Mystery Short Take: The Satanic Mechanic – Sally Andrew

In a suspense fiction world filled with serial killers, dead girls and gratuitously detailed depravity, the intelligently written cozy is an increasingly rare bird. Thank goodness Alexander McCall Smith put a flag in the ground for smartly written cozies to gather round. Sally Andrews belongs with them.

This is her second South African mystery featuring Tannie Marie—a recipe writer turned sleuth. Like McCall Smith, this series offers a peek into another culture with wit, heart and a cleverly constructed plot. Kirkus called Andrews’ first book Recipes for Love and Murder, “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.” Strong advance reviews for this next book, too.

“Food heals, arouses, coerces, and kills in Andrew’s sublime second psychological cozy featuring South African agony aunt Tannie Maria van Harte, which also offers an immersion course in a polyglot post-Apartheid culture….When Bushman leader Slimkat is poisoned with honey-mustard sauce on the kudu kebabs, Maria suspects the white cattle baron whose land the Supreme Court awarded to Slimkat’s people….Tannie Maria’s authentic recipes, for which Andrew credits many sources, are easy to make far from the veldt. Her food wisdom is universal, unassailable: potato salad eases worry; warm orange pudding makes one feel whole.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Satanic Mechanic: A Tannie Maria Mystery (9780062397690) by Sally Andrew. $26.99 hardcover. 3/28/17 on sale.

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