|Author: Alexander McCall Smith
In the sixth novel of the
series that has captivated readers around the world,
we return to the warm, echoing skies of Gaborone, Botswana,
where life for Precious Ramotswe and her friends has
recently become very busy.
Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful Botswanan private
investigator of “traditional build,” is
well-known to millions across the world through the
best-selling No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
Those who have been following her exploits in five
previously published novels will soon be able to savour
the next installment, in which, as usual, circumstances
are never as straightforward as they seem and events
take a more than unexpected turn.
Precious Ramotswe, is now married to Mr J. L. B.
Matekoni, of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The Agency
is busy, but Mma Ramotswe cannot ignore the plea which
is made to her by a woman who comes to her with a
tale of particular misfortune. Unfortunately, her
attempts to help are interrupted by a close encounter
between her tiny white van and a bicycle, and by a
spectacular disagreement between her assistant, Mma
Makutsi, and one of the apprentices at the garage.
This apprentice has found a fancy girlfriend who drives
a large silver Mercedes-Benz. How can he be rescued
from his folly? And as for Mma Makutsi, she has found
a dancing class, and a man who may not be able to
dance very well but who admires her greatly. And all
of this happens against a background of quiet sessions
of bush tea, and of a land that stretches out forever
under mile upon mile of empty sky.
|From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this sixth entry in McCall
Smith's consistently delightful series, Botswana detective
Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built—and
newly married—owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective
Agency, is saddled with a surfeit of challenging cases
and personal crises. There has been an intruder in
her home (he managed to escape, but left a telltale
pair of trousers in his wake). And the levelheaded
sleuth is flustered by an encounter with a man from
her past. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's husband, master
mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is neck-deep in work
after the resignation of one of his apprentices, who
has become romantically entangled with a married woman
(Mma Ramotswe and assistant detective Grace Makutsi
slyly gather the scurrilous details). Scotsman McCall
Smith, who was born in what is now Zimbabwe, renders
colorful characters with names that trip off the tongue.
Among the new arrivals: Mma Makutsi's new suitor and
dance partner, Phuti Radiphuti, a stuttering furniture
salesman with two left feet; and Mr. Polopetsi, a wrongfully
imprisoned pharmacist Mma Ramotswe deems worthy of
a second chance. As always, when troubles are brewing,
nothing puts things in perspective like time spent
on the verandah with a cup of bush tea. Amid the hilarious
scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions
of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue
skies. The prolific McCall Smith dispenses tales from
the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency at a rate of one
per year (he's also author of a second detective series
featuring Scottish-American moral philosopher Isabel
Dalhousie). That's good news for loyal fans, who eagerly
await new adventures with Precious Ramotswe.
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