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The Colours of all the Cattle
The No1 Ladies Detective Agency – Book XIX
BY Alexander McCall Smith

Little, Brown
6 September 2018/ ISBN 9781408711095

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde 


Mma Polopetsi has two pieces of news to impart; firstly there is a vacant seat on the local council, and secondly an old enemy is standing for election. The last thing many people want is for the plans for the new Big Fun Hotel to go through as it is next to the cemetery and is therefore disrespectful. Also, it would attract the wrong type of visitor, so surely Mma Ramostwe must stand up for what it right and get elected…

Despite being ostensibly about a detective agency, these books have lifted themselves out of the mystery genre and into the ranks of the small number of bestselling series that defy labelling. Mma Ramotswe and her team decide to stand up for what is great about their country and soon an election campaign is underway. Charlie falls in love with the beautiful Queenie-Queenie despite her body-builder brother, and gets to play a part in an important case. We get a closer look at Charlie in this book and the conditions in which he lives. The books mostly deal with the living conditions of the main characters, but this shows another side to life in Botswana for the less fortunate. In many ways it is also business as usual, which means all the things that are special about this series. Mma Ramotswe ponders the meaning of life with a cup of bush tea while doing her best to ensure that her corner of Gaborone is as good as she can make it. A true celebration of all that is good about life, and what a pity we now have to wait a year for #20.

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 2018