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Precious and Grace
No1 Ladies Detective Agency – Book XXVII
Alexander McCall Smith

Little, Brown
13 September 2016/ ISBN 9781408708125

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


When a Canadian woman who used to live in Botswana turns up at the agency, she sets in motion a case which will rather try the friendship between Mma Ramotswe and her prickly assistant. Meanwhile, Fanwell brings in a stray dog and Mr. Polopetsi has made an unwise decision which will have far-reaching consequences. As the heat intensifies and everybody prays for rain, Mma Makutsi’s arch-enemy Violet reappears to make things worse…

Even more than usual, this is very much the story of the relationship between Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi. One sees the best in things while the other is a lot more suspicious, a state which is often accompanied by a lack of manners. In their main case, this means that one believes a long-lost nursemaid is genuine, while the other thinks she is a fraud. This is such a life affirming series which encourages us to take pleasure in the small but important things in life, such as the pleasure of spending time with friends, drinking tea and generally making the world a better place by our choice of actions. Despite being #17, there is no sign of running out of steam and it is always good to see Africa (or at least part of it) shown in a positive and upbeat light. The main client is homesick for Africa and its scenery, sunshine and way of life; the other side of what we usually see of the continent on the news. As well as the cases, Mma Ramotswe ponders on all the people in her life, whether animals (or even cars) have souls and even about making lists. May this series continue for many more years.

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 2016