It’s rare to find a crime drama that also leaves you with mouth-watering envy, but Recipes for Love and Murder is exactly that show.
Starring Outlander‘s Maria Doyle Kennedy, the Karoo, South African-set series based on Sally Andrew’s best-selling A Tannie Maria Mystery novels puts food and crime hand-in-hand with Kennedy’s character. Working at the local newspaper, Tannie Maria’s recipe writing hits a roadblock when her editor informs her that the column is being cut from the publication.
Instead, the paper is making room for an advice column and so Tannie Maria applies for the gig, offering advice and recipes to readers. Things take an unexpected turn though when a woman she was corresponding with about her abusive husband is found dead.
While she teams up with her colleague Jessie September (Kylie Fisher) to try and uncover the mystery, she’s continuing to test new recipes, offer advice, and help foster romance around the community through her contributions. Despite the crime element, don’t expect anything supremely dark tone-wise because this series is as full of bright moments as it is full of mystery.
“There was a lot of scripts about serial killers and the many ways they dispose of women, and I was so tired of it and it was starting to make me a little bit angry,” Kennedy says candidly about the genre and scripts she’d been receiving. “I read Recipes for Love and Murder, and I just thought, ‘oh my God, what a beautiful thing, what an amazing opportunity to be part of something that’s so tender and joyful.’”
On the surface, Tannie Maria is quite put together, living her life on a South African farm where she completes chores alongside her pet chicken Morag. But Kennedy warns, “Tannie Maria herself is quite a complicated character. What you see is definitely not what you get.” Underneath it all, Kennedy shares, “she goes about the day by repressing her feelings and trying to give out as much as she can and trying not to let anybody in.”
One thing viewers learn quickly is that Tannie Maria doesn’t back down from a challenge — though Kennedy says when it comes to advice, “she literally has no idea how to do it.” But even if she doesn’t know how to respond to letters from readers, she pivots to use her strengths. “Because food is her language, she does it through food.”
See Kennedy connect with her culinary side in this charming new mystery series when it lands on Acorn TV and stay tuned to see how it unfolds as new episodes drop weekly on the streamer.
Recipes for Love and Murder, Premieres Monday, September 5, Acorn TV