Precious Ramotswe is on the case
again in this delightful fifth installment
in the bestselling No. 1 Ladies'
Detective Agency series, this time
assisting the self-made founder of
a chain of hairdressing salons who
wants to unearth the real intentions
of her four suitors, each possibly
more interested in her money than
her heart. As fans know, though,
sleuthing takes second place to folksy
storytelling in McCall Smith's wry
novels. This time around, Mma Ramotswe
is distracted by her long-prolonged
engagement to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni,
Gaborone's best mechanic; it seems
she will never be married, despite
her fiancé's honorable intentions.
He installs an extra large seatbelt
in her car to keep her safe (she
is quite comfortable with her "traditional
build," despite the new, slender
fashion of modern woman), but an
altercation with another mechanic
and the prospect of a charity parachute
jump keep his mind off matrimony.
A drive for decency motivates Mma
Ramotswe and her friends, among them
Mma Potokwani, the imperious matron
of the local orphan farm, and Mma
Makutsi, assistant at the Ladies'
Detective Agency and founder of the
Kalahari Typing School for Men, and
Smith's talent is in portraying this
moral code in a manner that is always
engaging. As readers will appreciate,
Mma Ramotswe solves her cases, more
questions of character, really, than
of criminal behavior, in good time.
Traditionally built ladies living
in the African heat don't tend to
hurry, and, at the No. 1 Ladies Detective
Agency, there's always time for another
cup of tea.
Reed Business Information,
a division of Reed Elsevier