Review: Tears of the Giraffe

Alexander McCall Smith (2000)

The second installment in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is just as charming and enjoyable as the first. Mma Ramotswe, Botswana’s only female detective, is back solving another batch of mysteries, which includes a ten-year-old missing persons case with a surprisingly affecting conclusion.

Mwa Ramotswe, engaged to marry the good-hearted mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, has a number of surprises in store for her, including the addition of two to her household and the promotion of her dependable secretary to assistant detective. And then there’s Matekoni’s deceitful maid, who realizes her employer’s impending marriage will mean the end of her easy life and determines to stop it any way she can.

Lyrical writing, wonderfully drawn characters, and an enveloping sense of place make McCall Smith’s books a pleasure to read. Crime solving is perfectly blended with the developing interrelationships of Mwa Ramotswe and her extended family, drawing the reader in to that circle as well by story’s end. [***** out of 5]

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