If you’re already a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s novels, you’ll realize it’s hard to find new ways to praise this “prolific, popular and wonderfully peculiar writer”. But you’ll be pleased by the newest addition to perhaps his most popular series, The No. l Ladies Detective Agency.
Entitled The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe, this novel takes us to Botswana where McCall Smith was once a professor of law at the University. He also grew up in the country now known as Zimbabwe. Although he has been living for many years in Edinburgh, he has never forgotten his love for the people of Africa, for their culture and their kindness.
Precious Ramotse runs the No. l Ladies Detective Agency. She is married to the owner of the Garage, a business right next door to their home. She also has an assistant who has been promoted from secretary and is now planning on opening her own de luxe cafe. This group is brought a professional problem to solve, i.e. a woman who has lost her memory and cannot sort out her life. Precious shows her gentle wisdom and shrewd kindness and the story is captivating from every angle.
Review by Anne McDougall