A kindhearted brother and sister have taken in a woman known only as Mrs. Read more...
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A kindhearted brother and sister have taken in a woman known only as Mrs. a woman with no memory of her name or of how she came to Botswana. And so it s up to Precious Ramotswe and her new co-director, Grace Makutsi, to discover the woman s identity.
Meanwhile, motherhood proves to be no obstacle to Mma Makutsi s professional success. As she settles into her role as partner at the agency, she also launches a new enterprise of her own: the Handsome Man s De Luxe Cafe, a restaurant for Gaborone s most fashionable diners. But even Miss 97 Per Cent isn t fully prepared for the temperamental chefs, drunken waiters, and other challenges that come with running one s own business. Help may come from an unexpected source, if only Mma Makutsi can swallow her pride and ask.
And next door to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is all too familiar with the difficult decisions of business owners. He is finally forced to make a tough choice, one that will bring major changes to both Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and that will require all of Mma Ramotswe s finesse and patience to sort out.
With sympathy and indefatigable good humor, Mma Ramotswe and her friends see one another through these major changes and discover along the way what true friendship really means."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-25
- Reviewer: Staff
As usual, the problems that Precious Ramotswe tackles in Smith enjoyable 15th No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel (after 2013’s The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon) are more the province of a therapist/counselor than of a cop. Mma Ramotswe’s longtime assistant, Grace Makutsi, now a partner in their detective agency, hopes her good fortune will transfer to a new business venture, a restaurant whose name is the book’s title. In the main plot line, the owner of a Botswana office supplies company retains the detective agency to help ascertain the identity of an amnesiac woman, whose uncertain status puts her at risk for deportation. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe’s husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, must make a difficult business decision, but that only provides his wife with yet another chance to display her sympathy for almost every living creature. Series fans will be moved by a supporting character’s growth, and newcomers will be charmed by the gentle humor. Nine-city author tour. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Oct.)
Whodunit: This cold case is burning up
LAPD cold case investigator Harry Bosch has gotten older and crankier at the same rate I have, so I always look forward to each new chapter in his saga, largely to see what new life lessons I might learn from my unwitting role model. In Michael Connelly’s The Burning Room, Bosch is confronted by an unusual situation: A man shot 10 years ago has recently died from complications from his bullet wound, so what was once an investigation of a probable gangland drive-by has now escalated into a full-blown murder case, and every clue is a decade old. Bosch and his talented rookie partner, Lucia Soto, quickly establish that the shooting was in no way random, but rather the work of a dedicated hit man. As each clue provides a new piece of the puzzle, a disturbing connection to another crime begins to establish itself—a crime near and dear to Bosch’s new protégé. Drawn in by Soto’s zeal and personal involvement, Bosch broadens the investigation, a misstep that could cost him his job and his pension. But will that stop Harry Bosch? Not bloody likely! This is another in an unbroken series of do-not-miss novels from Connelly.
This year, Ruth Rendell celebrates her 50th year in fiction; in the interim, she has cranked out more than one book a year, an enviably prolific record. In The Girl Next Door, she mines a different vein than many of her contemporaries, with a tale of murder that has its roots in the closing days of WWII, when a group of English school children used an abandoned construction site as their playhouse. Fast-forward 60-some years, when a rather grisly discovery has been made at the site: a pair of skeletal hands, severed at the wrist, clasped together in a tin box. The investigator assigned to the case could scarcely be more blasé; after all, who cares about a case where the perpetrator is likely dead or at least well into his or her 70s? But when the living members of the onetime school chums are gathered together for questioning, random old memories begin to gel into a plausible narrative for the crime. And when old flames rekindle and long-forgotten animosities bubble to the surface, anything can happen, even among people who, by most measures, should be old enough to know better.
SMELL WHAT’S COOKING
Changes are afoot on Tlokweng Road as The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café, opens. In Alexander McCall Smith’s 15th (really, 15th?) novel of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the lovable but overbearing Grace Makutsi has been promoted to co-director of Precious Ramotswe’s agency, leaving the position of secretary to be filled by lackadaisical apprentice mechanic Charlie, recently laid off from his job at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The three have their work cut out for them as they attempt to unearth the true identity of a woman with amnesia, who mysteriously showed up at the home of a prominent family in Botswana’s small Indian community. Meanwhile, Makutsi has her fingers in another sort of pie entirely: the opening of what she envisions will be the most stylish restaurant the capital city of Gaborone has ever seen, the eponymous Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café. And if all of that weren’t enough to keep her harried around the clock, she carries a new baby astride one of her ample, “traditionally built” hips. And what of the other “traditionally built” heroine of the series, Ramotswe? Well, you can be sure she is on hand, doing the detecting, calming the waters and dispensing her own brand of morality, Botswana style, in the manner that has won Smith worldwide readership almost since day one.
TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
It really doesn’t matter whether you prefer serious, get-it-done heroes like Jack Reacher or Dave Robicheaux or wisecracking sleuths along the lines of Elvis Cole or Shell Scott, you have to love Timothy Hallinan’s protagonist, travel writer/adventurer Poke Rafferty. Based in Bangkok, Rafferty is the author of a series of travel books, Looking for Trouble in (fill in the name of an exotic-sounding southeast Asian city). In his latest adventure, For the Dead, however, it seems he has passed the trouble baton to his adopted daughter, Miaow, whose small but deceitful act of loyalty for a friend sets off a chain of reactions that nobody (least of all the reader) can anticipate. If the bad guy had simply followed instructions, there would have been no story. He should have pitched the iPhone into the Chao Phraya River, and everything would have been fine. (Well, fine for the bad guys, at least—not for the two cops they murdered.) But instead, for the sake of a few extra baht, he sold it to a dodgy electronics shop, where Miaow bought it a short time later, taking next to no time to find the damning photos that could go a long way toward toppling the Thai tower of power—if, that is, she and her family live to see tomorrow. In five words: Could. Not. Put. It. Down