From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Once again, Precious Ramotswe uses her insights into human nature to unravel problems big and small in Smith's charming 10th novel to feature Botswana's No. 1 lady detective (after The Miracle at Speedy Motors
). Leungo Molofololo, the owner of the Kalahari Swoopers, a local soccer team with a lot of athletic talent, suspects a traitor on the squad is deliberately sabotaging games for an unknown reason. Despite her complete ignorance of the sport, Mma Ramotswe agrees to look into the matter. She and her prickly assistant, Grace Makutsi, attend a match and begin interviewing the players in an effort to solve what amounts to the book's main mystery. The soccer inquiry, though, is secondary to a major event in Mma Ramotswe's life—the impending demise of the little white van she's used for many years that's much more than a machine to her. Fans can look forward to the debut of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
on HBO on March 29. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* In stressful times, Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe always finds solace in a steaming pot of red bush tea. But it’s going to take many cups of the richly hued liquid to help her cope with current woes. Topping the list is the state of Mma’s tiny white van, which has developed an ominous rattle she can no longer ignore. Meanwhile, at the detective agency, Mma Ramotswe and her very opinionated assistant, Grace Makutsi, are enlisted by football coach Leungo Molofololo to determine why his once-successful team has lost so many games. (Could there be a traitor among the ranks?) The case will certainly be a challenge. Mma Ramotswe knows nothing about football, and Mma Makutsi is distracted. Her fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti, has hired Violet Sephotho, Grace’s one-time nemesis at the Botswana Secretarial College, to work at his furniture store. (Grace fears that glamorous, manipulative Violet is out to steal her man.) Grace trusts Phuti, but she knows men are weak. “They cannot help it,” she muses, “they are dazzled, just as a mouse is hypnotized by the swaying of a cobra. And then the cobra strikes and it is all over for the mouse, just as it is for the man.” Scotsman McCall Smith’s rich regard for Botswana resonates in this warm, witty, and wise tenth installment in the internationally best-selling series. What fan can resist? --Allison Block