– Post by MysteryPeople Contributor Meike Alana
Precious Ramotswe and her sidekick, Grace Makutsi, are back in Alexander McCall Smith’s latest (his 17th!) installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Titled simply Precious and Grace, our heroines’ latest adventures are told in McCall Smith’s signature charming and deceptively simple prose. I’ve been a fan of the series (indeed, of all McCall Smith’s work) since the series was introduced 13 years ago and the latest doesn’t disappoint.
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi (who has recently been promoted to agency co-director) are approached by a young Canadian woman who spent her early childhood in Botswana and wants the agency’s assistance in recovering important pieces of her life there. She can provide only a faded photograph, but Precious and Grace set out to find the house that the woman used to live in as well as the nanny who took care of her all those years ago. But as their detective work uncovers some unexpected developments, the ladies are forced to evaluate whether some truths may be better left uncovered.
Although the investigation is challenging, Mma Ramotswe is never too busy to help her friends—who seem uncannily able to land themselves in hot water. Next door at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, the hapless mechanic Fanwell has found himself helplessly attached to a homeless dog—and Fanwell can hardly take care of himself, much less another creature. And sometime detective Mr. Polopetsi has become entangled in an ill-advised business scheme that could have dire consequences. Mma Ramotswe, with Grace by her side, brings her usual kindness and sympathy to her friends’ assistance—and McCall Smith leads the reader to surprising insights into the healing power of compassion, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of more than 50 books and recipient of numerous literary awards. In addition to the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series (which has achieved bestseller status on 4 continents), he has written the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He currently lives in Scotland, where he is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Scotland. In his free time (one wonders how that is even possible!) he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra).
You can find copies of Smith’s latest on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.