Another charmingly gossamer mystery for Botswana’s premier detective.
Mma Precious Ramotswe, of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, often takes on clients whose problems are reflections of her own (The Kalahari Typing School for Men, 2003, etc.). The problems this time involve marriage. Mma Holonga, founder of a chain of hairdressing salons and inventor of the wondrous Special Girl Hair Braiding Preparation, having narrowed the field of men applying for the position of husband to a wealthy woman to four, wants Mma Ramotswe to investigate the finalists and report whether they are more interested in Mma Holonga or in her money. The “traditionally built” Mma Ramotswe takes an especially keen interest in the case because her own engagement to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, the gentlemanly mechanic who shares her Gaborone office building, seems becalmed in an endlessly premarital state; although she can’t imagine marrying anyone else, it’s becoming difficult to imagine actually marrying Mr J.L.B. Matekoni either. As for her fiancé, he’s distracted by troubles of his own, from his need to confront his ignoble competitors at First Class Motors to his having been pressured into aiding Mma Silvia Potokwani’s orphan farm by signing up subscribers to sponsor a parachute jump she wants him to make.
As usual in this enchanting series, Mma Ramotswe provides less detection than advice, and wise advice it turns out to be, even when her clients decline to take it.