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A Tough Nut to Kill    by Elizabeth Lee Amazon.com order for
Tough Nut to Kill
by Elizabeth Lee
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Lindy Blanchard has devoted her life to perfecting the pecan trees on her family's farm. Trying to develop a hardier tree that could withstand heat and drought. After finding her Uncle Amos dead in one of her greenhouses, her life takes a turn from scientific work to detecting.

The family owns and operates a retail shop The Nut House featuring all kinds of pecan delicacies. When I lived in San Antonio for a year, I was amazed at all the pecan farms. Elizabeth Lee, author of A Tough Nut to Kill, uses the preponderance of pecans in Texas to good advantage.

Lee also uses the vernacular of the great state of Texas to make her characters come alive. Miss Amelia is the matriarch of the Blanchard family. Anything that affects her family, more than affects her. I wouldn't want to cross her. Her steely gaze stops folks in their tracks. Lindy is Miss Amelia's granddaughter and together they are trying to prove to the local sheriff that Lindy's brother did not kill Uncle Amos.

When someone ruins Lindy's greenhouses and destroys her test trees, she doesn't dissolve in tears. She gets mad. Someone better watch out.

The scene taking place in the Barking Coyote saloon is priceless I could almost smell the rank odor of old beer and hear the overly loud dance music and the toe-tapping of a line dance. The plot is more involved than it seems and is a gem. I think I met some of these characters when I lived in Texas. They are sure taken from real life.

A delightful book. I didn't realize who the baddies were until almost the end. Can you figure it out? BTW, the pecan recipes are worth giving a try. Especially the special pecan pies Miss Amelia whips up.

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