CAN a woman with no detective experience and whose closest companion is her pet chicken solve a complicated murder investigation? That’s the question in Recipes for Love and Murder, the new local small town mystery series on M-Net (Sundays at 8pm).
Starring the award-winning Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander, Orphan Black, Kin) and Tony Kgoroge (Black Sails, Invictus, Long Walk to Freedom), the 10-episode series is as humorous and heartwarming as it is chilling and shocking. It deftly flits between moods and genres, and will make you chuckle as easily as it will make you gasp. It’s the perfect show to take over the primetime slot that traditionally has belonged to the Sunday night movie.
A production by M-Net, Both Worlds Pictures, AMC Networks’ Acorn TV and Global Screen, the series is directed by Christiaan Olwagen and Karen Jeynes (who is also the show’s writer) and is based on the acclaimed Tannie Maria Mystery novels by Sally Andrew.
Filmed in Cape Town, the Karoo and Scotland, Recipes for Love and Murder is set in Eden, a fictional Karoo town where everything is either freshly baked or homemade, where everyone knows each other, and where the biggest crime for police to solve is finding out who keeps stealing a tractor just to drunkenly drive it around.
The Gazette, Eden’s local newspaper (or “newsletter”, as the town doctor calls it) is struggling to make ends meet. So, in an attempt to please advertisers, its boss Hattie Wilson (played by Jennifer Steyn, Goodbye Bafana, Master Harold and the Boys) decides to start running an advice column. Recipe columnist Maria Purvis (Doyle Kennedy) does what anyone who wants to keep their job would do – she pivots, and starts a new identity as Tannie Maria, your friendly newspaper advice aunty.
But the first letter that catches her attention is from a woman in an abusive marriage, and shortly after Tannie Maria’s advice to her is published, the woman – Martine Burger (Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Fynskrif, Hole in the Wall) – is murdered in her home. This shakes up the town, and especially the women at the Gazette, resulting in Maria teaming up with her younger, feisty colleague Jessie September (played by exciting newcomer Kylie Fisher) to solve Martine’s murder.
The police now have a real – albeit gruesome – crime to solve, led by the mysterious and icy (yet secretly soft) top cop Khaya Meyer (Kgoroge), whose story unfolds as the season progresses.
The stellar cast of Recipes for Love and Murder is rounded off by Elton Landrew (Trackers, Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story, Fiela se Kind) as Constable Piet; Arno Greeff (Vaselinetjie, Vergeet my Nie) as Warrant Officer Regardt Snyman; Lee Duru (In My Country, Mama Jack) as Grace, a domestic worker whose story shakes up the town; award-winning comedian Alan Committie as Cornel van Wyk, Martine’s boss; Rolanda Marais (SLOT, The Seagull, Poppie Nongena) as Candy, Martine’s sister; Bennie Fourie (For the Birds, Mooirivier) as Dirk Burger, the main murder suspect; and Daneel van der Walt (Moffie, Kissing Booth, Arendsvlei) as Anna Pretorius, Martine’s grieving best friend.
Will Maria and Jessie prove an asset or hindrance to the investigation? Can they catch Martine’s killer, or will the killer catch them first? Was it really the husband who did it – or is the real culprit still hiding in the shadows? And why is Maria so secretive about her past in Scotland?
The murder investigation has several twists and turns involving ex-boyfriends, greedy family members, land development, religious fanatics, chaotic funerals, and pomegranates.
In Recipes for Love and Murder, nothing is as it seems – even in a sleepy and sweet little town called Eden. Join the conversation with #RecipesLoveMurder or #MNet101 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Fans can also read all about Recipes for Love and Murder on the show page mnet.tv