Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café
The No1 Ladies Detective Agency – Book XV
Alexander McCall Smith

Little, Brown
18 September 2014 / ISBN 9781408704332
Mystery / Africa

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Grace Makutsi has something to tell everybody that she is very proud of – she is about to become a businesswoman. Her husband is putting up the money for her to open her own café, and now she has to hire staff for it. Meanwhile, Mr J L B Matekoni has a big problem, Charlie is about to get into trouble and Mma Ramotswe has an extraordinary new case; she has to discover the identity of an Indian woman who has no idea who she is.

I confess to looking forward to these yearly books, and long may they continue. I cannot think of anything else I read all year that is so life-affirming, celebrating all the things that make life good such as friendship, kindness and the joy of simple pleasures. This is a book about people in trouble in one way or another, which perhaps ought to make it sound gloomy, but it is anything but. All the problems have solutions, and all are solved through compassion, tolerance and common sense. There is plenty to amuse too as a rather strange chef wants to serve “dish of yesterday”, Grace has plenty of sharp comments to make about everything and Charlie spends the book being himself. These days we are so used to seeing Africa as a place made up of problems so it is a refreshing change to see part of it at least portrayed as being calmer, more enlightened and beautiful. What a pity I have to wait another year for the next book…

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

Reviewed 2014