This book follows the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and, like the first book, is charmingly narrated by Lisette Lecat. The story line is weaker, although the characters remain strong and likeable. A good book by itself, but disappointing as a follow up to the No. 1 book.
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
Alexander McCall Smith's "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (1998) starts a lovely, easy to listen to mystery series featuring the traditionally built, modern thinker Precious Ramotswe.
In "The Tears of the Giraffe" (2000) is the second in the series. Mma Ramotswe has accepted Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni's marriage proposal. Mma Ramotswe insists on a traditional engagement, but Mr. J. L. B.'s engagement gifts are anything but.
While he is nervously trying to figure out how to explain his largesse, Mma Ramotswe is engaged to find out how a young man disappeared a decade before. The solution doesn't make a terribly complex mystery, and Smith breaches the mystery writer's covenant with respect to introducing potential suspects. It's a little annoying for those raised in the Agatha Christie tradition.
Mma Ramotswe is working to fill her promise to Grace Makutsi, the highest scoring graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College. Mma Makutsi had her choice of the best of employers but chose The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency for its promise of unconventional adventure. In "Tears of the Giraffe", she solves her very first case.
The book is set in Gabaronne, Botswana. It sounds like a lovely but very conservative place. Smith writes it as though Its natural resources and strong government mean that it's mostly Motswana citizens tend to look down on foreigners and nomadic tribesman. That may be what happens, but it's jarring to someone raised in the (supposedly) post-racial United States. However, I am convinced I should retire to Botswana so I can enjoy my final years not having to worry about how much I weigh.
This worked well for me as an audible, because I wasn't familiar with the pronunciations in text only. "Mma" confused me, I'm glad to know what it sounds like.
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I accidentally read this book before the 1st but this reassures me that this 7 book series is going to be great. I love the narrator but was listening to it fast forwarded at 1.75X even 2X faster. But the story was steady and kept me interested.
I am so grateful to have come upon this wonderful series. I've listened to them all and am on my 2nd time through. I saw that another reviewer called these books a "balm" and I agree. I learn about a place I've never been; I am entertained by the wonderful storytelling, character development , dialogue, including inner thoughts of the characters that are such an interesting view of people, situations, places, life in general, and finally, these books refreshingly, and uniquely inspire through the main characters. So yes, they are a balm to the soul/spirit. I must add that the narrator is excellent. I'm grateful to the author and narrator for this wonderful series. Thank you!
This is the third book of this series I have read. The beauty of Africa and the dignity of the characters are unusual in the mystery stories. I almost feel I have been transported to a new world with values and feelings I wish existed in my own culture.
I feel like I know the characters personally and love each one. I've read each book multiple times and now I'm listening and Ms Lecat does an excellent job.