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A Hoe Lot of Trouble (A Nina Quinn Mystery, #1)
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A Hoe Lot of Trouble (A Nina Quinn Mystery #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  991 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews

Meet Nina Quinn, garden landscaper extraordinaire and very amateur sleuth, in this charming cosy series that is perfect for fans of Carolyn Hart.

Nina Quinn has had enough of her cheating cop husband. His affair with his partner has driven her close to the edge--and him out of their home. Nina, the owner of Taken By Surprise, a landscaping business that specializes in sur

Paperback, 246 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Avon Books
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For Whom the Bluebell Tolls by Beverly  AllenA Muddied Murder by Wendy TysonBloom and Doom by Beverly AllenFloral Depravity by Beverly  AllenFlowerbed of State by Dorothy St. James
Gardening Mysteries
17th out of 20 books — 6 voters
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingA Fatal Grace by Louise PennyOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichMurder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews
Agatha Mystery Award Nominees and Winners
119th out of 128 books — 76 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,581)
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Dec 30, 2014 ALPHAreader rated it liked it
‘A Hoe Lot of Trouble’ is the first book in the ‘Nina Quinn’ cozy mystery series by Heather Webber.

The books opens with 29-year-old Nina Quinn stuffing photos of her cheating cop husband down the garbage disposal. Nina and Kevin have been married for eight years, he an older widower came into the marriage with then seven-year-old son, Riley – but after an incident with lipstick on his boxers, Kevin came clean to cheating on Nina with his new partner. Now Nina is living with Riley while Kevin sha
❂ Jennifer
I started this book thinking it was part of a series I'd read years ago, but this is a brand new series to me. After I figured that out, I enjoyed the book. Nina is a great character and she has an interesting cast of friends and family. The mystery was a good one, with an ending I didn't figure out right away - and I enjoyed the mini-twist at the end. I'll have to search out the rest of the books in this series.
Barbara ★
I've come to realize that I really like cozy mysteries. I read a lot of heavy books (pagewise not content) and these little goofy mysteries are a nice change. They are quick and easy to read with a satisfying mystery disentangled by an obviously naive protagonist.

Nina Quinn is a great character and she has an interesting cast of family and friends. I look forward to future encounters with Riley (and Xena) as he's a character who can become someone really interesting if given the chance. Though I
Connie N.
I really liked the characters in this book. So often cozies try too hard to be amusing or clever, but I think Webber's humor and delight in her characters came across naturally and enjoyably. Nina is funny without being sarcastic or tough, and I liked her sensitivity to stepson Riley and her friendship with her TBS employees. She's obviously a talented and professional women, but she's not afraid to show her doubts and foibles. The solution to the mystery was a surprise to me until close to the ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Vickie rated it it was amazing
I already love reading Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series and I am eagerly looking forward to reading IT TAKES A WITCH: A Wishcraft Mystery she writes as Heather Blake.

If I were to have a landscaping business, it would be like Nina's 'Taken By Surprise'. It's a way cool concept of creating a project in one day and surprising the client. I adore gardening and surprises.

And I adore a well written mystery. And this one fits that profile. It's a mystery that has me very happy to have a Nook so
Aurian Booklover
Jan 07, 2014 Aurian Booklover rated it really liked it
I love all of Heather Webber/Heather Blake’s cozy series I have read so far, so it was high time I picked up the first book in the first series. As it is out of print, I had to settle for the ebook though.

Nina Quinn has a very successful landscaping business and she loves her work. But her private life is going downhill, fast. She just discovered her police detective husband has been cheating on her with his new partner, and she has kicked him out of the house. Her 15 year old stepson regards h
Oct 17, 2013 Renee rated it liked it
Shelves: wcls
Have you ever been disappointed about a book and then said, "It isn't you, it's me."
Kristin Humphreys
Dec 30, 2011 Kristin Humphreys rated it it was amazing
Never suspected the killer. Great twist at the end.
Mary Ann
May 19, 2014 Mary Ann rated it liked it
I know, the last thing I need is to get involved in another mystery series. But I can't help myself and Heather Webber makes it sooooo easy! This was a quick and fun read. Nina Quinn is a great balance of brashness and vulnerability. Her relationships are complicated and layered but she is a loyal friend. The mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Farmer Joe is personal to Nina. This first in a series had a blend of tension and humor that kept the pace moving forward. Already have the ...more
Feb 27, 2014 Debbie rated it it was amazing
It's taken me awhile to get to this series and I wish I had started sooner. I loved this story. Nina is a down to earth woman struggling with a broken marriage, a stepson, business and murder. The comments she makes to herself had me howling, definitely my sense of humor. The other characters in this book are likeable and believable. I love her relationship with her cousin, and the nosy neighbor is similar to one in the neighborhood where I grew up. The murder kept me guessing and the side stori ...more
Jan 13, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
I originally picked up this book because I had read a review on someone's blog about Heather Webber's new book, 'Truly, Madly'. I discovered that it wasn't out yet, so I decided to read this book, which was one of her older books.

I think it started a little bit slowly, perhaps it's just me. I'm not that interested in gardening, and Nina Quinn is the owner of a landscaping firm that does one day garden makeovers. Nina's having a series of bad days, and it seems like things aren't getting better.
I'm coming to realize that I don't like straight mysteries. By that, I mean that no other genres are really blended in. Ms. Webber's Lucy Valentine series, however, has a mystery as the main focus, but also a paranormal aspect and an intriguing romance. (The Sookie Stackhouse series is similar in terms of genre-straddling.)

The point of the above rambling is that the mystery itself is many times not enough to keep my attention. Maybe if something more had developed between Nina and the Vice Princ
Jul 30, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I love Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series and her new Wishcraft series published under the name Heather Blake, so I thought it might be fun to read some of her earlier works like A Hoe Lot of Trouble. Here you can see vestiges of the Heather Webber I've come to love

I don't read many cozy mysteries, because I find them rather predictable. I have to say even though it isn't a heavy read, Heather Webber had me completely fooled. Apparently, plot twists are something she has always done well. I'
Jan 28, 2012 Bridget rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Since I came down with pneumonia shortly after Christmas, I haven't really been able to concentrate well enough to read anything. I am slowly but surely feeling better, and I saw this book was available (inexpensively) for my Nook Tablet, so I thought what the heck.

The main character is Nina Quinn, a landscape gardener who owns her own business, Taken By Surprise. Their specialty is one-day makeovers of peoples' yards and gardens. As the book opens, Nina has just found out that her police office
May 28, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book with a garden architect as protagonist. There were several intersecting situations to set the tone much closer to reality than most mysteries. I look forward to see if this continues and if Nina become more self consistent. I find it very hard to believe an active gardener, used to all the wildlife of a farm and garden should have pause over her son's familiar pet snake. The author needed to keep it at large to use it in the final confrontation but Nina's silly fear was not co ...more
Doward Wilson
Jul 07, 2015 Doward Wilson rated it it was amazing
Nina Quinn runs her landscape business while raising a surly teenage step-son and divorcing her cheating husband. She is earthy, honest, stubborn and loyal. I am glad that I found this series and started from the beginning. The characters and setting are realistic and entertaining while blending smoothly with the story line. The murder of her old friend and mentor puts Nina on the trail of corruption and coverups with a diverse lineup of suspects. This was one of the best plotted and twisted mur ...more
May 28, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Book!!

This is another winner for fans of Nina Quinn!! A great mystery with a lot of twists and turns.. Nina is recently separated from her husband and trying to figure out how to tell Riley,her stepson.. With some murders,old friends,nosy neighbor,and a pet snake on the loose in her house,there's never a dull moment in this book.. Highly recommend this book!!
May 07, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read by Heather Webber and it won't be the last! This was a very fun, engaging start to the Nina Quinn cozy series. Nina is a likable character, we learn at the start of the book that she is going through a divorce and will be raising her stepson as a single mom, but she remains upbeat and fun.

There are two mysteries going on here, one to solve a murder and a second to discover who is stealing hoes and other gardening supplies. The author introduces several characte
Jan 12, 2015 Stacey rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This was a great introduction to this series. It had the strong, quirky leading lady that I really enjoyed reading about. I was in a man hating mood so that also played in this book's favor. It was a good book that had all the twists and turns that I love in reading a good mystery. Being a former home builder I was impressed that she got the lingo and descriptions down and as always the nasty bloodsucking framer character was spot on. The characters in this book are great. You love the ones you ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those times that I accidentally bought a book I already had. I had bought this as a paperback prior to getting my kindle. When it came up as one of my kindle recommendations and didn't show that I already owned it (kindle version), I just assumed I hadn't read it despite seeming vaguely familiar. I purchased it and began reading. Oops, I have read this already! However, I'm glad I did this as it was a fun read. I did remember pieces of the storyline but unbelievably picked the wro ...more
Nov 18, 2010 Deena rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, bosler
I'm glad that I read a different series by Ms. Webber before trying this one. I'll read the next one, but this was... weak. The character of Nina is particularly poorly crafted, particularly with regard to believability (yes, I realize that one needs to suspend disbelief when reading fiction, but there needs to be consistancy within a story). That being said, the relationship between Nina and Riley rings true at certain points, and there are bits of Nina's responses to Kevin that are good too (a ...more
Jan 21, 2010 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, cozy-mystery
I'm so glad I learned of Heather Webber through Goodreads' First Reads program! I loved her new book Truly, Madly, which made me want to read her earlier novels. This book introduces the character Nina Quinn, an almost-divorced owner of a landscaping company who finds herself thrown into a series of confusing and sometimes dangerous situations. She learns that even though she never intended to become a sleuth, she's got skills for it, albeit rusty at first. I enjoyed the characters in the book, ...more
Paula Ratcliffe
Nina Quinn has her hands full between missing hoes and other gardening equipment to a local farmer being murdered and getting request to help, to a troubled step-son after her husband cheats on her and she throws him out.

When local Farmer Joe is killed she gets asked to help by Bridget, Farmer Joe's daughter in law little does she know that so much is brewing in this town. She also tries to find out what is up with Riley her step-son who seems very angry lately.

I really enjoyed this book and can
Mehrunisa Salim
Nov 02, 2015 Mehrunisa Salim rated it really liked it
Fun quick read! I would have given it 5 stars, but some of the characters just really annoyed me. Other then that I adored reading it.
Jun 11, 2015 Allison rated it really liked it
Really good mystery, didn't guess the culprit or ending at all. Enjoyed the interactions between Nina and her son, was less than pleased with her husband, Kevin though. Over all I really liked it and would read more in the series.
Dec 21, 2014 Kitty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I absolutely love Ms. Webber's Lucy Valentine series, so I was really surprised that this one fell so flat for me... just a "typical" cozy.
Jun 05, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I really like this author's writing style, its just so casual, and laid back, it's a really effortless read. Although this book was less happy-lovey than the last book I read by her, it was still very good. A great mystery, without being overly dramatic. Although, I think the main character is nuts, and I wouldn't do half the things she did (except I would have no qualms about living with a python temporarily-loose in the house, nor picking it up and putting it away if I found it...especially ju ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Even though the sleuth did some pretty stupid things, I really liked this mystery. I'll try more in this series.
Robin DeJarnett
Jun 24, 2009 Robin DeJarnett rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
I finally tracked this book down on MobiPocket. The author switched publishers, it seems, and this book is out of print.

While this is obviously her first book, it has the same flavor and convolution of her later mysteries. Riley, Nina's stepson is still one of my favorite characters, and seeing him from the beginning adds a lot to his growth as a character throughout the series.

As far as the mystery goes, Webber is good at creating credible red herrings. Though the sub-plot with Riley was pretty
February Four
Feb 28, 2016 February Four rated it really liked it
A fun read, and a lot going on at once, but ultimately good. On to the next one!
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Heather Webber (aka Heather Blake) is the author of more than twenty mystery novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake (mostly cookies). Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati are ...more
More about Heather Webber...

Other Books in the Series

A Nina Quinn Mystery (7 books)
  • Trouble in Spades (A Nina Quinn Mystery, #2)
  • Digging Up Trouble (Nina Quinn, #3)
  • Trouble in Bloom (Nina Quinn, #4)
  • Weeding Out Trouble (Nina Quinn, #5)
  • Trouble Under the Tree (Nina Quinn, #6)
  • The Root of all Trouble(A Nina Quinn #7)

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