Blue Shoes and Happiness: Summary and book reviews of Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith, plus links to an excerpt from Blue Shoes and Happiness and a biography of Alexander McCall Smith.
Blue Shoes and Happiness
by Alexander McCall Smith
Hardcover: Apr 2006,
Paperback: Mar 2007,
In this latest
installment in the internationally best-selling, universally beloved series,
there is considerable excitement at The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. A cobra
has been found in Precious Ramotswes office. Then a nurse from a local medical
clinic reveals that faulty bloodpressure readings are being recorded there. And
Botswana has a new advice columnist, Aunty Emang, whose advice is rather curt
for Mma Ramotswes taste.
All this means a lot of work for our heroine and her inestimable assistant,
Grace Makutsi, and they are, of course, up to the challenge. But theres trouble
brewing in Mma Makutsis own life. When Phuti Radiphuti misses their customary
dinner date, she begins to wonder if he is having second thoughts about their
engagement. And while Mma Makutsi may be able to buy that fashionably narrow
(and uncomfortable) pair of blue shoes, it may not buy her the happiness that
Mma Ramotswe promises her shell find in the simpler thingsin contentment with
the world and enough tea to smooth over the occasional bumps in the road.
What can be said about the glorious Mma Ramotswe that hasn't been said before? Not a lot really. However, having been one of the first (possibly the first) USA-based websites to recommend this series (before it was even available in the USA) it just doesn't seem right to allow a volume in the series to go unnoted - because a day or two in the company of McCall Smith's 'traditionally built' protagonist makes the world look just that little bit sunnier, by reminding us that pleasure can be found in the smallest of things! (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Library Journal - Leslie Patterson
Fans of Botswana's No. 1 lady detectives Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi (In the Company of Cheerful Ladies) will be pleased to learn that the seventh novel in this series is just as entertaining as the previous six.
The denouement is the perfect climax to a tale as refreshing as a month in the country-the country of Botswana.
Booklist - Allison Block
Starred Review. Scotsman McCall Smith renders brisk, seamless tales that are both wry and profound. Amidst the mayhem (like the cobra that slithers its way into the detective agency's headquarters) are eloquent descriptions of the serene African country that holds a special place in his heart.
It's not hard to see why Alexander McCall Smith's novels have become so successful. They are a paean to a much-loved Africa and it's hard to find fault with such good-natured and pleasurable optimism.
The Independent - Amanda Craig
[The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books] are among the greatest comfort-reads of all time, written in plain, elegant prose. Yet in focusing quite so much on the smaller picture, this latest book is in danger of losing the bigger background. The author is wise to have made an art out of the small good things of life, treasured like the water his heroine tips each day onto the parched roots of individual plants; but now, I would sacrifice some of the happiness his book gave me to see just a little more misery, and a little more truth.
McCall Smith describes the Botswanans as
'genuinely courteous people' He knows
Botswana well as he grew up there and
also spent several years on the law
faculty of the University of Botswana;
his volume on the legal system of
Botswana (The Criminal Law of
Botswana) remains the definitive and
in fact, only book on the subject.
In 2004 he published the first in a new
series, The Sunday Philosophy Club featuring Isabel Dalhousie, a
Scottish-American professor of moral
philosophy. The second in the series,
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, was
published in 2005 The Right Attitude
To Rain, was published in 2006 and
The Careful Use of Compliments
will publish this August.
When asked what ties the two series
together he says that he believes it to
be 'the comfort of the settings - not...
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