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A Tough Nut To Kill
Nut House Mystery #1
Elizabeth Lee

Berkley Prime Crime
February 4, 2014 / ISBN 978-0-425-26140-8
Mystery – cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


Lindy Blanchard has been working to develop a variety of pecan tree that is drought resistant and disease free. She has her own grove and greenhouse on the family pecan farm, Rancho en el Colorado, in Riverville, TX. She feels she is close to a break through. Then her Uncle Amos comes back to town. Lindy’s brother Justin still thinks he had something to do with their father’s death – ruled as accidental.

Amos walks into the family store, called the Nut House, and says he has something to say to his sister-in-law Emma. Before he can cause a big commotion, Deputy Hunter Austen sends him on his way. Lindy drives her grandmother Amelia home and then goes to see her mother. After Lindy catches Emma up on the latest goings on in the Blanchard family, Lindy goes to check on her grove of trees and the greenhouse. The lock on the gate has been cut. Lindy sees that her grove of trees has been destroyed.

She calls the Sheriff’s office and speaks to Hunter. While talking to him, she sees that her office is on fire. She is able to put out the fire using the fire extinguisher that is on hand. Lindy then goes to the greenhouse and finds the plants have been destroyed. That is - the ones near the entrance. The ones further inside seem ok. Lindy races to the other end, but trips and falls - cutting her chin. Lindy has fallen over the dead body of her Uncle Amos. He has been stabbed with one of her plant stakes.

Sheriff Higsby thinks Lindy killed her Uncle Amos to stop him from continuing his destruction. Even her childhood friend, Deputy Hunter Austen thinks she did it. Lindy had better be very careful finding the murderer or she could very well end up shelled.

Things to ponder: Who was in Lindy’s apartment? What does Amos want to give Emma? Who is spreading vicious rumors about Meemaw?

I love finding a new to me author with a brand new series. I love the cast of characters the author has provided. This is a real page turner with many twists and turns. It kept me reading well into the night. I had to find out whodunit. This book does not disappoint. The author has thoughtfully included some yummy recipes. So if you like your mystery on the nutty side, then you should be reading A Tough Nut To Kill.

Reviewed 2014