In The Company of Cheerful LadiesNo. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
Despite threatening to wind-up this Botswana crime series as he develops an equally intriguing Scottish heroine, Isabel Dalhousie, Precious Ramotswe is still his most endearing character and I personally love the African lore and setting that surrounds her and her astute wisdom. This is the sixth in the series and the only one in 2005, but fans rejoice, I understand he has been persuaded to write another for next year. If you don’t know the series, then do start at the beginning with The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but as each tale is self-contained, you don’t have to. I would recommend him to everyone. He is different, utterly engaging, gentle and life affirming.
Comparisons: none, but if you like Agatha Christie, Laurie Lee, Simon Brett.
Similar this month: Gervase Phinn, Kate Long.
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In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful Botswanan private investigator of 'traditional build', 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 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 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…
'A rare pleasure' Daily Telegraph
‘Forget the library – the body is in the mud hut. An African Miss Marple created by a Scottish lawyer . . . superb’ Sunday Times
'There is something almost divinely appealing about the way Alexander McCall Smith writes about daily life in Botswana…it is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging…(his) novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling'
Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
About the Author
Publication date28th February 2005
AuthorAlexander McCall Smith
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PublisherAbacus, an imprint of the Little, Brown Book Group