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Murder Mystery Fiction Review: Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew (Tannie Maria Mystery #1)

Egalley thanks to Ecco

Synopsis from Goodreads
A bright new talent makes her fiction debut with this first novel in a delicious crime series set in rural South Africa—a flavorful blend of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Goldy Schulz, 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 through her work as a recipe columnist for the local paper, until the Gazette decides its readers are hungrier for advice on matters of the heart than for lunch and dinner ideas.

Tannie Maria doesn't like the change but soon discovers she has a knack—and a passion—for helping people. Of course, a recipe is always part of the remedy she offers. 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 own past—like a woman who contacts her desperate to escape her abusive husband.

When the woman is murdered, Tannie Maria becomes dangerously entwined in the investigation, despite the best efforts of a handsome detective named Kannemeyer, who is 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 . . .

Audible UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


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I've been approached to review this book a few months ago and decided to give it a chance. And I am so glad I did! Recipes For Love and Murder became one of my reading highlights of the year.

First of all, it's in a small South African town, and apart from Taylor Stevens work I haven't read anything from this continent for quite a few years. Secondly, it's infused with absolutely delicious cooking, and I admit, the promise of those recipes made me race through the book even more.

The atmosphere is indescribably charming. Tannie Maria is a comforting, gorgeous character, a mother hen figure and at the same time a lonely, sweet woman battling with her fears and insecurities the same way we all do.

The supporting characters are superbly written, starting from the local dialect and ending with peculiar inside jokes. Of course there is plenty going on with the plot as well. There is a great murder mystery which makes us jump from one suspect to another all the time, there is a delicious policeman, there is a girl with gecko tattoos, - a talented investigative journalist too big for her local newspaper, there are vegan Seven Day adventists and there are two enemies who start trying to kill each other in the most comical way, and end up uniting against the world.

The whole book is one amazing experience, suffused with love and passion for cooking and soulful, wonderful characters. I say, bring it on, Tannie Maria. We demand more! Absolutely recommended.

* * *

Меня попросили прорецензировать эту книгу несколько месяцев назад, и я очень рада, что дала ей шанс. Рецепты для Любви и Убийства стали одним из моих книжных фаворитов этого года.

Во первых, сюжет рассказывает о маленьком городке в ЮАР, и с этого континента я читаю книги очень редко. Кроме Тэйлор Стивенс пока никто из авторов в голову не приходит. Во вторых, книга наполнена шикарными кулинарными рецептами, от которых так и текут слюнки. Признаюсь, что обещанный список этих рецептов в конце книги заставил меня читать её ещё быстрее!

Сама атмосфера совершенна очаровательна. Танни Мария - милейшая, душевная женщина, по натуре своей наседка, заботящаяся обо всех окружающих. Но в то же время, она страдает от одиночества и пытается перебороть страхи и неуверенность в себе, которые знакомы всем женщинам.

Второстепенные персонажи тоже превосходны. Начиная с уникальных местных диалектов, оригинальных шуточек и заканчивая расизмом до сих пор пронизывающим все слои общества, они просты и искренни. И красавчик детектив, и молодая "девушка с татуировками гекко" - репортёр, которому тесно в местной газете, и даже пара ненавистных врагов, которые с самого начала совершенно комически пытаются поубивать друг друга, и затем объединяются против общего врага, все они тщательно и с любовью выписаны.

Сам сюжет оставляет нас гадать кто убийца, перепрыгивая с одного на другого подозреваемого до самого конца. Добавьте к этому вкуснейшие блюда, которые постоянно готовит Танни Мария, её колонку любовных советов в газете, и очень колоритный фон, и в Рецепты для Любви и Убийства невозможно не влюбиться. Очень советую!

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