The Milk Tart Murders, by Sally Andrew
The following text is chosen from the first chapter of The Milk Tart Murders by Sally Andrew.
“I woke to the sound of swallow chirrups. Every spring they fly across Africa, down to the Klein Karoo. They already had one nest on my stoep, and now they’d built another outside my bedroom window. Made of mud, like my house. Henk grunted and rolled over, his arm falling across my chest. I was wearing my cotton nightie and he was naked. I smiled at this big sleeping man with his chestnut moustache and strong arms. My smile woke him. He propped himself up on an elbow. ‘Marry me,’ he said. ‘No,’ I said. My late husband, Fanie, had put me off marriage for life. ‘But maybe we could live together,’ I said, stroking the silver and copper hairs on his chest. ‘You could move in here?’ Henk turned onto his back, put his hands behind his head and looked up at the Oregon ceiling. ‘Maybe we should just leave things like they are,’ he said. Shadows fluttered across my sash window. Swallows, leaving the nest. ‘Is this about Norma?’ I asked. ‘All her stuff in your house?’ Norma was Henk’s late wife. She had died a few years ago, but his home was still full of her furniture and photographs. And recipe books. ‘We could go to a movie together,’ he said. ‘This afternoon.’ ‘But it’s Saturday. You watch rugby with Reghardt.’ ‘Jessie convinced him to go to Oupa Frik’s movie,’ Henk said. ‘It’s a love story.’ ‘Okay,’ I said. ‘But first you can help me bake a lemon drizzle cake.’ Henk pulled on his long-sleeved white shirt and blue jeans. I put on a green cotton blouse, long dark pants and khaki veldskoene. I brushed my hair, tidying up the short brown curls. Then I let my five hens out of their hok. They squawked and fluffed their rust-red feathers. I checked the ground for rooikat prints and the sky for hawks, but it all looked safe. For now. I threw the chickens a handful of crushed mielies. They gobbled this up then moved across to see what today’s special was at the breakfast buffet – the compost heap. Henk and I sat on the stoep and dipped rusks into our coffee and listened to the morning choir of birds. Swallow chicks were twittering softly in the nest above our heads. The sun lit up my garden and the veld with its thorn trees and my old friend, the ancient gwarrie tree, its canopy dark green. Beyond the veld is the Rooiberg and then the distant Langeberge. The Swartberge are behind the house, to the north. I felt grateful to all these mountains. For being there my whole life long. Other things change. People come and go. Even the trees change shape and colour. But the mountains are just there. Sun and rain and wind move across their surfaces. Light and shadows. But you can rely on them not to go anywhere. “People write to me with their love problems and I give them a little advice, and a recipe that I hope will help.” I looked across at Henk, who was also enjoying the view. We had been together nine months now. Sometimes it felt like he was as solid as a mountain. I was pretty solid too, but smaller, softer and rounder. The chickens joined a pair of robins scratching for insects in my veggie patch. [...]
This is an excerpt from The Milk Tart Murders by Sally Andrew.
Title: The Milk Tart Murders
Subtitle: A Tannie Maria Mystery
Author: Sally Andrew
Genre: Crime Novel South Africa
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa 2022
ISBN 9781415210628 / ISBN 978-1-41-521062-8
Softcover, 13 x 21 cm, 394 pages
Andrew, Sally im Namibiana-Buchangebot
The Milk Tart Murders
The Milk Tart Murders: A Tannie Maria Mystery placed in South Africa.
Recipes for Love and Murder
Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery in the Klein Karoo, South Africa.
Death on the Limpopo
Death on the Limpopo: A Tannie Maria Mystery taking place in South Africa.