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....
"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)
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A South African treasure
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.
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.
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.
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.
I did get a little tired of how much chestnut hair there was in the book :)
- Amazon Customer "The Entrepreneurial MD business coach"