Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book Review: The Double Comfort Safari Club

I guess you could say I am on an Alexander McCall Smith reading jag these days. I am presently listening to the 12th book in the Number One Ladies' Detective Agency series and reading one of the Isabel Dalhousie series. As a result, my memory of The Double Comfort Safari Club is not as clear as I would like. Thus, I'm going to beg the easy way out on this review and simply copy and paste the words from the fine BookList review by Allison Block:

"New challenges and an exciting adventure await Botswana lady detective Precious Ramotswe in this eleventh entry in the much-beloved series. As usual, there are multiple plot lines. There’s Mma Mateleke, who suspects her husband of being unfaithful (turns out, he harbors the same suspicions about her). Mr. Kereleng falls prey to the wiles of Violet Sephotho, who manipulated him into putting his house in her name. (Readers will remember Violet as the conniving classmate of Mma Makutsi at the Botswana Secretarial College, where Mma Makutsi earned an impressive 97 percent.) Mma Makutsi copes with bad news about her fiancĂ©, Phuti Radiphuti, who undergoes a serious leg operation following an accident at his furniture store. A more pleasant assignment involves the search for a kindhearted safari guide, who was bequeathed a nice sum of money by an American tourist. This brings the two ladies to the stunning Okavango Delta, positively fraught with feral creatures. With snakes in abundance, proper footwear is a must, much to the delight of Mma Makutsi, who has a well-known weakness for new shoes. As always, wrongs are righted and all is resolved, thanks to the wit and wisdom of these two shrewd Mmas. Even after nearly a dozen installments, McCall Smith manages to keep his series engaging and fresh. Expect much demand: the release of a new No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel is always cause for celebration among the author’s many fans."

As for me, all I can add is that it truly feels as if Mma Ramotswe really does exist and Alexander McCall Smith is merely following her exploits and jotting them down for the world at large to see and enjoy. He is a master at creating a community of characters who meet ongoing conflicts and weave truths about life in their daily struggles and triumphs.

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