The colourful backdrop for this debut novel is South Africa’s beautiful but unforgiving semi-desert region, Klein Karoo.
Meet Tannie Maria, still bearing the psychological scars of her late husband’s brutality.
Although she lives alone, with just her chickens and local wildlife for company, she bakes cakes, milk tarts, rusks, jams and stews to dole out to friends and those who need them most.
Everything changes when she becomes an agony aunt for the local newspaper and begins her unique brand of rescue-recipes - mouth-watering dishes tailored to solve the problem.
But when she receives a cry for help from a battered wife who is found dead shortly afterwards, she becomes embroiled in a dangerous murder investigation.
Author Sally Andrew, who lives in a mudbrick house on a nature reserve and camps in the wilderness, was an environmental activist and it shines through in her passion for the land.
Bravo for a funny, poignant celebration of life, love and food, which handily contains Tante Maria’s delicious recipes at the back.
Recipes For Love & Murder by Sally Andrew is published in paperback by Canongate, priced £12.99 (ebook £1.49). Available January 21