Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Alexander McCall Smith

Pub Date: April 20th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-42450-2
Publisher: Pantheon

Mma Precious Ramotswe’s 11th full cupboard of cases takes her from her office in Gaborone into a safari camp to track down the elusive heir to an unexpected legacy.

On her deathbed, Estelle Grant, late of St. Paul, Minn., amended her will to leave $3,000 to the guide who’d been kind to her on a safari to the Okavango Delta, but she couldn’t remember the name of the guide or the camp. Can the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, 2009, etc.) locate the beneficiary and inform him of his good fortune? Only if Mma Ramotswe can find the time to spare from the rest of her caseload. Her old friend, senior midwife Constance Mateleke, is convinced that her inattentive husband is carrying on an affair and wants the agency to find evidence she can use in her divorce proceedings. Government biologist Robert Monageng Kereleng, whose family business has already been plundered by an employee who fled to South Africa, wants Mma Ramotswe to help him recover the house he’d unwisely deeded to an avaricious girlfriend who has no intention of sharing it with him. And Mma Grace Makutsi, the agency’s secretary and assistant detective, has problems of her own: Not only has her fiancé, furniture salesman Phuti Radiphuti, been hospitalized with a serious injury, but his territorial aunt won’t let Mma Makutsi near him.

All these problems are solved with Mma Ramotswe’s customary grace and wisdom, though it would take a sharp reader to see which of them will prove the most intransigent.