When you’ve spent the first week of your holidays sick, trying to do much-needed spring-cleaning in short bursts between resting you tend to feel pretty dreary. So to sit in my comfy bed with fresh clean sheets, a lovely new doona cover in soothing colours, and read the latest No 1 LDS from cover to cover was doubly a treat.
It is always a joy to revisit Botswana, Precious and her life, family and friends. In this new adventure of course there is a case to be solved. It is brought to the attention of Precious and the indefatigable Grace Makutsi by meek and mild Mr Polopetis and concerns the wrongful dismissal of a widowed young mother. Grace rather forcefully (surprise!) manages to make herself into the ‘Primary Investigating Officer’ – she does love an important sounding title – and also succeeds into reducing Mr P into even further submission. In normal circumstances Precious might have stepped in more assertively but she has much to occupy her mind of a more personal nature and it is this that really is the main focus of this book.
First there is the revelation that her scurrilous ex-‘husband’ has been seen back in Gabarone. Precious wonders what further dramas he will manage to instigate for herself and her family.
More demanding on her emotions however is the discovery of another woman who bears the same surname as her own. Her investigations lead to the completely unexpected development that this woman is her sister (half-sister) and it is her desperate fear that her father was not the good man he always seemed. Precious suspects that Obed may have been unfaithful to her late mother before she died. Her unravelling of this complication consumes her until at last the revelation lies spread out in front of her and her newly found sister Mingie. Then at last they can begin to build their relationship.
This was exactly what I needed to occupy an hour or so of resting while feeling poorly. Not too demanding, interesting in its plot, always fascinating in character studies – and above all invoking the images of a beautiful country, culture and people.
I don’t need to recommend this to fans of McCall-Smith – but should you be wanting to add some more mystery titles to your collection this would be a fine addition.
For readers from probably around 14 years upwards.