What an amazing surprise these books have been. To think that if I hadn’t just wandered into my library to pick out some books based on sight and instinct I would have never come across these delightful novels.
In the second installment of Sally Andrew’s Tannie Maria Mystery series, Maria is getting closer to the police detective Henk after her kidnapping in the last book, but her abusive (dead) husband comes back to haunt her (figuratively) in the form of intimacy PTSD. Her friends and Henk encourage her to seek counseling. The first person she sees suggests she go on a diet (I will have some words about this in my next podcast as well as an essay coming in the future about the humanity of fat people) but then her friends say that’s bullshit (hooray!) and suggest a support group led by a former satanist from Hotezel (“Hot-as-hell”) and when she goes she finds safety, support, and murder.
There are two murders in this book, and they link together in an interesting way. What I found most enjoyable about this book was the support offered to Tannie Maria, almost to the point where I felt like I was reading a fantasy book instead of a murder mystery. No one judged her for her mental struggles? Everyone was so supportive? At one point I cried a little because reading this book, at times, made me feel like I was wrapped in a warm blanket eating chocolate frosted choco-coffee cake with everyone telling me that everything was going to be okay and that I am loved. That I am fine the way I am and that I have things to offer the world. Tannie Maria is so loved, and it was a joy to read a book where a woman is so encouraged and supported.
I have also never thought about traveling to South Africa, but now I want to see the sights, hear the language, taste the food, and hear the wildlife. Andrew’s descriptions are so vivid that you will see the kudu, hear her chickens in the yard, smell the citrus dessert as Maria pulls it out of the oven. The scenery, the sunrises, the culture…South Africa sounds amazing.
I wish that I knew about these books when they came out so that I could be as excited for them as I am for the third book that is on its way. Ms. Andrew Tweeted at me that she is about 80,000 words into a draft and I could not be more delighted. That’s an advanced reader copy that I would love to have and review ahead of its release. *fingers crossed*
If you are a busy woman who handles 95% of your world and deep inside knows she is taken for granted, that wishes she had more time to hang with friends or pursue her passions, please go get these books. Live vicariously and deliciously through Maria and dream of a time when you might whip up a four course meal in an afternoon while smartly sniffing out murderous intentions and making love deep into a South African night. These books are both a fun romp and a soothing balm for the female soul. Go get you some.