Friday, June 24, 2022

The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith

Source of book: Audiobook from the library


So, the younger three kids and I just got back from an epic camping trip of nearly two weeks and 3000 miles of towing. (And also between 50 and 60 miles of hiking, depending on the kid.) Because of that long period spent in the car, we listened to five audiobooks. I’ll try to get those reviewed over the next week or so. This is the first one. 


First off, just an amusing issue with the audiobook. The cover blurb has little to do with the actual book - it seems to combine one plot element from this one with others from…some other book we haven’t read yet. That said, the audiobooks read by Lisette Lecat are always wonderful. 


In this installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, we have further hijinks involving Mma. Ramotswe, her sidekick Mma. Makutsi, her husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, and the rest of the usual suspects. Mma. Makutsi and her fiance, Phuti Rhadiputi, teeter on the edge of misunderstanding again, this time over an expensive bed that won’t fit through the door. Charley, the apprentice, actually does something useful - and in a true miracle, says something nice about Mma. Makutsi. A woman who was adopted (and is now without living family) hires the agency to find her birth family, if possible. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni looks for a miracle for his adopted daughter, and more. 


At this point, so many books into the series, there is starting to be some repetition, at least of phrases and descriptions, which I suppose is to be expected in such a long-running series. But as usual, these are great for making the miles go by, with their languid pace, loveable characters, and optimism that most conflicts can be resolved with empathy and wisdom. 


It looks as though Mma. Makutsi’s nemesis from her days at the secretarial college, Violet Sephotho, is becoming a recurring villain in the series. She is a jealous woman, and in this case starts writing threatening letters to the agency. Because the book avoids simple characters, it is clear that Violet has her causes (if not valid excuses) for being a jerk, which is how Mma. Ramotswe defuses the situation while being both gracious and firm. 


I expect that we will continue to listen to one of these a year or so on our travels. 


For those who want to read the entire series of posts:


 #1 Ladies Detective Agency series:


The Tears of the Giraffe (#2 in the series)

Morality for Beautiful Girls (#3)

The Kalahari Typing School For Men (#4)

The Full Cupboard of Life (#5)

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (#6)

Blue Shoes And Happiness (#7)

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (#8)


Sunday Philosophy Club series:


The Sunday Philosophy Club


Professor Dr. Von Igelfeld series:


Portuguese Irregular Verbs


Other books:


La’s Orchestra Saves the World


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