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How to Raise an Elephant

by Alexander McCall Smith

Part of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series

Shorter Reads Feel-Good Fiction Books of the Month Crime and Mystery Humorous fiction Sharing Diverse Voices Star Books

LoveReading Expert Review of How to Raise an Elephant

A ray of sunshine... slow down, relax, and enjoy this delightfully charming addition to the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

An absolutely charming addition to a much loved series. There is something so uplifting about these novels, Alexander McCall Smith has the ability to embrace the intimate in order to open far-reaching views. Mma Ramotswe is troubled by a strange smell in her van, her new neighbour causes concern, and a distant cousin asks for help. Can you believe that we are now at book twenty-one in this evocative series which began with The No:1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in 1998? Do you have a favourite, I think this could well be mine…though as with all good series that create a world for you to inhabit, the latest usually becomes your most treasured! There is a graceful ease to the words of Alexander McCall Smith, he is so gently yet evocatively descriptive and as soon as I started to read a sense of ease enveloped me. The pace slows, the small things matter, and Mma Ramotswe is just glorious. How to Raise an Elephant really is the most delightful read, and it deserves to be included as a LoveReading Star Book.

Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Liz Robinson

How to Raise an Elephant Synopsis

The latest instalment from the beloved THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY series

Catch up on the latest from Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi and other favourites in this new instalment of Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

As the temperature rises in Gaborone, Precious Ramotswe, founder of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, wonders whether the heat could be the reason that business is particularly slow. Luckily, a slower pace in life is her natural preference, unlike her colleague Mma Makutsi, who is alert to every passing observation and inclined to making snap decisions. With fewer cases to handle, Precious has time to contemplate her new neighbours, a couple who, by the sounds of it, have a rather volatile relationship . . .

But then a distant cousin of Mma Ramotswe's comes to the agency with a plea for help, and the ladies decide to pursue the issue together. Armed with Mma Ramotswe's circumspection and Mma Makutsi's sharp eye, they proceed with confidence and open hearts. What, after all, could be more straightforward than a family matter?

Meanwhile, their colleague Charlie is behaving oddly, borrowing Mma Ramotswe's van and returning it in an unusual condition. Digging a little deeper, the explanation is both strange and extraordinary, and takes Charlie, along with Mma Ramotswe's husband, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, on a hair-raising night-time expedition.

In the end, Precious is reminded of the need to view a picture from every angle, to accept the imperfections in people and situations, and then find a solution - preferably over a delicious slice of her friend Mma Potokwani's fruit cake.

What To Read After How to Raise an Elephant

To the Land of Long Lost Friends
Tiny Tales
Something to Live For
The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman

Alexander McCall Smith Press Reviews

'Irresistible' The Times

'Every page contains a gem of wit and insight' Scotsman

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781408712825
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Format: Hardback

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About Alexander McCall Smith

McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humor, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers — New York Times Alexander McCall Smith, often referred to as ‘Sandy’,  is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the UK and abroad before turning his hand to writing fiction. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist ...

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