A very special welcome to Elizabeth Lee! Elizabeth has the enviable series title of Nut House Mysteries. So cute! I know it makes me feel right at home. But these are edible nuts, like pecans! A TOUGH NUT TO KILL, the first in the series, was just released on February 4th. Elizabeth has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of her book to one lucky person who leaves a comment here today. Good luck, everyone!
In A TOUGH NUT TO KILL, the one thing you wouldn’t call Miss Amelia of The Nut House in Riverville, Texas, is straitlaced. She may be seventy-seven but you’d better not call her “Dearie” or “Sweetie” or “Honey” either, unless you want that special pecan pie of hers to be served upside down in the box.
The Nut House is where a lot of the pecans grown on the Blanchard family ranch are turned into Sassie Tassies, and fried pies, and spiced pecans, and on and on—anything Miss Amelia can come up with, all very good according to the citizens of Riverville.
The thing with Miss Amelia and her granddaughter, Lindy Blanchard, is that when they get mixed up in murder, especially when one of their own family is accused of the killing, high dudgeon comes pouring out, and trickery, and investigative skills enough to rival Sherlock Holmes.
The only trouble with solving crimes, Miss Amelia finds, is that her time in the kitchen is cut way back. The Nut House could suffer. She figures she’s got to come up with something fast and wonderful to keep her customers happy while she’s out visiting suspicious new friends and calling on a few old buddies like the ‘girls’,’ a set of twins in their eighties who spend most of their time in the saddle, out shooting rattlers on their spread. The ‘Girls’ argue like two squirrels in a sack, but have a couple of solid ideas about human rattlers they’d like to take aim at.
Since Lindy Blanchard, like her meemaw, is creative and driven, the two of them find a way to intrigue and appeal to customers while still hot on the trail of a murdering wretch. What they come up with is adding a dash of Garrison Brothers Texas Bourbon to some real easy-to-make, do-ahead recipes, and then advertise them as all ‘Pure Texas.’
Nobody’s about to complain. That would be like turning your back on the Texas flag.
What Miss Amelia will tell you though, if you’re a teetotaler, is to leave out the bourbon in her recipe. Last thing she wants is your lost soul on her conscience. But, in fairness, she did add that if you’re having a bad day, maybe you just found a dead body or were out chasing a killer—feel free to go ahead and leave out the rest of the ingredients and just drink the whiskey.
Here’s her recipe for easy-to-make Texas Outhouse Moons.
TEXAS OUTHOUSE MOONS
1 cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 cups flour
3 tbsp. bourbon
2 cups finely chopped pecans
More confectioners sugar for rolling cookies
Preheat oven to 350
Cream butter and confectioners sugar together until smooth.
Add flour, bourbon, and pecans.
Shape into 2 inch quarter-moon crescents and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake 10-15 minutes.
Keep a close eye on these. They should be set, but not too brown.
When cool, roll in extra confectioners sugar and get the heck out of the kitchen.
Elizabeth Lee (aka Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli) lives in the north woods, back with the deer and the turkeys and the bear. She has published prize-winning essays and short stories but loves writing mystery novels. Her first was Gift of Evil, from Bantam, then Dead Dancing Women, Dead Floating Lovers, Dead Sleeping Shaman, Dead Dogs and Englishmen, and Dead Little Dolly from Midnight Ink. A Tough Nut to Kill is the first in The Nut House series from Berkley Publishing, part of the larger series: Soup to Nuts.
Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing for a copy of
A TOUGH NUT TO KILL!