Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#BookReview: The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection - Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramotswe and her sidekick, Grace Makutsi, are back for another adventure in Gaborone, Botswana.  Unlike other books where mysteries have come to them from outsiders, each story to be solved this time around comes from those close to them.  And they're still as entertaining as they've always been.

Mma Makutsi married furniture store owner Phuti Radiphuti in 2011's  The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.  The two have decided that it's time to build their own home instead of living in Phuti's family home.  Grace is immediately suspicious of the builder, who won't directly address her, only Phuti, and with good reason.  He's a flim flam artist and it's up to her to prove it to her husband.

Of the two mechanics that work in J.L.B. Matekoni's Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, readers are most familiar with Charlie because he stays in trouble.  The lesser known Fanwell finally gets his chance in the spotlight in the latest from McCall Smith, but not because he's done something well.  In fact, Fanwell has been arrested for illegally working on cars.  At the insistence of the same guy that bullied him in school, Fanwell gets caught up in a scheme that he has problems getting out of by himself.

Mma Potokwane, the matron of the orphanage from where Mma Ramotswe and J.L.B. Matekoni have adopted their children, has been fired from her post, one that she's held for years and planned to hold until she retired.  A conflict with a new board member have left the matron without a job and without any hope.  Mma Ramotswe will stop at nothing to see her friend restored to her position.

While these three cases might seem like a lot for the ladies to handle, they have help this time around in the form of Clovis Andersen, the author of a book that has been like their Bible for detecting, The Principles of Private Detection.  While Clovis is quick to point out that he's not the great detective that the ladies think he is, he does serve as a sounding board for them to bounce ideas off of and by the end of the story, you know that he respects them just as much as they respect him.

With this latest book, there are no big surprises and no big changes.  It's the same steady story lines that readers have come to love and expect from McCall Smith. 






272pp
Published: April 2012

 
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