Book number 4 in the "#1 Ladies Detective Agency" is perhaps the strongest book of the series, in which the author allows each of the characters to grow and change, for better or for worse. One of Mr. J. L. Matekoni's apprentices "finds religion" (even for a short while), Mr. J.L.B. finds a back-bone and stands up to the matron of the orphan home, Mma. Makusti begins a successful business and ill-fated love affair etc.
A major theme is the admitting of one's sins and finding a way to air them out and make up for past mistakes, as well as allowing people the opportunity to do so. Another theme is of mutual support, the way each person, business is interconnected.