The latest in this series set in Botswana focuses on cases, of course, but even more so on transitioning and growing. In the previous book, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi juggled multiple cases and finally got a chance to meet the author of their beloved book, The Principles of Private Detection, Clovis Andersen. This time, detective work takes somewhat of a backseat to real life.
Mma Makutsi, now Mma Radiphuti, is with child. Mma Ramotswe suspects as much, but since Grace hasn't made a formal announcement, Precious is hesitant to approach her about it. But as JLB Matekoni reminds her, one of them will have to broach the subject eventually because a new baby means maternity leave. The pregnancy and Mma Radiphuti's absence from the office causes Precious to rethink their relationship. Whereas she'd always seen Grace as her assistant and co-worker, she begins to realize that she's more than that to her.
JLB Matekoni notices that his wife, Mma Ramotswe, isn't as cheerful as she usually is. While he attributes some of that to her missing her friend in the office, he wonders if he might be contributing to her unhappiness as well. A new class in town which teaches men how to become better house husbands has just started and JLB contemplates taking the class and learning how to be more help around the house.
In the last book, we saw Fanwell mature and this time around, he's passed his exams and become a full-fledged mechanic. Charlie, however, is still an apprentice. It seems he might never move beyond that position and never grow up, but the appearance of Mma Radiphuti's new baby in the office stirs something inside of him.
I love that Alexander McCall Smith continues to bring us these characters and allows them to grow. The cases that the ladies work on are always interesting, but even more interesting is the depiction of life in Botswana and the everyday lives of the characters we've come to know and love.
Published: November 2013