In this novel, full of gentle humor and wisdom, Mma Ramotswe and her friends face several "difficult" problems: A woman who has made a fortune establishing hair-braiding salons hires Mma Ramotswe to find out whether her suitors want to marry her for her money. Mr. J.L.B. Matakone finds himself tricked into "volunteering" to do a parachute jump, in order to raise money for the Orphan Farm run by the intrepid Mma Potokwane, who refuses to take no for an answer. He is also disturbed to discover that First Class Motors, a rival garage, has sold improper parts and failed to service a classic old Range Rover correctly, and he has been procrastinating about confronting the garage owner or reporting him to authorities. Mma Makutsi, the assistant at the detective agency, has been so successful running the Kalahari Typing School for Men at night, that her dream of renting her own house has now come true, and Mma Ramotswe is helping her to furnish all two rooms.
With an obvious lack of exciting plot lines, the reader focuses completely on the characters-- beautifully drawn, sometimes flawed, and always forgiven their faults. In a leisurely pace, McCall Smith recreates the colorful everyday lives of these ordinary people, who treasure friendships, treat each other with respect, and possess inherent good sense. Honoring the values that contemporary readers sometimes do not take the time to preserve, McCall Smith portrays complex social relationships in very simple and direct prose. Warm, gently humorous, and loving, McCall Smith creates a kind of vicarious nostalgia for this way of life, a nostalgia which readers will continue to indulge and treasure as the series continues. Mary Whippleread more
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