If you want a puzzling, stimulating, provocative, gripping, fascinating, in one word – interesting book; if you love eating, cooking, traveling, Miss Marple and mysterious crime-stories; if you would like to know how it feels to live in a mud-brick house on a nature reserve in the Klein Karoo (South Africa); if you are looking for the love-advice or a perfect plan for the murder – you have to read a book of Sally Andrew “Recipes for LOVE and MURDER”, where all …. life on the menu. Ain’t you hungry yet?
This book is hilarious! The main hero is Tannie Maria (or aunt Maria), 50+, who is way toooooo passionate about the cooking, nature and her recipe-advices column at the local newspaper ‘Klein Karoo Gazette’. One letter – many recipes – one crime…
Excerpts from the book:
1. “If you are honest with yourself,” I said to the potato salad, “is the feeling of love really any better than the satisfaction you get from a good meal?” Food is a good company, but it doesn’t answer back, not in the words anyway. Maybe that is one of the reasons why it is good company. But it did communicate with me somehow, because next thing I knew I was polishing off the leftovers of that cream and mint potato salad. My mouth was full of delicious flavours and my tummy full, and I answered my own question:”I think not.”
2. I don’t know how Elna knew about Dirk; I hadn’t told her. But that’s what it’s like in a small town. Sometimes news travels faster than the things that are actually happening. I was once told of an old lady’s death before she died. But she did die, the next day, so she managed to catch up with the news.
3. Suicide. Selfmoord as they say in Afrikaans: self-murder. Sjoe. In some ways it felt worse than murder. If a man treats a woman so badly that she ends her own life, it’s like he has killed her twice: her heart and then her body. When I was with Fanie I thought of killing myself. I even got as far as buying sleeping tablets. There was a pressure on my chest like a bag of potatoes. At least three women are killed by their partners every day in South Africa…I was suddenly crying. For Martine, for Anna, for myself. I hadn’t cried for years and there I was, crying for the second time in just a few weeks. Maybe it was not a bad thing. When I was finished, my heart felt a bit lighter. I hadn’t killed myself. I was here now, alive. I had chickens that gave me beautiful eggs, a stoep with the best view, and some real friends.
4. Now of course I was cross with Kannemeyer after that. He was stubborn. Rude, in fact. How could he leave without cake? But I was more cross with myself. I should’ve brought it out sooner.
I went into the kitchen and began icing the cake. IF HE HAD ONLY SEEN IT. Or smelled it. “I messed up,” I said to the cake. “If he had a taste of you, he would have agreed to anything I asked.” I licked a piece of rum-and-chocolate icing off my finger. “ANYTHING.”
I called the Gazette. Jessie answered.
“Kannemeyer’s come and gone,” I said. “Can you two come here for a meeting? I’ve got a chocolate cake asking to be eaten.”
“Yes,” said Jessie. “Tell the cake YES.”
5. 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-barreled shotgun
1 small Karoo town marinated in secrets
3 bottles of Klipdrift brandy
3 little ducks
1 bottles of pomegranate juice
1 handful of chili peppers
1 mild gardener
1 fire poker
1 red-hot New Yorker
7 Seventh-day Adventists ( prepared for The End of The Wolrd)
1 hard-boiled investigative journalist
1 soft amateur detective
2 cool policemen
1 handful of red herrings and suspects mixed together
Pinch of greed
Throw all the ingredients into a big pot and simmer slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon for a few years. Add the ducks, chilies, and brandy towards the end and turn up the heat.
Do you want to know the Recipe for Love? 😉 go read the book haha
PS. I’m still reading the book, in the middle right now 😉
The stories about the doors, Africa and Luke’s adventures coming in the middle of the next week.