A Tough Nut To KillA Tough Nut To Kill by Elizabeth Lee is the first book in the new “Nut House” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, February 2014

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.

In small town Texas, Lindy is working on a project to help the family pecan business when the black sheep of the family arrives with a message for her mama. When he is found dead on the family farm and Lindy’s trees are destroyed, the police arrests her brother who shouted to the world that his uncle had killed his father. When the cops appear to not be looking for the right killer, Lindy and her spunky grandma form an investigative team with help from an unlikely source, to unroot a killer before they strike again.

I enjoyed this new debut that started off a bit slow but as the story moved forward, it was full speed ahead as I got caught up in the family back story and I wanted to know who was behind the murder. There were plenty of suspects to keep me busy eliminating clues as it all came down to one hint and I enjoyed watching all the pieces come together for Lindy and her family. The townsfolk are a fun bunch that includes the senior twin sisters who bickers with the best of them, but are fun nonetheless and Ethelred who has her own agenda; and Miss Amelia and her “special pie.” This was a good read and I look forward to the next chapter in small town Riverville.

FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book, in the hopes I would review it.

previously posted on the Cozy Chicks blog

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