Trying to get over a lull in my reading, I recently picked up yet another book from the The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. This is actually the 7th one in the series called Blue Shoes and Happiness.
Our protagonist Mma Ramotswe is happily married and is successfully running her detective agency business from an office inside her husband's Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors garage. At this point in time, Mma Ramotswe is thrown a bunch of cases to solve. There is something mysterious underfoot at a nearby nature reserve. Elsewhere, a cook who works at a college canteen is being blackmailed. A nurse believes her doctor is involved in malpractice. And closer to home, Mma's assistant Mma Makutsi is having relationship troubles with her fiancé.
As always, Botswana lies at the heart of every No. 1 novel. What we get to experience is a peaceful thinly-populated African nation blessed with nature, bits of hardy life and filled with reasonable and friendly people. It is this knitting in of Botswana life into these novels that elevates it in my eyes. As for the cases themselves, they turn out, as always, to be caused by human weaknesses and beliefs. This is simple summer reading, offering smooth and pleasurable sailing.