Synopses & Reviews
The delightful new installment in Alexander McCall Smith's beloved and best-selling series finds Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi traveling to the north of Botswana, to the stunning Okavango Delta, to visit a safari lodge where there have been several unexplained and troubling events — including the demise of one of the guests.
When the two ladies of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency arrive at the Okavango Delta, their eyes are opened, as if for the first time, to the natural beauty of their homeland. With teeming wildlife, endless grasslands, and sparkling rivulets of water running in every direction, it is breathtaking.
But they can't help being drawn into a world filled with other wildlife: rival safari operators, discontented guides, grumpy hippopotamuses. On top of that, the date has still not been set for Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti's wedding, and it's safe to say that Mma Makutsi is beginning to grow a bit impatient. And to top it all off, the impossible has happened: one of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's apprentices has gotten married. . . . Of course none of this defeats the indomitable Precious Ramotswe. Good sense, kindness, and copious quantities of red bush tea carry the day. As they always do.
"As in 2009's Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, the previous entry in this beguiling, bestselling series, a personal crisis for one of the leads, rather than a mystery, drives the plot of Smith's superb 12th novel set in Botswana featuring his infinitely understanding sleuth, Precious Ramotswe. When a delivery truck backs into Phuti Radiphuti, the fianc of Mma Ramotswe's prickly and insecure assistant, Grace Makutsi, and crushes his leg against a wall, Phuti's rude aunt won't allow Grace to visit her beloved in the hospital. Meanwhile, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency tries to help the executor of an American woman, who wished to leave some money to a kind tour guide, but couldn't recall the guide's name. The resolution to the problem of another client, who was cheated out of his home by a gold-digger, might strike some as unduly fortuitous, but it makes sense within the framework of these books, which are more about humanity than logic." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Wise and lovely." USA Today
"Mma Ramotswe's observations not only inevitably expose her suspects, but also reveal much about humanity as a whole . . . [McCall Smith] is a master . . . There's beauty and revelation of one kind or another woven expertly into every line." The Christian Science Monitor
"These novels . . . lift the spirits. They make the reader feel good — about life, the world, the basic decency of people . . . They are wise." Winston-Salem Journal
"McCall Smith is a vivid observer and an elegant writer, honoring Botswanan customs and culture . . . Like the best traditions, this series is one we hope will endure." The Plain Dealer
Readers will agree that this touching and dramatic new installment in Alexander McCall Smith's beloved and best-selling series is the finest yet. In this story, Precious Ramotswe deals with issues of mistaken identity and great fortune against the beautiful backdrop of Botswana's remote and striking Okavango Delta.
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi head to a safari camp to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest who has left one of the guides a large sum of money. But once they find their man, Precious begins to sense that something is not right. To make matters worse, shortly before their departure Mma Makutsi's fiance, Phuti Radiphuti, suffers a debilitating accident, and when his aunt moves in to take care of him, she also pushes Mma Makutsi out of the picture. Could she be trying to break up the relationship? Finally, a local priest and his wife independently approach Mma Ramotswe with concerns of infidelity, creating a rather unusual and tricky situation. Nevertheless, Precious is confident that with a little patience, kindness and good sense things will work out for the best, something that will delight her many fans.
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland. Visit his website at www.alexandermccallsmith.com.