Boulder City Magazine® October 2009 Issue
by Fran Haraway
Boulder City Library
Tea Time For The Traditionally Built
by Alexander McCall Smith
While walking down a street in perpetually grey-skied London, Tahir Shah watches police arrest a man who had taken off his pants and is wearing his underpants on his head. As the gentleman is being led off, he shouts, “Be an individual! Live your dreams!”
Boulder City Magazine®
|This little gem is the latest in the series which began with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. These novels follow the activities of Mma Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built (i.e. rotund) lady who the created the agency, her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, and her assistant detective, Mma Grace Makutsi, whose opinionated statements can be forgiven because she earned a 97% on her typing school final examination.
We live in an age where True Crime is an increasingly popular literary genre and where murder and mayhem can be read daily and viewed nightly. In contrast, crimes brought to the detective agency do not involve violence and the horrific treatment of children. Instead they deal with communication skills (or the lack thereof) and the concern for children. Although Maa Ramotswe regards The Principles of Private Detection by Clovis Andersen as her source of information and inspiration, it is her own logic, intuition and no-nonsense attitude that contribute to her mysteries’ solutions.
Those of us who treasure Precious Ramotswe have also come to admire her “tiny white van” which takes her where she needs to go in that part of the world she loves - Gaborone, Botswana, Africa. In this latest novel the van’s engine dies, but the author indicates that we might see that vehicle again sometime, and for that hint we are truly grateful. We want Precious to be happy, and she does love her van. Transportation troubles, a soccer team’s unexplainable string of losses and the possible roving eye of Mma Makutsi’s finance, Mr. Phuti Radiphuti - respected owner of the Double Comfort Furniture Shop - comprise the latest set of mysteries.
One of the major charms of this series is the love and respect Mma Ramotswe feels for her land and the people of Botswana. She is one grateful lady, and her attitude makes us tend to count our own blessings. I advise you to make a cup of red bush tea and settle down for a good read. Tea Time fore the Traditionally Built is, in the words of the detective agency’s slogan, “Satisfaction guaranteed.”
If you are interested in this book or would like to learn more, contact me at info@bouldercity magazine.com.
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