Way back in January I kick-started this challenge by reading The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Now, nine months later, I have gotten round to reading the second instalment of the series.
Just like its predecessor, this book is infused with the essence of Africa. From the behaviour of the characters, the descriptions of the land and the traditions, it leaps out of every page: you can almost smell the red dust! This is what I loved about the original book and I’m glad to see the sequel has not lost anything of its African charm. It makes me ache to get back out to Africa and explore the continent some more.
The character development is great too. Now Mma Ramotswe is engaged, we see more of her fiancé and of the new additions to her family. It doesn’t feel forced or rushed and these developments are so charmingly written they put you at ease. Also Mma Makutsi, the secretary for the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is given a promotion to assistant detective which provides a new character and plotline to follow.
However, as good as they were, I did feel the actual cases in this book were not as intriguing as the first book. Possibly they suffered as a result of the fantastic character development but I felt they lacked some of the suspense of the last book and at various points I completely forgot about what was supposed to be being investigated. They were still interesting and heart-warming but alongside the other plotlines they almost faded into the background. I hope in the next instalment, Morality for Beautiful Girls, the cases will make a comeback and fill me with anticipation and suspense.
If you read and enjoyed The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, you’ll enjoy this book. For anyone who loves Africa or detective novels, this series is a must read.