Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #2) by Alexander McCall Smith

Tear of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #2)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Read by Lisette Lecat
7 Hours 49 Minutes
Published September 2002 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Publisher's Summary: 
Precious Ramotswe is the eminently sensible and cunning proprietor of the only ladies’ detective agency in Botswana. In Tears of the Giraffe she tracks a wayward wife, uncovers an unscrupulous maid, and searches for an American man who disappeared into the plains many years ago. In the midst of resolving uncertainties, pondering her impending marriage to a good, kind man, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, and the promotion of her talented secretary (a graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College, with a mark of 97 per cent), she also finds her family suddenly and unexpectedly increased by two.

My Thoughts: 
After just one book in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series, I already knew what to expect from the books in the series, not the least of which is that these would be detective stories that had far more to do with the lives of Precious Ramotswe, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, and the people around them than the actual cases that the detective agency takes on. 

In Tear of the Giraffe, we pick up where we left off with Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni having recently become engaged. Now they must decide which of their homes they will move into after they are married. It becomes clear to Mma Ramotswe quickly that her place on Zebra Road is far preferable but this means that Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni's maid will need to be let go and she is not at all happy to be losing her golden goose. She's been running a side hustle in the house while her employer has been off to work and she's bound and determined to convince him that his fiancee must go. 

That's the first of Mma Ramotswe's problems in this book. Then there is Grace Makutsi, the detective agency's secretary, who wants to take on a bigger role, a couple of cases to be solved with delicacy, and an orphanage matron whose ability to manipulate people changes the lives of Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni. 

Precious Ramotswe is a sensible woman whose case solving relies on intuition and observation. McCall Smith's writing is equally sensible - nothing fancy about it. Still he manages to give readers vivid pictures of the appearance of his characters and their surroundings. Where he does get lyrical is when he talks about the country of Botswana, which becomes one of the series' characters. 

These are cozy mysteries that will have readers considering morality, decency, and our ability to learn and change. I feel absolutely certain that Lisette Lecat's reading of the books is adding to my enjoyment of the books which makes them even more perfect as books to be listened to when I need something quick and not too heavy to listen to between heavier books. I've already started the next book!

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