In this seventh installment in the internationally bestselling, universally beloved series, there is considerable excitement at the shared premises of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. A cobra has been found in Precious Ramotswe's office. Then a nurse from a local medical clinic reveals to Mma Ramotswe that faulty blood-pressure readings are being recorded there. And it looks as though Aunty Emang, the advice columnist in the local newspaper, may not be what she seems. It all means a lot of work for Mma Ramotswe and her inestimable assistant, Grace Makutsi, and they are, of course, up to the challenge. But there's trouble brewing in Mma Makutsi's own life. Her greedy uncles are demanding an extra-large bride price from her well-to-do fiancee a man of substance, Phuti Radiphuti, and though money may buy her that fashionably narrow (and uncomfortable) pair of blue shoes, it won't buy her the happiness that Mma Ramotswe promises her she'll find in simpler things - in contentment with the world and enough tea to smooth over the occasional bumps in the road. From the Hardcover edition.
"In this seventh installment in McCall Smith's delightful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, traditionally built Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe faces one of her toughest challenges: losing weight. Luckily, there are plenty of dilemmas to keep her mind off her girth: a nearby village that seems under the influence of witchcraft, a cook suspected of filching food for her increasingly portly spouse, and a newspaper advice columnist who's doing more damage than good. Readers become better acquainted with assistant detective Mma Grace Makutsi, best known for earning a stellar 97 percent grade at the Botswana Secretarial College. Mma Makutsi (who harbors a passion for fashionable shoes) fears her well-off fiance, furniture salesman and reformed stutterer Phuti Radiphuti, will leave her after learning she's a feminist. (He has a nightmare in which he's swept aside by a large feminist with a broom.) Scotsman McCall Smith renders brisk, seamless tales that are both wry and profound. Amidst the mayhem (like the cobra that slithers its way into the detective agency's headquarters) are eloquent descriptions of the serene African country that holds a special place in his heart. In Botswana, he writes, ties of kinship, no matter how attenuated by distance or time, linked one person to another, weaving across the country a human blanket of love and community. It is those ties and that sense of community that continue to make this series so appealing to both genre and nongenre readers. --Allison Block Copyright 2006 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"It was a shrewd idea to get the veteran actress and audiobook prize winner Lecat to perform this version of Smith's latest mystery starring the unforgettable Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe. Lecat is a native South African who grew up hearing the authentic accents of women just like Ramotswe, and she gives the character the perfect notes of a real person rather than slipping into caricature. Indeed, Lecat has as good an ear for the ethnic turf covered as the author does. She is also adept at making other female characters, such as assistant detective Grace Makutsi, different but immediately believable. It's Grace who has the title's passion for fancy footwear-in spite of her being a secret feminist afraid of letting her boyfriend know about her politics. Smith does mix in small measures of danger and mystery, but the overall feeling is one of a pleasant dream, of gentle wonder that such people can exist in a conflicted world. And Lecat is the perfect choice to read the story. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover (reviewed online). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved