From Publishers Weekly
Lisette Lecat doesn't simply portray the characters in McCall Smith's series about Botswana's No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the Speedy Motors car repair service that improbably share a building in the nation's capitol city: she is
Mma Ramotswe, that robust, throaty and ever-so-kind detective. Lecat is also Ramotswe's husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, whose rumbling pronouncements sound as if they originate in one of the beaten-down Mercedes he tenderly mends. Ramotswe's assistant, Mma Makutsi, makes her caustic comments in a pencil-sharp voice. Even Makutsi's shoes, which offer advice to their wearer from time to time, have a down-to-earth tone to them. Each volume of this series offers Lecat a few new characters to inhabit. She does especially well with a rude, shrill client who thinks her husband is cheating on her. Even though the series is becoming a bit repetitious, Lecat brings so much love and skill to her rendition of the characters that this will charm both old fans and newcomers alike.
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*Starred Review* Scotsman McCall Smith's best-selling novels featuring "traditionally built" Botswana sleuth Precious Ramotswe continue to resonate with poignancy, wisdom, and wit. Fans of the series will appreciate the deeper characterizations in this eighth entry, particularly that of Mma Ramotswe's bespectacled assistant, Mma Makutsi, whose professional priorities seem to shift after her engagement to a wealthy man. McCall Smith (whose vast opus includes the Isabel Dalhousie, 44 Scotland Street, and Portuguese Irregular Verb series) serves up a compelling mystery, too, involving a series of patients who have died at the same time of the week in the same hospital bed. This time around, Mma Ramotswe's devoted husband (and first-class mechanic) J. L. B. Matekoni also tries his hand at the detective business, catering to a rude client who suspects her husband of infidelity. The case prompts Mr. Matekoni to wonder whether he's exciting enough for his cherished wife. Of course, no matter what dramas the day brings, Mma Ramotswe always has time to enjoy a cup of red bush tea and revel in the beauty of her native land. Peace and prosperity prevail in Botswana, where McCall Smith, who was born in Zimbabwe, spent time as a professor of law. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is his love letter to a country whose salubrious climate is matched by the warmth and humanity of its people. Allison BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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