July 4th, 2005


Episode III

Book Review: Morality for Beautiful Girls, by Alexander McCall Smith
Like the new Who, there is quite a bit of soap mixed in with the detection, but it is completely unirritating, because its themes are refreshingly different to that genre in the west. In this third book in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Mma Ramotswe has to handle financial troubles, and more, moving the business in with Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, owned by her fiancee, Mr J L B Matekoni. The detection puzzles facing the agency in this instalment range from poisoning to feral children - so some connection with the more familiar world here, then. Mma Makutsi continues her career development with aplomb and though she considers more scholarly tomes than Mma Ramotswe's bible, The Principles of Private Detection by Clovis Andersen, she ends up using similarly simple but effective methods.

This series is just the antidote for anyone despairing of what to do with Africa. That's not to say that Botswana is without its problems, but its political stability has led to peace and relative prosperity. Of course, I have no idea how realistic these books are, but their gentle pace and good humour are always uplifting - a curious thing given that this is notionally crime fiction.

And this should be interesting viewing (despite the link suggesting it was last week, it's actually on this Tuesday, 5th July).