About the Book
Genre: Cozy Mystery, #1 in A Nut House Mystery Series
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Release Date: February 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lindy Blanchard has devoted five years of her life to saving the pecan trees on her family’s farm—but someone is going to deadly lengths to see that she fails
Riverville, Texas, is pecan country, and the Blanchard family farm is famous for its acres of tall pecan trees and the delicious pies and cookies sold at the Nut House, the aptly named family store. Miss Amelia, Lindy’s feisty grandmother, makes the best pecan pies for several counties and the farm is attracting visitors from far and wide to sample the wares.
Until the day Lindy walks into the greenhouse to find her uncle Amos murdered and her new stock of trees destroyed, with the best of the bunch stolen. Who is out to ruin the Blanchard family? And who wanted Uncle Amos dead? With the sheriff stumped, it’s up to Lindy and Miss Amelia to save the ranch and tree a killer.
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES
A Tough Nut to Kill is the beginning of a brand new cozy series, “A Nut House Mystery”. It took me a little time to get involved in the story and to warm up to the characters, but not too long. What a wacky group they are in Riverville, Texas. From the Blanchard family to all the townspeople, they had me laughing and shaking my head.
When rumors start flying that Miss Amelia’s mind might be going and that she could no longer make her famous pecan pies, someone destroys Lindy’s trees, and Uncle Amos is found dead, the Blanchards are convinced someone is out to ruin their family. To make matters even worse, Lindy’s brother Justin is arrested for murder. With the police feeling they have the killer behind bars, they are no longer investigating. It’s up to Lindy and Miss Amelia to prove them wrong and find out who is out to destroy their family.
It’s a solid start to the series and we get to meet the entire Blanchard family. By the end of the book, I felt as if I knew each one. The main characters Lindy and her grandmother, Miss Amelia, were fun to read about and are the stars of the show. They are their own version of Thelma and Louise. Lindy is completely devoted to her family, while Miss Amelia is high-spirited and energetic. Together, they are a force that can’t be stopped.
I have to admit, I did guess almost from the beginning who the real killer was but I still enjoyed the journey as Lindy and Miss Amelia discovered the truth. By the end of the book, I was craving for pecans. LOL The book just happens to have a few recipes to try out. I didn’t try them, but they look yummy.
I’m looking forward to book #2.
For reading challenges:
2014 ARC Reading Challenge
2014 Foodies Reading Challenge
Where are you reading? challenge (Texas)
Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies 2014
FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Author Guest Post
A TOUGH NUT TO KILL by ELIZABETH LEE
Murder is murder no matter where you come from in the world: despicable, unalterable, a terrible wrench to orderly lives. Especially orderly lives like those of the small town citizens in Riverville, Texas, where pecan ranches run along the slow moving Colorado River and everybody knows each other’s secrets and old sins and, well, murders just don’t happen among people like these.
Until Lindy Blanchard, of the Rancho en el Colorado, owned by an old and respected family in Riverville, finds her Uncle Amos dead on the floor of her greenhouse, one of her green plant stakes driven into his heart.
In the natural order of things Murder shouldn’t happen to a family like the Blanchards. Old stock. Hard working people. Got that fifty acres ranch with all those tall, old pecan trees, and The Nuthouse, the family store in Riverville run by Miss Amelia, matriarch of the family and grandmother to Lindy Blanchard, who found the dead man. The thing is, Amos was a kind of black sheep from way back. He’s been gone from town now for over a year, left after a drunken blowup at his brother’s funeral. Lots of hard feelings left boiling behind him. The police, including Lindy’s old friend, Deputy Hunter Austin, think they don’t need to look any further than the family itself to find their killer.
When Lindy’s brother, Jason, is arrested and charged with his uncle’s murder, Lindy and Miss Amelia (granddaughter and grandmother) form an unlikely investigating duo. The two wade though old town gossip, ferret out old lies, search hard: from line dancing at the local saloon for information all the way to Columbus, Texas, and on to Houston. This pair will do anything to clear the family name.
Lindy’s no V. I. Warshawski. No fancy dress and street smarts here. She bumbles into a lot of messy places.
And Miss Amelia is no Miss Marple. There’s no fluttering and fussing about her. She tells it like it is while still being the sweetest of southern ladies: “Dear me, why bless your heart but . . .” being one of her killer phrases, meant to stop a miscreant in their tracks. Good enough to stop a killer and clear her grandson, Jason.
Riverville will get back to a semblance of its old order. Gossip will go on under the big ceiling fans in The Nut House. Lindy returns to pouring over her botany books. The days are long and slow again. The Colorado is deep and muddy. But even now, growing in somebody’s head, is a plot to murder that will put Lindy and Miss Amelia right back in the soup sooner than they’d like to imagine.
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