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Publisher's Summary

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....

©2015 Sally Andrew (P)2015 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Sandra Prinsloo is perfect as Tannie Maria.... Prinsloo is excellent at portraying the story's many diverse characters and perfectly captures the serious scenes as well as the comedic ones. The South African/Afrikaans words and accent are a delight to listen to.... The audiobook is completed by a reading of Tannie Maria's recipes, which all sound delicious." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A unique and creative mystery set in South Africa

Tannie Maria has been writing a cooking column for the local newspaper in rural South Africa when the owners announce that The Gazette needs an advice column, but the only way to fit that in to us for pages is to eliminate Tannie Maria’s recipe column in Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew. Tannie (a term of respect) Maria solves the problem by combining the advice with recipes that will help the reader deal with the problem.

One of the first letters to arrive is from a woman being abused by her husband, who broke her arm and shot the ducks given to the anonymous woman by her dearest female friend. Tannie Maria becomes invested in this case, though she doesn’t know the identity of the woman or her friend, who also has written, wanting to know how long she would have to spend in prison if she kills the abusive husband in self-defense. The case also dredges up Maria’s own history with her own late husband, who abused her badly during his life. Unable to get up the courage to leave her husband, Tannie Maria is determined to prevent any other woman from having to suffer her own fate.

Then one day the newspaper gets notice that a police car and ambulance are on the way to a home, and it doesn’t take long for Tannie Maria to spot the feathers of a white duck in the pond. This is the home of her correspondent, and the woman, now identified as Martine, is dead. If this isn’t bad enough, her dear friend, Anna, gets charged for the crime. Tannie Maria gets involved in trying to solve the mystery, all the while finding her niche as an advice columnist who uses recipes to help people get help.

This book is very creatively written, with a great flavor of South Africa and a unique take on a murder mystery. The touches of recipes add in well to the story, in a unique method different than most culinary mysteries. The method of storytelling was original in its combination of advice columns, recipes, and details of the mystery.

Sandra Prinsloo performs the narration of this book, using a South African accent. This accent is quite different from the ones used by South Africans I have known, but the country is large enough that I’m sure its accents vary just as much as American accents vary. Prinsloo really enlivens the book and fits the voice of this middle-aged woman who has survived an abusive marriage.

Recipes for Love and Murder is a creative, unique book. Not your typical culinary mystery, the book includes recipes both within the book and in the appendix, though the recipes are used to help others find ways to become competent in life and love. I really enjoyed this book, giving it five stars!

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was looking forward to hearing this book

The narrator was AMAZING. She really drew me into the story. but the ending of the story was just okay. didn't really feel like a climax.

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A South African treasure

What did you love best about Recipes for Love and Murder?

As a South African who lives far from home, I relished the tiny details that made the book so exquisitely South African, and so "of the Karoo". Sandra Prinsloo did a marvellous job of narrating the story and capturing the characters' qualities.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The book is less about the plot (which is fun and not schmaltzy) and more about South African quirkiness and humour that has been so beautifully rendered.

Which character – as performed by Sandra Prinsloo – was your favorite?

My favorite characters are all three women - Tannie Maria, Jessie and Hettie -- each as distinct and "typical" of their backgrounds as can be. And yet they did not feel at all stereotyped.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed aloud, I chuckled, and I smiled as I listened -- I usually listen to book as I take a long walk or as I drive ... an antidote to getting stuck in lousy traffic. I experienced both deep pleasure as I listened and sadness as the book ended.

Any additional comments?

I did get a little tired of how much chestnut hair there was in the book :)