Synopses & Reviews
In the newest addition to the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the charming and ever-resourceful Precious Ramotswe finds herself overly beset by problems. She is already busier than usual at the detective agency when added to her concerns are a strange intruder in her house on Zebra Drive and the baffling appearance of a pumpkin. And then there is Mma Makutsi, who decides to treat herself to dance lessons, only to be partnered with a man who seems to have two left feet. Nor are things running quite as smoothly as they usually do at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. Mma Ramotswe's husband, the estimable Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is overburdened with work even before one of his apprentices runs off with a wealthy woman. But what finally rattles Mma Ramotswe's normally unshakable composure is a visitor who forces her to confront a secret from her past....
All this unfolds against the sunlit background of Mma Ramotswe's beloved homeland, Botswana a land of empty spaces, echoing skies, and an endless supply of soothing bush tea.
"In this sixth entry in McCall Smith's consistently delightful series, Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built and newly married owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is saddled with a surfeit of challenging cases and personal crises. There has been an intruder in her home (he managed to escape, but left a telltale pair of trousers in his wake). And the levelheaded sleuth is flustered by an encounter with a man from her past. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's husband, master mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is neck-deep in work after the resignation of one of his apprentices, who has become romantically entangled with a married woman (Mma Ramotswe and assistant detective Grace Makutsi slyly gather the scurrilous details). Scotsman McCall Smith, who was born in what is now Zimbabwe, renders colorful characters with names that trip off the tongue. Among the new arrivals: Mma Makutsi's new suitor and dance partner, Phuti Radiphuti, a stuttering furniture salesman with two left feet; and Mr. Polopetsi, a wrongfully imprisoned pharmacist Mma Ramotswe deems worthy of a second chance. As always, when troubles are brewing, nothing puts things in perspective like time spent on the verandah with a cup of bush tea. Amid the hilarious scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue skies. The prolific McCall Smith dispenses tales from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency at a rate of one per year (he's also author of a second detective series featuring Scottish-American moral philosopher Isabel Dalhousie). That's good news for loyal fans, who eagerly await new adventures with Precious Ramotswe." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A]nother winner, brimming with poetic descriptions...pitch-perfect assessments ...sensible resolutions....By turns laugh-out-loud funny and quietly profound, these life-affirming mysteries are fine company, indeed." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Smith...maintains the most civilized standards in the annals of detective fiction." Kirkus Reviews
"[T]here is no end to the pleasure that may be extracted from these six books." New York Times
"Smith gives his readers the distinct pleasure of discovering an exotic yet unfettered world....In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is worth savoring." Oregonian
"[A] satisfying, endearing tale of the mysteries of life...."Ladies" takes care of the day-to-day business of living. But filtered through Smith's loving view of Africa, it's a wonderful business." Detroit Free Press
"[T]he novel takes on a seriousness of purpose and an edge that set it apart from and slightly above its predecessors." Los Angeles Times
"McCall Smith has brewed up a gem of a story as rich as the red bush tea plentiful in a country more renowned for its diamonds." Rocky Mountain News
"In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is just as charming and funny as the previous books in the series." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
This time around, the charming and ever-resourceful Precious Ramotswe finds herself overly beset by problems. She is busier than usual at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (of all times for Mma Makutsi to take up dance lessons!) when a strange intruder in her house on Zebra Drive and the baffling appearance in her yard of a mysterious pumpkin add to her concerns. Nor are things running quite as smoothly as they usually do at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. Mma Ramotswe's husband the estimable Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni is overburdened with work even before one of his apprentices runs off with a wealthy woman. But what finally rattles Mma Ramotswe's normally unshakeable composure is the visitor who forces her to confront a painful secret from her past. All this unfolds against the sunlit background of Precious Ramotswe's beloved homeland, Botswana: empty spaces, echoing skies, and an endless supply of soothing bush tea.
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the huge international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. His other recent books include The Sunday Philosophy Club, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, The Girl Who Married a Lion, and 44 Scotland Street. He was born in Zimbabwe but has spent most of his life in Scotland, where he now lives. He worked for a time as a law professor at the University of Botswana and still returns regularly to that country.