Sunday, January 8, 2012

Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

In this third volume of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the irrepressible Precious Ramotswe faces supreme problems at home and at work.

With her detective agency in financial difficulty, Mma Ramotswe takes the difficult decision to share offices with her husband-to-be, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. Even though Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors could do with a little help, it is Mr Matekoni himself who requires her attention...

If that wasn’t enough, the agency is facing some of its most puzzling cases, the government officials whose sister-in-law is trying to poison his brother, the beauty pageant whose contestants aren’t as good as their looks and the strange young boy, found naked and wild and smelling of lion.

Morality for Beautiful Girls is the second book in the series that I read, the first being Tears of the Giraffe which I enjoyed almost a year ago! This time round, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni is unwell and the reason why he’s feeling so was not revealed (maybe in later books) and Mma Makutsi step up to the occasion and assisted Mma Ramotswe with not just the detective agency but also Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s garage. Mma Makutsi’s brother who is sick and dying is staying with her in her room but Mma Ramotswe wasn’t aware of it as Mma Makutsi didn’t share this with her. Instead she, after being given a promotion to Assistant Manger and subsequently Acting Manager (in Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s absence) dedicated herself wholeheartedly into running both the garage and the agency. She is even able to control the 2 apprentices of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni whom Mma Ramotswe viewed as being rather lazy.

The cases that Mma Ramotswe solve this time round weren't that captivating but reading about the culture of Botswana once again is indeed refreshing. The characters are generally the same, the problems they face are the same, their fears and happiness similar to anyone else in the world but the way they carry themselves are different. The sense of respect and importance of culture are just so visible throughout the book.  There is a certain pride of who they are that I greatly admire.  You have to read it to know what I mean.

Anyway, Morality for Beautiful Girls is another good read. With only 200+ pages, I completed it when I flew in and out of the city for business a few weeks back. This is an ideal book to bring along for short trips.

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