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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 8) Paperback – March 11, 2008
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“McCall Smith's fans seem to hunger for the kindness, dignity and humor he celebrates in Mma Ramotswe, and this book will not disappoint them.” —The Oregonian “As pleasing as a cup of red bush tea.” —Entertainment Weekly “Delightful. . . . Everybody gets into the detective act in the latest entry in the sweet series that revolves around the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.” —USA Today “Not since the early books in the series have the land and its people been so lovingly and lyrically described.” —The Miami Herald
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the huge international phenomenon, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and The Sunday Philosophy Club series. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana and at Edinburgh University. He lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra). His website is www.alexandermccallsmith.com.
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After reading this latest book about your detective agency, I suspect that you may soon be looking to hire a new assistant detective. Although I trained as a librarian, I believe I have the qualities you are looking for on Tlokweng Road. First of all I achieved a grade of 98 percent on my library exams, which I believe betters the score of a certain graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College. Through all of your mysteries I have come to love the peaceful nation of Botswana, its father Seretse Khama, its cattle, your daddy Obed, bush tea, the tiny white van, and, most importantly, traditionally built ladies. Of all the mysteries that we order for my library, yours are my favorite. True, each one is much like the other. But that is what I love, the ability to almost complete your sentences, read your thoughts, to know what you will be having for dinner (stewed pumpkin). I never feel more at peace than I do upon re-entering your world in Gabarone. In this book, I love the way familiar friends are placed in unfamiliar situations. Mma Makutsi's red dress and talking shoes alone provide enough drama for an excellent addition to the series, never mind that philandering husband or that unlucky hospital bed. A novel a year is simply not enough for me though--I would like to spend every day with you, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and even those good for nothing apprentices who are so like some of my feckless after school volunteers. Patron references available upon request. The Stern Librarian (I also understand engines).
I ordered this entire series of 12 previously published books to replace my collection loaned to a friend who then gave the collection away. Lady Detective Precious, her friends & family provide an uplifting read to be enjoyed again & again.
Fans of the series will once again delight in the straightforward storytelling, the comfortable atmosphere and especially the characters that by now are as familiar as a favorite cup of tea. Although this one isn't his best, it brings in a few new developments that more than make up for the old chestnut of a plot line that he resurrects for a new client who is in fact a distant relative of Mma Ramotswe. Anybody who has come across a certain medically themed cartoon or keeps up with urban legends will solve this case immediately, and although I kept hoping that there would be a twist, I was disappointed to find out that I was right all along.
That aside, Mma Ramotswe has her hands full with a human resources problem, Mma Makutsi branches out and Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni finds that detective work is more difficult than he had expected. Problems arise in life, love and apprentices, but Mma Ramotswe proves that everything can be overcome after some pumpkin and good Botswana beef, or a thick slice of cake and a cup or four of red bush tea.
This one is a quick and easy read, and although it's not bad for a book eight in a series, it isn't his best writing to date. If, however, you've been following the series from the beginning, you'll love the character development in spite of the somewhat lame sub-plots.
Amanda Richards, May 5, 2007
Each of these books - and this one is no exception - gives the reader a gentle vignette of life under the wide and empty African sky. They are written with great love and understanding of place and people. I eagerly await each new volume.