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The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Mystery, #13
Alexander McCall Smith

Little, Brown
29 March 2012/ISBN-13: 9781408702604
Mystery / Contemporary / Botswana
Amazon US / UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Mma Ramotswe learned how to be a private detective from an invaluable book called The Principles of Private Detection. Written by an American, she little knew that one day she would get a chance to actually meet him, but now she does just that, as here is Clovis Anderson in person on vacation. Naturally, the ladies want to know all about him and are overjoyed to be able to tell him how much his book has meant to them. Less straightforward is the business of having a house built, something that Mma Makutsi and her new husband, Phuti Radiphuti, are about to discover…and what is wrong with the redoubtable matron of the orphan farm?

No year is complete these days without paying a visit to that small African detective agency on the Tlokweng Road. Its mixture of old world charm, the joy taken in small things like a cup of bush tea and the benefit of good companionship add up to something that, if it could be distilled into a tablet, would make some pharmaceutical company rich indeed. This time, as the ladies make somebody realize how much something they have done has changed lives, we discover that getting a house built is the same anywhere in the world, and a special person gets to see how they are valued among other things. I can think of few series more life affirming than this one, and it works its magic with plenty of wit and a touch of realism - although it never dominates or spoils the coziness. Pure magic.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Blue Shoes and Happiness, No 7
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, No. 8
The Miracle at Speedy Motors, No 9
Tea Time For The Traditionally Built, No 10
The Double Comfort Safari Club, No 11
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, No 12

Reviewed 2012
© 2012