Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Blue Shoes and Happiness
No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency Mystery #7

by Alexander McCall Smith

      Since the publication of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency (also reviewed on this site) no year is complete without another glimpse into the lives of Precious Ramotswe and her friends. Even though this series has nothing in common with Harry Potter here are books that reach something within people that other books don't even find. A good story helps, as do some sympathetic and entertaining characters but many other books have those too. I put some of it down to the heart in these books, a commodity absent from (in my opinion) most other modern stories - a sense of the joy and worth of the things that make life good.

Mma Ramotswe and her two trusty assistants tackle some more cases in this seventh book. Blackmail and suspected witchcraft, theft and assorted skulduggery are dispelled when confronted with common sense, and something with the primeval feel of the wisdom of Solomon. Mma Ramotswe weighs up the pros and cons of going on a diet, while Mma Makutsi says the wrong thing to her fiancÚ on the topic of feminism and falls in love with another pair of shoes. Underpinning all this are the simple pleasures of life such as a good cup of rooibos tea and the beauty of the African bush. When other books seem either too fluffy or too gritty, it is so nice to know that here at least there is one series which manages to be neither. A celebration of being human (perhaps this is the best way to describe the genre) and, like too few other books, hugely enjoyable.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Blue Shoes and Happiness, #7
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, #8
The Miracle at Speedy Motors, #9
Tea Time For The Traditionally Built, #10
The Double Comfort Safari Club, #11
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, #12
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon #14
The Handsome Man’s DeLuxe Café #15
The Woman Who Walked In Sunshine #16
Precious and Grace #17
The House of Unexpected Sisters #18
The Colours of all the Cattle #19

The Book

Polygon (Birlinn Ltd)
March 2006
Mystery / Detective [Contemporary Botswana] US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006