Caught reading – Mrs Penny Crossman

RECOMMENDATIONS/BOOK REVIEW                                                       (Staff)

Mrs Penny Crossman

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest book in the wonderful No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series and is as delightful and well-written as its predecessors.

It continues the gentle stories of the traditionally built Mma Ramotswe and her ‘somewhat touchy’ assistant, Mma Makutsi, as they work to solve the cases that are brought to them by fellow residents of the town of Gaborone in Botswana.

This time they also have to locate the beneficiary of an American tourist’s legacy, which involves a trip to the Delta region with its safari camps and native animals, and a boat trip in a traditional canoe in waters also inhabited by hippos and crocodiles.

As well, Mma Makutsi’s fiancé Mr Phuti Radiphuti is injured in an accident and his unpleasant senior aunt takes over his care and refuses to let Grace Makutsi see him.

You don’t need to have read the earlier works in the series, but it would add to your enjoyment to have done so, as the characters have developed over time and this book then welcomes them back into your life.

Alexander McCall Smith writes so well; there is humour in his work, as well as affection for his characters and their land, and understanding of the Botswana traditions. I also enjoy the way he paints quite vivid images with his careful use of words, such as

The moon was a sliver away from fullness

Dusk was not far off, but had not yet made its softening mark; yet the birds knew, and were flying from tree to tree restlessly, finding just the right place to spend the impending night.

This is a book to be savoured and enjoyed. Your first thought on finishing it is ‘when will I be able read the next one?’

Thankyou, Mrs Crossman, I know there are many readers who share your enjoyment of this series.

Watch the trailer for the BBC series of The No. 1 ladies detective agency here.

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