Calling this a detective story may not do it (or a potential reader) justice. The plot is inconsequential, the crime nonexistent, dramatic tension nebulous. Not quite as charming as "The Tears of the Giraffe" but a pleasant bit of diversion. The appeal of this series of post-colonial African stories lies in the characters and their gentle, entirely humanistic view of life. There are no real villains here and therefore no particular need for heroes either, just everyday people getting on with their lives. As usual, Precious Ramotswe, armed with common sense and goodwill, keeps her head when all those around her are.... well, you know how that is supposed to work.

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