Review Blog

Jan 31 2017

The Satanic Mechanic by Sally Andrew

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Tannie Maria Mystery bk. 2. Text, 2016. ISBN 9781925355130
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Murder. South Africa. Post-traumatic stress disorder. Bushmen. Once again Tannie Maria, who writes an advice column for the local newspaper, uses her unique understanding of food and people to solving a murder. The Bushmen have just won a court victory over their land from two large corporations, when their leader, Slimkat Kabbo, is murdered at a festival. At the same time she is fighting flashbacks to her violent marriage with her late husband, Fanie, while trying to establish a relationship with Henk the detective she met in the first book in the series, Recipes for love and murder.
Readers who enjoyed the first book, will have another treat in store for them. Newcomers would perhaps be best to read the books in order, however The Satanic Mechanic would stand on its own. Tannie Maria is a capable, caring woman, and her recipes are to die for. She had met and liked Slimkat Kabbo and is determined to find out who killed him, even though Henk wants her to keep away from murder. As she struggles with her PTSD, one expert prescribes diet pills and another, anti-depressants. Tannie Maria then discovers a group led by the Satanic Mechanic, and it is during these counselling sessions that she begins to find peace and encounters another murder.
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. Woven all the way through are little bits of advice that Tannie Maria gives to her readers, as well as the mouth-watering recipes that she has to help lift the spirits and keep bad thoughts away.
Although The Satanic Mechanic has some very dark and depressing themes, it is lightened by the humour, especially about Henk and his pet lamb, and the thought of all the delicious food and ends on a hopeful note.
Pat Pledger

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