For my friend Di, who claims not to be able to read German, though I doubt it because she is so damn clever at everything else she does, here is a very rough translation of the Balthasar’s Gift promo materials:
Pietermaritzburg is the capital city of the South African province KwaZulu-Natal. And the two main beats of the local Gazette are crime and health, which says something about Pietermaritzburg.
Crime reporter Magdalena Cloete knows her town and has no illusions about it. One morning, a man is shot on the front verandah of the local AIDS Mission. A political murder? Maggie’s instincts go into red alarm, since the victim, Balthasar Meiring had tried in vain only the week before to draw her attention to an ongoing court case. It focused on the sales of AIDS medication that fraudulently claimed to cure the disease. Was there more to it than the usual business machinations?
As she starts to investigate, Maggie finds she has a gang of thugs on her heels. Threats and physical attacks only serve to heighten her determination. In the meantime, she learns enough about Balthasar’s life and his commitment to his cause that she loses all professional distance and risks her own skin …
And the back cover text:
Farmer’s son Balthasar Meiring was active in an AIDS Mission – until someone put four bullets in his chest. Crime reporter Magdalena Cloete suspects that there is much more to Meiring’s murder. On her search for truth, politicians and gangsters do their best to get in her way.