Now I do enjoy The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series but somehow I feel a bit let-down by this installment. The cases in this particular book didn’t grip me as much as in previous books and I actually managed to read another novel in the time it took me to finish this one.
The character development in this book seemed a little haphazard. There are things going on with Mma Ramotswe’s and J.L.B Maketoni’s foster children which are mentioned earlier in the book but the resolution seems rushed and hardly a resolution at all. There’s little mention of J.L.B Maketoni’s depression from the previous book either. It’s almost as if the author forgot where he was going with these characters and so put in some half-hearted non-developments to tide him over. The only character who actually has substantial and exciting character development is Mma Makutsi, who opens her own business, the eponymous typing school, and sees developments in her love life.
Even the descriptions and African feel seem to have suffered. In previous books I’ve been able to vividly imagine the surroundings and characters as the story unfolds. I can smell the dust, feel the heat and see the baked but beautiful scenery normally but for this book I just couldn’t. The imagery was there but the immersion wasn’t.
I’m saddened a little by this installment but I have hope that the next installment, The Full Cupboard of Life, will return the series to normal form. I’ll get back to you when I’ve read it.