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Thursday, August 7, 2014


Charlotte Otter, who now lives in Germany, began her career in Pietermaritzburg as a trainee reporter on The Witness. She then moved to The Star, before working at The Citizen as a crime and court reporter and went on to Anglo American and De Beers to do corporate communications.

Otter relocated to Germany in 1996 to work for the German technology company SAP. She freelanced for many years, writing for De Beers, SAP World, SAP Spectrum, EMBO encounters, Buzzine and the South African Marie Claire. She now works at SAP as a corporate communicator.

Otter was recently in Pietermaritzburg to launch her debut crime fiction novel, Balthasar’s Gift. This is the first in a series featuring detective, Maggie Cloete, an investigative journalist who lives in Pietermaritzburg.

“Maybe it was an error for crime reporter Maggie Cloete to ignore the call from the softly-spoken man. Now he is dead. Someone put four bullets in Balthasar’s chest. It is post-apartheid South Africa, at the turn of the century. In Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC rules. However, in the townships and villages, fear and superstition rule, too. Is it a political murder? Maggie’s instincts are on red alarm, and during the search for the truth, she comes up against both gangsters and politicians – and has their henchmen on her tail. However, threats and attacks against her make her even more stubborn and determined. She learns too much about Balthasar’s life and his work at the AIDS Mission to be distant and professional. She is deeply, and dangerously, involved. Balthasar’s Gift continues the tradition of pacy, hard-boiled South African crime fiction,” reads the publicity material.

Balthasar’s Gift is available from