OK, so I did things out of order. But I love the title of this newest installment of the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency. It's a little long in the beginning, but by the end I could not wait to finish it/yet did not want it to end.
The author really allowed Mma Makusti to shine. She has so many great one-liners that I just had to laugh out loud. her sense of reason and her general assumptions are...oops. wait- aren't those things I have been accused of as well? OK, so I have a little Mma Makutsi in me as well. But I love her.
There's not a lot about Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni in here, because the story is really about Mma Ramostwe and Mma Makusti and the mystery they solve is really just a means to an exploration of life. And how a cup of bush tea can settle anything.
Poverty and AIDS and adultery and drought creep in but are dealt with matter of fact, making the joyous spots that much lovelier.
The soul of the novel is all over its pages. Page 41. "People believed in all manner of things, in the face of all the evidence, but if they did not, well, what then? What if we stopped believing in things that we could not prove? We has to believe in something, she thought. We had to believe in kindness, and courtesy and telling the truth; we had to believe in the old Botswana values-all these these could not be proved in the way in which one could prove that nothing made a difference to colds, and yet we had to believe in them."
72: Mma Ramotswe sat quite still. All of us. Until you hear the whole story, you dig deeper, and listen, she thought, you know only a tiny part of the goodness of the human heart.
127: We are born to talk to other people, she thought; we are born to be sociable and to sit together with others in the shade of the acacia tree and talk about things that happened the day before. We were not born to sit in kitchens by ourselves, with nobody to chat to.
Page 189 is an observation about how some pushy people can make others uncomfortable and say/do things they normally would not. "She regretted that remark the moment she had made it. It was a bad mistake to tie yourself down to deadlines-it was a bad mistake to make promises in general- but there was something about Mr. Molofololo's manner-his pushy, rather hectoring style- that led to this."
On 212 the book ends with a wonderful surreal bit about Mma. Makusti's new shoes talking, and then the rain coming down, and you know what? It all made wonderful, sense.
I can not wait to read the rest of the books in this series.