Summary and book reviews of Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

Recipes for Love and Murder

A Tannie Maria Mystery

by Sally Andrew

Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew X
Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2015, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2016, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky

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About this Book

Book Summary

A bright new talent makes her fiction debut with this first entry in a delicious crime set in rural South Africa - a flavorful blend of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency and Goldie Schulz series, full of humor, romance, and recipes and featuring a charming cast of characters.

Tannie Maria (Tannie meaning Auntie, the respectful Afrikaans address for a woman older than you) is a middle-aged widow who likes to cook - and eat. She shares her culinary love as a recipe columnist for the local paper - until The Gazette decides its readers are hungrier for advice on matters of the heart rather than ideas for lunch and dinner.

Tannie Maria doesn't like the change, but soon discovers she has a knack - and a passion - for helping people. Of course she shares her recipes and culinary advice whenever she can! Assisting other people with their problems, Tannie Maria is eventually forced to face her own issues, especially when the troubles of those she helps touch on the pain of her past, like a woman desperate to escape her abusive husband.

When the woman is murdered, Tannie Maria becomes dangerously entwined in the investigation, despite the best efforts of one striking detective determined to keep her safe. Suddenly, this practical, down-to-earth woman is involved in something much more sinister than perfecting her chocolate cake recipe...

ONE

Isn't life funny? You know, how one thing leads to another in a way you just don't expect.

That Sunday morning, I was in my kitchen stirring my apricot jam in the cast-iron pot. It was another dry summer's day in the Klein Karoo, and I was glad for the breeze coming in the window.

"You smell lovely," I told the appelkooskonfyt.

When I call it apricot "jam" it sounds like something in a jar from the Spar supermarket, but when it's konfyt, you know it's made in a kitchen. My mother was Afrikaans and my father was English and the languages are mixed up inside me. I taste in Afrikaans and argue in English, but if I swear I go back to Afrikaans again.

The appelkooskonfyt was just coming right, getting thick and clear, when I heard the car. I added some apricot kernels and a stick of cinnamon to the jam; I did not know that the car was bringing the first ingredient in a recipe for love and murder. But maybe life is like a river that can't be stopped, always ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Tannie Maria is the sole reason this series can work. Unlike many main characters in mystery novels, whose character traits are clear in the first 25 pages of the story, hers unfold slowly. She’s worth the wait though, especially with the inner strength she musters even after the horribly abusive marriage she had.   (Reviewed by Rory L. Aronsky).

Full Review (525 words).

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Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Maria, who frequently talks to her food, lacks the compassionate insight of Mma Ramotswe of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency fame, and her observations about the world are often less than profound.

Kirkus

Starred Review. A delightful debut, tender and funny. The mystery takes on the worldwide problem of abused women while revealing both the beauties and problems of South Africa. And the recipes will make you want to drop everything and start cooking.

Library Journal

Starred Review. While the tone is heartfelt, Andrew doesn't shy away from the realities of spousal abuse or the shadow of South Africa's tumultuous history. With a fascinating setting, engaging characters, and a full complement of drool-worthy recipes, this is sure to leave readers craving more.

Reader Reviews

Mary Allen Austin

Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew
I just finished reading Recipes for Love and Murder: a Tannie Marie Mystery by Sally Andrew. Andrews lives in South Africa on the nature reserve, Klien Karoo. This is her first book of fiction. I have only good things to say about her writing. It is ...   Read More

Cloggie Downunder

a stunning debut
“Recipe for Murder 1 stocky man who abuses his wife 1 small tender wife 1 medium-sized tough woman in love with the wife 1 double-barrelled shotgun 1 small Karoo town marinated in secrets 3 bottles of Klipdrift brandy 3 little ducks 1 bottle ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Childhood Food Novels

When my sister, Meridith, was little my parents' frequent dinner table entreaty was that she stop playing with her food. But she was an unstoppable force (a picture of her as a baby shows her pointing a crooked finger at the camera as if to warn the world to beware because she had lots of things to say and do). Mom and Dad soon gave up on trying to push back and, maybe as a result, Meridith is the finest cook in our household.

The Secret of EverythingPerhaps because of Meridith, I have a great affinity for reading about food, and seeking out those passionate descriptions seem like the highest holy order. I have favorite food-centered novels, such as The Secret of Everything by Barbara O'Neal, with its 100 Breakfasts Café in fictional Las Ladronas, New ...

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