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The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (13)

By Alexander McCall Smith

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2012,
    272 pages.

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Cloggie Downunder (06/09/13)

Another delightful novel.
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection is the thirteenth in the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. In this installment, Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi find themselves investigating not for clients, but rather, for themselves and their friends. Precious and Grace are delighted to find that Clovis Anderson, author of their much-consulted bible, The Principles of Private Detection, is visiting Botswana and decides to stop in for a chat. Precious uses the opportunity to get his advice on a troubling situation affecting her dear friend, Matron of the Orphan Farm, Mma Potokwani. It seems the Orphanage Board has decided to institute changes which Mma Potokwani feels will be detrimental to the orphans, and her dissension is to cost her her job. In an uncharacteristic move, the usually forthright matron retreats to her lands: is this the end for Mma Potokwani? Fanwell, the irreproachable apprentice at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, reluctantly agrees to help an old acquaintance and finds this decision has unforeseen serious consequences. While Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and Mma Ramotswe give him their full support, a surprisingly resourceful Charlie demonstrates unexpected loyalty and comes to the rescue. And newlyweds, Grace and Phuti, find that building a house can be complicated, especially when the builder is not completely honest. As always, the lives of our favourite Gabarone residents keep the reader engrossed; their dialogue, especially that of Mma Makutsi (and her shoes!) provide many light moments; the courtroom scene is pure farce; we discover the origin of Grace’s obsession with shoes; we learn more about Fanwell’s background; Grace’s musings on physical and mental comfort are worth consideration, as is the concept of the guilt-free sofa; Mma Ramotswe’s inner monologue is full of gentle philosophy and it was a lovely surprise for the reader to meet the much-quoted (and apparently very human) Clovis Anderson. Another delightful novel.
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