Maria loves to cook and writes a recipe column in the local newspaper when one day her editor and friend, Hattie, asks Maria to begin writing an advice column with recipes included. Maria is skeptical but when the letters arrive she seems to have advice and the right recipes to help. Things seem to be going smoothly until she receives a letter from a woman who is being beaten by her husband and then the woman is murdered.
The local police take up the case, but Maria and Jessie, the other reporter at the paper, decide to investigate on their own and uncover the secrets of their small town in Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew. Set in a small town in South Africa, this mystery is meant to be savored with its descriptions of the land, the language, and especially cooking with recipes.