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The Satanic Mechanic

The Satanic Mechanic: A Tannie Maria Mystery

A Tannie Maria Mystery, Book Two

Sally Andrew

Tannie Maria writes the Love Advice and Recipe Column for the Klein Karoo Gazette: words of wisdom for the lovelorn, along with a recipe for something delicious that may help.

But Maria’s own problems resist her attempts to self-medicate, even with an amazing peanut-butter coffee chocolate cake. Her new relationship with Detective Henk Kannemeyer continues to be haunted by the memory of her abusive husband, and she decides to check out a PTSD counselling group run by a man they call the Satanic Mechanic.

But then someone is murdered—poisoned with mustard sauce—before her eyes, and Tannie Maria’s quest for healing takes a more investigative turn. Which means her intimate relationship with Henk is about to get professional. And more importantly, very complicated.

Have you ever wanted something really badly? You can’t just wait till it lands in your lap, but if you chase it too hard you might chase it away from you. Or catch something you didn’t expect. I was maybe too hungry for love and ended up with murder on my plate.Read an extract on the Text blog

Sally Andrew
About the Author

Sally Andrew lives in a mud-brick house on a nature reserve near Ladismith in the Klein Karoo (South Africa). She has published a number of non-fiction books and educational articles. The feel-good books Recipes for Love and Murder and The Satanic Mechanic are her first novels.

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Text publication date:
1 August 2016
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Praise for Sally Andrew
andThe Satanic Mechanic

Recipes for Love and Murder is chock full of good food and interesting characters.’

‘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.’

‘This looks likes cosy crime – and it is both funny and sweet – but it has a hard edge and doesn’t skirt the difficult subjects of South Africa’s history and the region’s huge problem with domestic violence. It is a culinary and linguistic treat too, packed with recipes and smatterings of Afrikaans.’

‘A clever, funny and warm-hearted debut crime novel from South Africa, that will make you laugh and cry.’

‘Andrew offers up engaging characters and a storyline with enough surprises to keep it interesting…Recipes for Love and Murder is easily digestible murder-mystery fare, with a love story or two thrown in for extra seasoning.’

‘A delightful debut, tender and funny.’

‘A blue-ribbon winner.’

‘Funny, serious and touching.’

‘A triumph.’

’Sally Andrew gives the reader a murder mystery with an original plot, a twist or two and quite a few red herrings…She laces it with plenty of humour, fills it with wonderful food, and wraps the whole thing in some gorgeous descriptive prose…[the] second Tannie Maria mystery is even better than the first.’

‘I enjoyed the characters, of which there were many but they were well-drawn and distinct, and admired Andrew’s evident love of her South African surroundings, which comes across in her descriptions of the landscape, animal and bird life, and her liberal use of Afrikaans. Her writing has a strong sense of place and the setting serves the plot well.’

‘Andrews adds lashings of colour to the mix; lyrical descriptions of life — and wildlife — in the bush, as well as the colloquialisms that give it such a sense of location. The deaths are served with a light hand — no guts or gore here — and, for dessert, a handful of the recipes.’

‘Food heals, arouses, coerces, and kills in Andrew’s sublime second psychological cozy featuring South African agony aunt Tannie Maria van Harte. Her food wisdom is universal, unassailable: potato salad eases worry; warm orange pudding makes one feel whole.’

‘The sights and sounds, animal life and community affairs of the Klein Karoo in South Africa, the huge diversity of people and cultures and the big issues that face the Bushmen, all form a fascinating background to the murder mystery. Readers who enjoyed the first book, will have another treat in store for them.’

‘Exotic and enchanting…All the characters in Ms Andrew’s evocative novel are finely drawn.’

‘This friendly novel is something to savour…especially in its assertion that there’s not much in life that the love of a little lamb, stalwart friendships, intimate relationships and several slices of the tantalisingly-titled Venus Cake can’t cure.’

‘Sublime…Tannie Maria’s authentic recipes for which Andrew credits many sources are easy to make far from the veldt. Her food wisdom is universe, unassailable: potato salad eases worry; warm orange pudding makes one feel whole.’

‘This wonderfully-written South African read will have you laughing all the way…The cultures and languages of South Africa are richly and beautifully expressed…this book is the sequel to Recipes for Love and Murder, but it can easily be read as a standalone book with its charm and loveable characters.’

‘Sally Andrew stirs up another engaging mystery in her second Tannie Maria novel, The Satanic Mechanic…Tannie Maria’s second adventure is like the meals that come from her kitchen: a bit eclectic, with many different influences, but ultimately a satisfying feast for readers.’

‘I really love Sally Andrew’s voice. It’s simple, stripped of all excess and cuts you to the core. Tannie Maria is a wonderful, warm, comforting character…At the same time, she is much more complex than that…There is so much character and soul in this series it’s impossible not to fall in love.’

‘Sally Andrew’s latest entry in her Tannie Maria series is an enticing, engrossing novel filled with charmingly fascinating characters, interesting subplots, believable psychological struggles, a delightful sense of place and yes, a mystery…If you’re looking for a good story with a lot of psychological development, great characters, and a wonderfully portrayed setting, this is it.’

‘Sally Andrew created a most unusual protagonist in Tannie Maria in last year’s Recipes for Love and Murder. The sequel is just as captivating—perhaps even more so—with The Satanic Mechanic, filled with eccentric characters, a budding romance, and an interesting mystery…Readers will end the book feeling they wish they knew Sally Andrew and Tannie Maria.’

‘Don’t miss this great story. Trust me. It’s darn good.’

‘Blending a madcap mystery with loveable characters, in the beautiful setting of South Africa’s rural Klein Karoo, Sally Andrew really does have the perfect recipe for a crime series.’

‘This book was like nothing I’ve ever read before and I absolutely loved it. The characters are wonderful and I fell in love with Tannie Maria from the first page…if you are looking for a series with a loveable amateur sleuth and a puzzling mystery without a lot of blood and gore, this is the series for you.’

‘Very readable, with a charm which is sustained to the last page.’