Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith (audiobook)

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Adjoa Andoh (ISIS Audio Books, 2010, CD ISBN:978-0-7531-2794-0)

The Double Comfort Safari Club is the eleventh in the Botswanan Mma Ramotswe series. Mma Ramotswe's No.1 Ladies Detective Agency has a couple of cases to solve; a friend of Mma Ramotswe thinks her husband is having an affair and a letter from America sends Mma Ramotswe and Assistant Detective Mma Makutsi out into the Okavango Delta (but not until disk 6 out of 7), and of course, Mma Makutsi's enemy Violet Sephotho is up to no good.

But this series isn't about detection really, it's about love and kindness, family and tea. Where everyone in Botswana is connected through tenuous family links (by Western eyes) and favours are willingly done and repaid.

There is much pleasure to be gained from Mma Ramotswe's observations, such as this when meeting a man in a bright blue shirt, who may be having an affair:

"She knew the warning signs with middle-aged men - they were like a set of traffic lights that glowed brightly in the dark. Greater attention to grooming? Bad sign. Pulling-in of the stomach to conceal paunch? Bad sign. Purchase of a more powerful car in bright red? Very, very bad sign."

And there is a hilarious trip on the river later on for Mma Ramoswe and Mma Makutsi, and in contrast there is also a poignant explanation as to why relatives who have died are referred to as late, rather than dead.

The Double Comfort Safari Club is a feel-good read which is wonderfully performed by Adjoa Andoh. Adjoa Andoh has narrated the latest four in the series and at least according to amazon will be doing the next in the series, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, out in March 2011.


Anonymous said...

Karen - I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I'm a real fan of Mma. Ramotswe and of this series, and I was hoping you'd like it, too : ).

kathy d. said...

I haven't read this series but I watched the tv series and loved it. This sounds like a good one to read. The characters are wonderful.