who is out to get you, or steal your Velveeta. (Yes, Velveeta is stolen from Hetta’s yacht. This is not something that is easy to replace in a Mexican port.) Whether being a passenger in a vehicle that is unquestionably speeding up and down a narrow mountain road , Hetta’s and Jan’s snooping and investigating create uncomfortable and often humorous situations, reminiscent of Lucy and Ethel, both at the marina or the office.

While hiding someone that is suppose to be dead, there are always the questions about honesty and who has ulterior motives. The story has constant action and adventure in Just the Pits as also in these prior novels featuring Hetta. With each installment, these characters feel like a reunion with old friends.

Just the Pits is the fifth in this series by Jinx Schwartz. Because of the characters evolving throughout the series, I would not recommend this as a standalone novel, but could easily be enjoyed after reading the first book in the series, Just Add Water. The introduction of many minor characters later on are well-established in this book. Jinx Schwartz uses many of her own experiences traveling on a boat part of the year and the other part in landlocked Arizona.

Just the Pits is a delightful, fun adventure for adult readers from an author that might not be well-known but who is a masterful and wonderful storyteller.

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