Mma Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s foremost detective, witnesses a miracle, though not the one she was hoping for.
In their deceptively quiet way, things are bustling at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Mma Manka Sebina, an adopted woman from the village of Ootse who does not know her blood relatives, begs Mma Ramotswe: “Please find me a birthday, and find me some people.” Mma Grace Makutsi, the formidable assistant who clearly has her heart set on becoming the No. 1 Agency’s Chief Detective, arranges with her fiancé Phuti Radiphuti, owner of the Double Comfort Furniture Shop, to have a connubial bed—and what a bed!—delivered to her house. Mma Ramotswe’s husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, is excited to hear Dr. Mwata suggest that, against all earlier medical opinion, he may be able to help the couple’s foster daughter Motholeli to walk again. Although Motholeli has always accepted with rare grace the spinal injury that has kept her in a wheelchair, she can’t keep herself from hoping too. The only cloud on the horizon is a series of spiteful anonymous letters in which Mma Ramotswe is warned: “Fat lady, you watch out!”
If there are fewer funny moments than in Mma Ramotswe’s previous cases (Good Husband of Zebra Drive, 2007, etc.), there’s a deepening gravity and sweetness you won’t find anywhere else in the genre.