Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith (audiobook)

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Adjoa Andoh (ISIS Audio Books, 2012, MP3, ISBN: 978-1-4450-2069-3)

THE LIMPOPO ACADEMY OF PRIVATE DETECTION is the thirteenth in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series set in Botswana. The detective agency's proprietor is Mma Ramotswe who is ably helped by assistant detective Grace Mma Makutsi.

The previous book, dealt with Mma Makutsi's marriage to the wealthy Phuti Radiphuti and now the happy couple have to find a home. When Phuti sells a builder, Mr Putumelo, two sofas from his Double Comfort Furniture Store, he thinks he has found just the man to build their new house. However, when Mma Makutsi meets Mr Putumelo she is less than happy with his attitude to her and this is a sign of things to come...

Back at Speedy Motors, Fanwell, the second apprentice at Mr J L B Matekoni's (husband to Mma Ramotse) garage, gets himself into to trouble with the law by helping a friend and it's up to his employer and friends to see justice done.

And over at the Orphan Farm, the redoubtable Mma Potakwani, has been fired for disagreeing with a new proposal to build a shared dining room using the funds from a sizeable donation. She asks Mma Ramotswe to investigate one of the board members, Mr Ditso, who has pushed the board to accept the proposal.

Into all this comes a stranger from America, though he is well known to Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi as he is none other than Clovis Anderson, author of their touchstone guidebook, The Principles of Private Detection. Mr Anderson lends his advice and moral support to Mma Ramotswe's investigation of Mr Ditso and she in turn learns about Mr Anderson.

I was slightly disappointed with the previous book, THE SATURDAY BIG TENT WEDDING PARTY, due to the unsatisfactory resolution to Mma Ramotswe's case however there is no such problem here. And even though Mma Ramotse should not have needed Clovis Anderson's intervention, as the answer is obvious early on, it does not matter, as it is the act of being transported to Mma Ramotswe's Botswana and its gentle way of life which is the reason for reading these. The "crime element" is not as important as catching up with the characters' lives.

I actively seek out these audio books read by Adjoa Andoh. They are an absolute treat to listen to and beautifully done. I've finally tracked down an audiobook of the next book in the series, THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON – a place which appears in LIMPOPO and which provides useful intel – and I can't wait to listen to it.

August 2014

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