I surprisingly gave this book 5 stars!. When I began this series ( for the second time, there had been a previous aborted attempt) I had not imagined enjoying the books further down the series as I am now. Each book is getting progressively better . There is a slight possibility that the journey through the series has made my mind more adjusted to the light humour of the books, and therefore more susceptible to them and hence leading to such high ratings. This of course is a very sad view and therefore I will continue to believe that I just read a good book and leave it at that.
My initial problem with the unique style of Alexander McCall Smith was that when there was a very obvious misstep, either in word or action, no one else present in the scene would realise it! It seemed to be left to the reader only to identify and laugh. Now that I have taken this mode of storytelling in my stride I seem to be getting along better with the books. I have since returned the book and was so eager to put in and excerpt in this review that I took a badly positioned photo of the paragraph ( nothing more in case if it was some sort of copyright violation 😉 ) with one hand in a moving bus before I had to return it ( it was also drizzling outside; random information to add to the drama) . The excerpt shall follow soon.
This story does not focus on any of the actual cases. One is mentioned in passing throughout the book and reaches a successful conclusion at some point. This book is more about the people involved and introduced previously.
Mma Ramotswe ( our unlikely lead heroine ) has a blast from the past and is measurably less comfortable with life than any of the other previous books
Mma Makutsi ( The faithful sidekick) is having the time of her life compared to her pre financial stability days.
Mr J.L.B Maketoni ( The comfortable husband to our heroine) has also had to face uncomfortable situations but is otherwise more troubled by smaller things as the excerpt below indicates ( yes the excerpt finally!)
” Mr J.L.B Maketoni was standing over a handsome red car deep in thought, contemplating its exposed engine. ‘These people who make these cars are trying to make our lives difficult’ he said. ‘They put in all these computers and what are we to do when they go wrong? They are trying to make cars into space ships, that is what they are doing. But we do not need space ships here in Botswana. We need good cars with engines that do not mind the dust. That is what we need’.
‘You should write to the people who makes these cars’,said Mma Ramotswe.’You could tell them’
‘They would not listen to me’ said Mr J.L.B.Maketoni. ‘I am just one man. I am just Mr.J.L.B Maketoni of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors.They would look at my letter in Japan or America and say, ‘Who is this J.L.B.Maketoni? Do we know him?What is he writing to us about?’ And then they will throw my letter in the bin.That is what would happen . I am not important.’ ”
Imagine all this said in a matter of fact way and you might laugh a fraction of what I had ( If you did not find humour in the above paragraph, do not try this author)
Charlie:(The older mechanic apprentice) seems to be in over his head in matters best left alone.
All in all I enjoyed this book. I also hope to enjoy the next in the series.
This is probably one of my biggest posts which I just made bigger with this obviously unecessary line and adjectives in it 😀