Although I have not warmed to Alexander McCall Smith’s other fiction series, I relish each new installment in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. In fact, after reading the first few books in the series out of order I purchased all of the books then on the market and read them in order, even rereading the ones I had already completed. I keep them all with the expectation that I’ll want to read them again some day.
The Double Comfort Safari Club follows McCall Smith’s usual framework of unfolding a handful of dilemmas for Precious Ramotswe to resolve with her usual blend of common sense and insight into human nature. Although Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni does not figure prominently in this installment, wicked Violet Sephotho is back and again up to no good. Grace Makutsi (and her talking shoes) finds herself facing a potentially-tragic development regarding her fiance Phuti Radiphuti. The title references a detective agency case where Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi find themselves a bit at odds with nature once they leave Gaborone and travel to a rugged area of Botswana to locate a safari guide.
In this volume, as with all the previous installments, McCall Smith intersperses his story lines with simple observations about the strengths and foibles of humanity and life in general. I suspect that if McCall Smith ever released a “Precious Ramotswe’s Guidebook for Life,” it would be an overnight best-seller.
Review Submitted by: Mary Hall
Rating: Highly Recommended