The Milk Tart Murders

‘The Milk Tart Murders’ by South African author Sally Andrew. Image via Twitter @Umuzites.

Book Review: ‘The Milk Tart Murders’ is a SA triumph of dark comedy

Sally Andrew shines in a new instalment of the beloved Tannie Maria mysteries. Full of humour and local flavour, this is not one to be missed!

The Milk Tart Murders

‘The Milk Tart Murders’ by South African author Sally Andrew. Image via Twitter @Umuzites.

Tannie Maria is back in Sally Andrew’s latest mystery, The Milk Tart Murders. The wait is finally over and readers can now dive into the hilarious world of Tannie Maria as she solves crimes in the small town of Ladismith.

Jam-packed with laugh-out-loud comedy, compelling characters, and a haunting mystery, The Milk Tart Murders is the perfect fix for mystery readers everywhere!

Sally Andrew’s first Tannie Maria mystery, Recipes for Love and Murder, has been adapted into an M-Net series and so far, South Africans are loving it!


The characters in The Milk Tart Murders will have you laughing out loud at some of their antics. Andrew has a magical way with words, creating characters we are all acquainted with: The grumpy old man, the town flirt, the rule-breakers…this book features them all!

But Andrew does more than perfectly capture small town life, she has created a cast of characters who tug at your heart strings with their flaws and troubles.

But what about the mystery itself?

A novel can have wonderful characters but a flat and lacklustre mystery at its centre. Luckily for Andrew fans, this is not the case in The Milk Tart Murders. The mystery is compelling and has many twists and turns that will have you hooked from the first page.


Who knew a Marilyn Monroe movie could kill you? When Oom Frik of Oom Frik’s Fantastiques dies during a vintage movie screening in Ladismith, Tannie Maria and her policeman boyfriend, Henk, are on the scene.

Ja, the old thrift-shop owner had a heart condition, but is there more to his demise? It’s rumoured that among Frik’s junk are valuable treasures, and the grumpy, paranoid old guy frequently altered his will…

When a second body turns up, there’s a clue: A letter addressed to Tannie Maria asking for advice…and a milk tart recipe!

The 50-plus agony aunt Tannie Maria and feisty young journalist Jessie conduct their own treasure hunt and murder investigation. The police are looking for the perpetrator too, but the amateur detectives have unique skills, and Tannie Maria’s food is a powerful incentive to get people to talk.

Maria and Jessie step into deep danger, but all is not doom and gloom. Spring has arrived in the Karoo, and Henk and Maria discuss moving in together, even though his home is still jam-packed with his late wife’s belongings.

Maria knows food has a way of filling the dark spaces, for better or for worse. Perhaps, once the Klein Karoo crime-buster’s work is done, she might follow her own advice and try a healing recipe.

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South African author Sally Andrew. Image via Twitter. @TannieSal

Sally Andrew lives in a mud-brick house on a nature reserve in the Klein Karoo with her artist partner, a giant eland, and a secretive leopard.

She also spends time in the wilderness of southern Africa and the seaside suburb of Muizenberg. She has a masters degree in adult education from the University of Cape Town. Before settling down to write full time, she was a social and environmental activist. Recipes for Love and Murder was her debut novel.

The Milk Tart Murders is published by Penguin Random House and is available at Exclusive Books for R297.