The Full Cupboard of Life: Summary and book reviews of The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith, plus links to an excerpt from The Full Cupboard of Life and a biography of Alexander McCall Smith.
The Full Cupboard of Life More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith
Hardcover: Apr 2004,
Paperback: Jan 2005,
Here is the fifth novel in the internationally bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency hit series. Once again we are transported to Gaborone, capital city of Botswana, and into the world of Mma Ramotswe and her friends.
THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY.
FOR ALL CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS AND ENQUIRIES.
SATISFACTION GUARANTEED FOR ALL PARTIES.
UNDER PERSONAL MANAGEMENT.
Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni are still engaged, but with no immediate plans to get married. Mma Ramotswe wonders when a wedding date will be named, but she is anxious to avoid putting pressure on her fiancé. For indeed he has other things on his mind -- particularly a frightening request (involving a parachute jump) made by Mma Potokwani, the persuasive matron of the orphan farm.
Mma Ramotswe herself has weighty matters on her mind. She has been approached by a wealthy lady to check up on several suitors. Are these men interested in her or just her money? This may be difficult to find out, but it's just the kind of case Mma Ramotswe likes and she is, as we know, a very intuitive lady.
Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi -- plucky assistant detective and deputy manager of the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors garage -- is moving. Her entrepreneurial venture, the Kalahari Typing School for Men, is thriving and with this new income she has rented two rooms in a house. Her spare time is occupied with planning the move, the décor and her new life in a house with running water all to herself.
In the background of all this is Botswana, a country of empty spaces and echoing skies, a country so beautiful and entrancing that it breaks your heart. Mma Ramotswe has prepared the bush tea and is waiting for us to join her.
Oh joy! McCall Smith is back with another totally soft-boiled mystery set in Botswana. This, the fifth in the series, brings back all the key characters those familiar with the books already love - such as Mma Makutsi, secretary and assistant detective; Mma Potokwani, operator of the local 'orphan-farm'; and of course Mma Ramotswe's fiance, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni - Gaborone's best mechanic.
The first book in the series - 'The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' was published in the UK in 1998 but didn't arrive in the USA until 2001, and unfortunately we're still lagging behind. This is the fifth in the series but in just a couple of months the 6th title will be released in the UK - 'In the Company of Cheerful Ladies' - so if you're in the USA and you're one of Mma Ramostwe's legion of fans and just can't wait you might want to pay a visit to Amazon.co.uk and order yourself a copy; and if you're reading this in the UK - lucky you! (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The New York Times - Janet Maslin The Full Cupboard of Life is by no means oppressively sweet, but it is committed to looking on life's sunny side. And its characters, like the one who watches a special mango ripen on a tree, have a primitivism that is as reductive as it is warm. At one point, someone suggests that How to Get 97 Percent would be an appealing title for a book. It's one that could easily be applied to Mr. Smith's big-hearted Botswanan stories.
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.
Booklist - Bill Ott
The tremendous appeal of this delightful series comes from the unique manner in which Smith mixes the charm of both traditional and contemporary village cozies (from Miss Marple to the Maggody novels) with a comical Runyonesque formality of language and a grasp of human relations that is very like Jane Austen (Mma Ramotswe, in fact, has a lot of Emma in her).
Library Journal - Nicole A Cooke
With the charm and visual detail so characteristic of this series, readers are treated to another enchanting slice of Mma Ramotswe's world. Sure to please both enduring fans and new readers, this is highly recommended for all fiction and mystery collections.
Another charmingly gossamer mystery for Botswana's premier detective....As usual in this enchanting series, Mma Ramotswe provides less detection than advice, and wise advice it turns out to be, even when her clients decline to take it.
Cupboard of Life (UK May 2003, US May 2004)
Company of Cheerful Ladies (UK July 2004, USA April 19th
No news is
bad news for Mma Ramotswe fans; I can find no sign of any
further books in the series on the horizon; however, I do see
a follow up to
The Sunday Philosophy Club that
looks like it will be published later this year. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate appears to
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