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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith (#8)

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #8)The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  In the life of Precious Ramotswe–a woman duly proud of her fine traditional build– there is rarely a dull moment, and in the latest installment in the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series there is much happening on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road. Mma Ramotswe is experiencing staffing difficulties. First Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni asks to be put in charge of a case involving an errant husband. But can a man investigate such matters as successfully as the number one lady detective can? Then she has a minor falling-out with her assistant, Mma Makutsi, who decides to leave the agency, taking the 97 percent she received on her typing final from the Botswana Secretarial College with her.

Along the way, Mma Ramotswe is asked to investigate a couple of tricky cases. Will she be able to explain an unexpected series of deaths at the hospital in Mochudi? And what about the missing office supplies at a local printing company? These are the types of questions that she is uniquely well suited to answer.

In the end, whatever happens, Mma Ramotswe knows she can count on Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who stands for all that is solid and true in a shifting world. And there is always her love for Botswana, a country of which she is justifiably proud.

This is an excellent rainy afternoon or beach book, easily picked up and put down, engaging and enjoyable.

Number 8 in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series, the plot of the story revolves around Husbands.  Mr. JLB Matekoni decides he wants to try his hand at being a detective, because garage work can be repetitive.  Mma Makutsi resigns from the Detective Agency to find a better job, but discovers her fiancee' thinks this a terrible thing because Mma Ramotswe needs Mma Makutsi's talents.  The themes of trust, honesty, courtesy, acceptance and forgiveness  is woven throughout several interconnected plots. 

I find these books rich in their simplicity.  People trying to live their lives.  Modern times pushing out traditional ways and courtesies.  What it is to be a good husband or wife or employee or boss.  That nothing is as straightforward as it seems or one would like.

This is perhaps, my favorite book of the series.  I think this excerpt sums it up:  "It is so easy to thank people," said Mma Ramotswe, passing the letter over to Mma Makutsi.  "And most people don't bother to do it.  They don't thank the person who does something for them.  They just take it for granted."


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