Weeding Out Trouble (Nina Quinn Series #5)

Weeding Out Trouble (Nina Quinn Series #5)

4.6 24
by Heather Webber
     
 

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Landscaper Nina Quinn would do anything for her employees. After all, Taken by Surprise, her garden makeover business, wouldn't be blooming if it weren't for them. So when Kit Pipe, her right-hand handyman, goes missing, Nina immediately starts digging into his disappearance. But all she finds is Daisy Bedinghaus, Kit's ex—and she's dead as dirt.

An ex-con

Overview

Landscaper Nina Quinn would do anything for her employees. After all, Taken by Surprise, her garden makeover business, wouldn't be blooming if it weren't for them. So when Kit Pipe, her right-hand handyman, goes missing, Nina immediately starts digging into his disappearance. But all she finds is Daisy Bedinghaus, Kit's ex—and she's dead as dirt.

An ex-con who'd been dumped by Daisy not long before her murder, Kit's the prime suspect. But Nina's determined to prove his innocence and nip this whole thing in the bud. After all, it'll get her out of her all-too-crowded house, where her ex-husband the cop is recovering from a gunshot wound on her couch and her thorny new stepson is giving her the evil eye. But as she comes closer to unearthing the truth, Nina will find that facing the frost in her home is nothing compared to confronting the real killer's ice-cold stare.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic TimesBOOKclub
"Nina is a fresh welcome addition to the genre."
Mary Daheim
“Webber weaves a wondrous latticework of plotting and characters in her debut mystery.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“Nina is a fresh welcome addition to the genre.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061129728
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/29/2008
Series:
Nina Quinn Series, #5
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
4.00(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Weeding Out Trouble

One

Thou, Nina Colette Ceceri Quinn, shall never again break and enter. A commendable commandment if there ever was one.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't above bending the law every now and again, sneaking into somewhere I didn't belong, but I'd never actually broken anything to gain entrance. Until now.

Shifting my weight, I swung a grub hoe over my head, hitting the window above my head full force.

I ducked as glass shattered.

My breath plumed in front of my face in an icy cloud. A cold front swooping down from Canada had blanketed the Ohio Valley the night before. Forecasters predicted heavy snow to fall throughout the weekend, all but guaranteeing a white Thanksgiving in six days' time. A rarity around these parts.

Ordinarily, snow would throw my schedule into a tizzy. As a landscape designer I was at Mother Nature's fickle mercy.

Thankfully, come tomorrow, I had nothing planned, workwise, for an entire week. Plenty of time for the snow to melt and fifty degree temps to return to this area of Ohio. But right now I had bigger things to worry about than snow.

Frost crunched beneath my Timberlands as I set the grub hoe aside, my feet leaving icy footprints amidst the almost naked shrubbery.

The building I was breaking and entering into sat far from the road, surrounded on three sides by dense woods. Absolutely no one was around. I didn't have to worry about being seen or heard by nosy passersby.

My fingers flexed inside a pair of leather gloves as I knocked away jagged glass along the window frame, clearing an opening for me to climb through.

Only one problem. How did I get in?

I attempted to lift myself, but I barely made it a foot off the ground. It might be time to give pull-ups another chance at the gym, despite the fact that I almost suffocated myself trying them before.

Stepping back, I gauged the distance to the window and took off running.

I jumped, I leapt, I fell on my ass. Hopefully the shrub I landed on had already reached dormancy and would recover.

Before I seriously hurt myself, I looked around for something to help me up and in. I wasn't exactly known for my grace. Or my height. I'm on the shorter side of five-foot-five, and the window was a good five feet off the ground.

In the end I leaned the grub hoe against the stucco exterior of the building and used the top of the hoe's handle as a foothold.

My nerves were doing a jig in my stomach as I heaved myself up and perched on the window frame, balancing precariously. The muscles in my arms burned from the strain.

Definitely time to talk to Duke, my no-nonsense personal trainer, about strengthening my upper arms.

Wind howled as I peered inside a back room of an adorable ranch-style home that had been converted into Daisy Bedinghaus's holistic therapy business, the Heavenly Hope Holistic Healing Center.

Maybe twelve-by-twelve, the interior space looked like it had once been a bedroom, converted now into a treatment room. Angled diagonally, a padded massage table took up most of the area. Swinging my feet through the opening, glass crunched loudly as I found my footing.

I'd have to work on my B&E skills.

No, no I wouldn't.

This was the last time I was breaking and entering. It was a commandment now and forever. And once a commandment was etched onto my mental tablet, I rarely broke it.

Nothing seemed out of place. A tray of aromatherapy bottles sat on a small granite-topped counter. According to the labels, every scent from lavender to jasmine to strawberry kiwi and eucalyptus were in the small brown glass bottles neatly aligned against the tiled back splash. Stacks of pristine white towels in every size lay folded neatly on shelves above the countertop.

The door to the room was ajar, and I crept over to it, peeking through the crack. Every few steps I'd stop and listen, but heard nothing but my own breathing.

Quickly, I checked the reception area out front, then backtracked down the hallway, sticking my head into two other treatment rooms. Both were empty. I nearly jumped clear out of my skin as the phone on my hip rang. My current ring tone, the theme song from the Match Game, echoed through the empty building.

My B&E skills definitely needed honing. I'd forgotten to silence my phone. How amateurish was that? But wait, I reminded myself. There would be no more breaking and entering, so no honing of any kind was needed.

Well, except for the muscles in my arms . . . The phone rang a second time before I could pull it off my hip. Quickly, I checked the caller ID screen and recognized my office number. "Did he show?" I asked, hearing the panic in my voice.

That morning, Taken by Surprise, Garden Designs, my landscaping company, had started a full backyard makeover in a swanky development near the office. Kit Pipe, my full-time landscape contractor, good friend, and current roommate, had never arrived at the job site.

It was the first time in four years he'd been a no-show.

"No one's seen or heard from him," Tam Oliver said. I could hear the panic in her voice too. The jig in my stomach commenced to a full-blown hokey-pokey, shaking all about. It hurt.

"I take it he's not there?" she asked. Tam was my part-time office manager, full-time friend, and all around go-to girl. I couldn't run my business without her. Our friendship was just icing. She bore an uncanny resemblance to a young Queen Elizabeth, right down to the mannerisms and elocution. Except for her down-home Kentucky accent, she'd be a dead ringer. A hanging water feature burbled on the wall next to me; meant to soothe, I imagined. Soothing would be nice. But only one thing would calm me now.

Weeding Out Trouble. Copyright © by Heather Webber. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Mary Daheim
“Webber weaves a wondrous latticework of plotting and characters in her debut mystery.”

Meet the Author

Heather Webber writes mysteries in between running her three children to and from various sporting and school events, actively avoiding housework, and wishing someone would give her backyard a Taken by Surprise makeover. This native of Massachusetts was uprooted and transplanted to a little cranny of southwest Ohio shortly after marrying her high school sweetheart.

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Weeding Out Trouble (Nina Quinn Series #5) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun short Nina Quinn mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great one day read. really very funny in a dark comedy way.i recommend the whole series,also not too expensive.her books are about 200 pages a book.
wordbyword More than 1 year ago
This is a great series. Buy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore this series! This book was great - for lots of reasons. The characters in this book - and in the entire series - are so delightful and likable. Nina is one of my favorite characters and her "supporting cast" suck me into each book with lots of laughs. Just kick back and enjoy the ride with this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TXYellowrose More than 1 year ago
Loved all of the books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read from start to finish!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this series. Also loved the Lucy Valentine books.
Ladynono More than 1 year ago
As always, Nina Quinn is knee deep in dirt!!! This wonderful book takes you along with her as she tries to find Kit her beloved employee..you also see the escapades of all the social security neighbors, her stepson who she loves as her own, and of course the men in her life. You will find humor, adventure and mystery as you read this book. What more could you ask for in a mystery book???
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