Sunday, October 25, 2020

To the Land of Long Lost Friends (No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency #20), by Alexander McCall Smith (author), Lisette Lecat (narrator)

Recorded Books, October 2019

Precious Ramotswe attends a wedding, and thinks she sees a ghost--an old friend whom she hadn't seen in years, and whose death had been reported in the newspaper months ago. It turns out the friend is very much alive, and the newspaper reported the death of a woman of the same name, and mistakenly used the wrong picture. The friends reconnect--and the friend, Calvinia, has a problem she'd like Mma Ramotswe to look into. Her daughter, an adult with a good job, has started avoiding her mother. Calvinia is hurt, and can't find out why her daughter has cut contact. Can Mma Ramotswe?

Another old friend of Mma Ramotswe and Calvinia has apparently been swindled of all her money by a charismatic preacher.

Meanwhile, a paying client wants the detectives to find out that her husband is having an affair. They are unable to oblige; he's taking math lessons. But is something else really going on? Charlie, who started as comic relief, has been developing into a real and worthwhile character, and makes a useful contribution in this case.

Charlie also wants to marry his girlfriend, Queenie-Queenie, but her family is both rich, and rather traditional. Charlie has no cattle and no money, and Queenie-Queenie suggests that her brother give Charlie a job in his business. It might be an offer Charlie can't accept, even to be able to marry Queenie-Queenie.

As we've come to expect, the issues here are not crime and danger, but moral choices, mutual respect, communication, and understanding. Both Charlie and Mma Makutsi are flawed but fundamentally decent people, trying to make the right choices. Mma Ramotswe, and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, on much stronger ground, nevertheless still find challenges from which to learn and grow.

Mma Potokwane, matron of the orphan farm and reliable purveyor of fruitcake, provides a couple of rather different delights in this story, and demonstrates that you should never tick off someone who has successfully managed an orphan farm for many years.

A very pleasant, enjoyable visit with old friends. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

No comments:

Post a Comment