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Friday, 17 January 2014

Alexander McCall Smith - In the company of Cheerful Ladies

Another lovely story set in Botswana at the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, featuring Mma Precious Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi.

We have moved on now from the original series of three novels that were featured on TV and there are now several more books in the series.

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is doing well and Mma Ramotswe has now married her long time suitor, Mr J L B Matekoni, the proprietor of the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors garage. Also Mma Makutsi has set up the Kalahari Typing School for men, which she takes one evening per week. She saw an opportunity for teaching men together as they were normally shy of attending a secretarial college where there are mainly girls.

I love the way the stories are written: Her husband is always referred to as Mr J L B Matekoni – never a shortened form and the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is always given the full title – never just the agency. Also the vehicle that Mma Ramotswe drives is always called the tiny white van. 

These are lovely heart-warming stories that always have a happy ending – several stories in each book that are usually all brought to a happy conclusion in the last chapter.

One chapter involves her ex husband Note Mokoti who used to beat her and make her life a misery. He comes back demanding money but is dealt with and sent packing.

Another chapter involves the young apprentice, Charlie, who goes off with a rich lady and how Mma Ramotswe finds a replacement.

Another chapter is headed Trousers and Pumpkins and is quite hilarious.

All the stories highlight the simple way of life in Botswana where moral standards are high and people have respect for each other. Mma Ramotswe is obviously a rather large lady as you will remember from the TV series but here is referred to as ‘traditionally built’.

Good, easy to read stories, thoroughly recommended.

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