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The Full Cupboard of Life: More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agencyby Alexander McCall Smith
Synopses & Reviews
The newest installment in the bestselling No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, picks up with Mma Precious Ramotswe still engaged to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. She'd like to set a wedding date, but realizes that her fianc has other things on his mind--most notably a frightening request from the assertive matron of the Orphan Farm.
"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. As fans know, though, sleuthing takes second place to folksy storytelling in McCall Smith's wry novels. This time around, Mma Ramotswe is distracted by her long-prolonged engagement to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, Gaborone's best mechanic; it seems she will never be married, despite her fiancé's honorable intentions. He installs an extra large seatbelt in her car to keep her safe (she is quite comfortable with her 'traditional build,' despite the new, slender fashion of modern woman), but an altercation with another mechanic and the prospect of a charity parachute jump keep his mind off matrimony. A drive for decency motivates Mma Ramotswe and her friends — among them Mma Potokwani, the imperious matron of the local orphan farm, and Mma Makutsi, assistant at the Ladies' Detective Agency and founder of the Kalahari Typing School for Men — and Smith's talent is in portraying this moral code in a manner that is always engaging. As readers will appreciate, Mma Ramotswe solves her cases — more questions of character, really, than of criminal behavior — in good time. Traditionally built ladies living in the African heat don't tend to hurry, and, at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, there's always time for another cup of tea. Agent, Robin Straus. (Apr. 20) Forecast: Fans will love the surprise in store for Precious Ramotswe at the end of the novel, and should bump this on bestseller lists." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"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...with a comical Runyonesque formality of language and a grasp of human relations that is very like Jane Austen." Bill Ott, Booklist
"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...have a primitivism that is as reductive as it is warm....
"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." Kirkus Reviews
"Thankfully, Mma Precious Ramotswe is back in another delightful adventure....Sure to please both enduring fans and new readers, this is highly recommended for all fiction and mystery collections." Library Journal
"The fifth installment of the best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series brims with the same old-fashioned charm as its lovely predecessors....Perfect for the bath." Karen Valby, Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is a professor of Medical Law, but also author of over fifty books. These range from specialist titles such as Forensic Aspects of Sleep (the only book on the subject) to The Criminal Law of Botswana (also the only book on the subject) and The Perfect Hamburger (a childrens novel). His collection of African stories, Children of Wax, received critical acclaim and has been the subject of an award-winning film. He lives in Edinburgh.
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