I love the ability to read unique stories from all over the world, and today’s offering is no different. From author Sally Andrew comes the second in her Tannie Maria Mystery series, a South-African agony aunt who uses a unique form of advice for those who ask, and a penchant for solving mysteries. Please read on for my review of
The Satanic Mechanic
I couldn’t resist diving into this book, almost as soon as I got the copy, and have read it twice since: each time brings out something I missed in this lovely series by Sally Andrew. It transported me to the South African countryside, much as Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency did, ripe and rich with characters and old-fashioned advice and truths handed down by the locals we meet. Having not read the first (a situation I’ve remedied by ordering that book ) I was worried that I wouldn’t see the character development, or find myself horribly confused with the connections, and Andrew did a wonderful job of bringing the reader along, if not in actual “remember that this happened’ form, but with developing relationships that continue to grow and change as expectations and connections did.
Tannie Marie is one of those people who seems to understand that sometimes, all people want is to be heard, and pointed in the right direction. To that end, she writes an Agony Aunt column in the local newspaper, where she doles out advice, pain relief and recipes with equal aplomb, helping to mend issues in lives, health and relationships. Her curiosity and common sense go far, and when she discovers her co-worker is being sent to interview a renown San (bushmen), Kabbo, the leader, at a large music and arts festival, she decides to tag along.
Sitting with Kabbo at the festival, he suddenly drops dead, and the questions, not the least of which was who could have poisoned him with all of his security present, begin, and we are whipped through a whodunit plotline that is as twisty as it is engaging. Throughout the story, we meet Tannie’s new love interest, Henk, a policeman who isn’t thrilled with her curiosity regarding the murder, and as one of the men assigned to protect Kabbo, he’s also more than a touch guilty. While we have the murder and the chase to discover if it was the Agricultural company or the Diamond company, or someone entirely different that sent threats and then followed through with the murder of Kabbo, there is more to discover.
And this is where the Satanic Mechanic comes in. A former Satanist with a knack and reputation as a good mechanic, he’s struggling to make up for his old belief system and behavior, and wants to help others. To that end, he’s got a loosely organized support group to help members deal with PTSD and it’s effects on their lives. Tannie, now widowed with a tentative foot in a new relationship, decides to join this group to deal with her own issues: a long marriage to an abusive man have left her unable if not entirely unwilling, to move the relationship with Henk to a deeper level.
With everything going on, the two threads of the story move forward nicely, and there are plenty of secondary characters that add life, color and even some emotional moments to the story as they reveal theirs. Andrew uses ‘africanisms’ frequently, many of which are easily understood in context, but they all add to the atmosphere of the story, placing it firmly ‘elsewhere’, but moments to laugh, wonder and even just enjoy the banquet laid out to enjoy are many. And the recipes – oh you will be hungry too: from simple cakes and treats to actual entrees and regional favorites, the desire to taste the food as described, made by those with access to the ingredients and the flavors of the place are, at times, overwhelming. And, if you are like me, you won’t be able to put this one down after just one read.I can’t wait for the next!
Title: The Satanic Mechanic:
Author: Sally Andrew
Series: Tannie Maria Mystery #2
Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Food / Recipes, Humor elements, Murder, South Africa, Women Sleuths
Published by: Canongate Books, Ecco
Published on: 28 March, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 31 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
Meet Tannie Maria - recipe writer turned crime fighter - and before she has time to take her Venus Chocolate Cake out of the oven, our glorious heroine finds herself embroiled in another mystery.
In this wonderful sequel to Recipes for Love and Murder, Slimkat the bushman finds his life under threat and Tannie Maria is determined to find out who wants to kill him.
But her boyfriend is keen to keep Tannie out of danger, and she's pretty sure he's hiding something so Tannie has mysteries of her own solve . . .
Blending a perfect whodunnit with lovable characters, Sally Andrew really does have the perfect recipe for a crime series.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.