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In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No 1 Ladies Detective Agency 6) by Alexander McCall Smith (Paperback, 272 pages, 28 Feb 2005)

I bought the first No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book some time ago but never got round to reading it until I went on a trip to Southern Africa recently. The trip included Botswana, where the novel is set, and so was a perfect opportunity to start reading and when I did I was hooked. The stories are great and I am working my way through them and am currently reading this one.

Book Cover Synopsis Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful Botswanan private investigator of 'traditional build', is now married to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The Agency is busy, but Mma Ramotswe cannot ignore the plea which is made by a woman who comes to her with a tale of particular misfortune. Unfortunately, her attempts to help are interrupted by a close encounter between her tiny white van and a bicycle, and by a spectacular disagreement between her assistant, Mma Makutsi, and one of the apprentices at the garage. This apprentice has found a fancy girlfriend who drives a Mercedes-Benz. How can he be rescued from his folly? And as for Mma Makutsi, she has found a dancing class, and a man who may not be able to dance very well, but who admires her greatly. And all of this happens against a background of quiet sessions of bush tea, and of a land that stretches out forever under mile upon mile of empty sky...

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