Genre: Detective lit, mystery
Synopsis: When a recently fired employee arrives at Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi’s detective agency, they know they’ve found their next case: why was this woman fired and why do people think she was aggressive towards a customer? Yet as the details of this case unfold, Mma Ramotswe takes a step down to focus on other aspects of her life, such as–why does somebody she doesn’t know share her last name when she knows everybody that does? And why is her abusive ex-husband back in town?
Review: This was a story that I unexpectedly really, really enjoyed. Not that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t realize that I would enjoy it just this much. As the eighteenth book in a series, it actually became my first. And the good news is that it is still completely and totally readable and understandable even if you haven’t read the previous seventeen. But, as it would turn out, my mom had read the first two when they’d started coming out, so it was great to find another point of connection with my mother. And the fact that she really liked those two books made me realize just how great these books were (I think my mom has really good taste in mysteries)–especially as enjoyment transcended between two generations.
There was a great deal of nuance and layering in this story, and I was utterly impressed with how everything wove together. Nothing felt out of place, yet everything felt assuredly important.
I also fell absolutely in love with Mr. Polopetsi, and honestly, who wouldn’t? He’s such a sweet man who just wants to help…and what could be better than that?
As I mentioned earlier, McCall does a great job with weaving the layers within this story–from the case itself, to the nurse with Mma Ramotswe’s name, and Mma Ramotswe’s abusive ex-husband being back in town, there’s a lot going on, but it’s all so well balanced, especially given the fact that there’s a bit of jumping between perspectives so that all characters get their due time and sleuthing in.
The only bit of concern I had was that this book is set in Bolivia, with two Bolivian women as its main characters, and this book is ultimately written by a white man. Not knowing anything about Bolivia myself, everything seemed correct, and it all appeared to be written respectfully. I’m hoping that others feel the same way about this series, because it really is a quaint and lovely series.