Monday, June 25, 2012
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith
In this latest episode in the beloved, best-selling series, the kindest and best detective in Botswana faces a tricky situation when her personal and professional lives become entangled.
Precious Ramotswe is haunted by a repeated dream: a vision of a tall, strange man who waits for her beneath an acacia tree. Odd as this is, she's far too busy to worry about it. The best apprentice at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors is in trouble with the law and stuck with the worst lawyer in Gaborone. Grace Makutsi adn Phuti Radiphuti are building the house of their dreams, but their builder is not completely on the up and up. And, most shockingly, Mma Potokwane, defender of Botswana's weak and downtrodden, has been dismissed from her post as matron at the orphan farm. Can the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency help restore the beloved matron to her rightful position?
As wealthy and powerful influences at the orphan farm become allied against their friend, help arrives from an unexpected visitor: the tall stranger from Mma Ramotswe's dreams, turns out to be none other than the estimable Clovis Andersen, author of the No. 1 Ladies' prized manual, The Principles of Private Detection. Together, Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutis, and their teacher-turned-colleague help right this injustice and in the process discover something new about being a good detective.
I absolutely love this series! So, imagine my surprise to learn that a new book had been released this past April - I was happy for a new book, but sad that I hadn't gotten my hands on it as soon as it came out. Nonetheless, I sat down over the weekend and enjoyed reading about the world of Mma Ramotswe and her beloved Botswana.
In this latest installment, we find Mma Ramotswe dealing with some very interesting situations, all of which are riddled with the usual drama and tears that always seem to accompany her cases. We have a stranger in a dream who becomes a fast friend; a falsely accused apprentice; a matron who is unfairly dismissed from her job; and a builder who is secretly constructing two homes instead of the one that he was paid to build. Looks like Mma Ramotswe has her work cut our for her this time round. Of course with all of the secrets that need to be uncovered and the wrong-doings that need to be corrected, Mma Ramotswe is going to need the help of her trusty assistant, Mma Makutsi. Then again, sometimes three heads are better than two - thanks to a Mr. Clovis Andersen - the man of Mma Ramotswe's dreams.
Suffice it to say, McCall Smith has once again knocked it out of the park with this newest addition to his popular series, the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Or at least that is my very biased opinion - and believe you me, I am extremely biased when it comes to these books. I just love them! They are one of my favorite series and in my mind, McCall Smith can do no wrong when it comes to writing Mma Ramotswe. There is just something about her character that makes me feel as I've been enveloped in a warm hug when I read about her. Maybe its her voice or the loving way she talks about her country, family and friends - I don't know what exactly, but there is just something about her that puts you at ease. Either way, I love finding out what she's up to- what cases are calling for her attention, which friend is in need of help, and just how is Mma Ramotswe adjusting to the ever-growing and changing Botswana. And with this book I had the pleasure of getting to know Clovis Andersen, Mma Ramotswe's go-to-guy for detective advice. All in all, the Limpopo Academy of Private Detection was a thoroughly enjoyable and fun read. Fans of the series will not be disappointed!