The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
Posted by nliakos on September 20, 2012
by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon 2012)
This is the thirteenth book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. I don’t remember when I first discovered these gentle novels set in Gaborone, Botswana, but I do remember that I didn’t begin with the first one; I began with The Kalahari Typing School for Men, which is actually the fourth in the series, and I think I happened on it while grazing along the Books-on-Tape shelves at the Quince Orchard Library (remember books on tape?). I was hooked. I went back to the beginning, and except for my recent faux pas (reading The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party before I had read The Double Comfort Safari Club), have read them more or less in order.
Fans of Mma Ramotswe will be glad to know that in this installment, she actually gets to meet the author of The Principles of Private Detection–yes, the great Clovis Andersen himself–although he turns out to be a bit different from what she and Mma Makutsi had imagined.
Also in this installment, Mma Ramotswe occupies herself with helping the people she knows, rather than clients who seek her assistance. Fanwell, one of Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni’s apprentices (who has actually qualified as a mechanic!); Mma Potokwane, matron of the orphan farm; and the newly married Rra and Mma Radiphuti, all find themselves in difficult situations. Mma Ramotswe (aided by the hapless Charlie) eventually gets things sorted out. As usual, further criminal activity is forestalled by the gentle threat of exposure and the police need not be called in.