From the book jacket: 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 blood-pressure
readings are being recorded there. And Botswana has a new advice
columnist, Aunty Emang, whose advice is rather curt for Mma
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.
Comment: What can be said about the glorious Mma Ramotswe that hasn't been said before? Not a lot really - but 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!
McCall Smith, known to his friends as Sandy, began the now highly successful 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series in 1996, after being inspired by the sight of a 'traditionally built' Botswanan lady chasing down a chicken for a meal. 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.
The eighth in the series, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, has just been released in hardcover in the UK, and will be out in the USA next month. For some time McCall Smith has been saying that he will cap the series at eight books, and The Good Husband is No. 8 - so, sadly, this may well be the last we'll hear from Mma Ramotswe.
This review was originally published in April 2006, and has been updated for the March 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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