“The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection” – Charming Characters Make A Novel Shine

Book Review :            The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection                                                                                         by Alexander McCall Smith

Spoiler Alert!

Mma Ramotswe has been dreaming of a tall man waiting for her beneath an acacia tree. Though she has never met him, because he is not from Botswana, she feels she must know him. Though since it is only a dream it is unlikely to happen.

Phuti Radiphuti and his new wife, Grace Makutsi, have decided to have a home built for them. The contractor has strong ideas of what is right for the home, and he is confident he is the one to do the job right. The problem is that the contractor is shockingly rude and perhaps a might shady.

Fanwell was pressed into helping an old friend, or better described as an old acquaintance, but now the police have taken the apprentice away on criminal charges. To make matters worse the lawyer appears to believe that Fanwell is guilty.

Finally, Mma Potokwane, the matron of the orphan farm has been dismissed by the board of directors because she did not like the proposed budget saving scheme devised by Mr. Ditso Ditso. Of course, something must be wrong with this man because he drives an untrustworthy car, very flashy with lots of chrome.

Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi and their beloved mentor, Clovis Anderson follow the sage advice in The Principles of Private Detection to find solutions to the myriads of problems presented.

Adult Point of View

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and always look forward to the next book. There are lines that are repeated through every book, for example, having a cup of bush tea that could be annoying if all the books were read back to back, however, it is easy to enjoy like an old friend. I love the continuity in the characters’ lives. Everything moves slowly and with an expected cadence in their conversation and thoughts.

When I run into an old friend invariably she will ask me what’s new and I will think, and think because nothing seems new. Life is repetitive. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection reminds me of real life in this way. Very little happens, that which happens comes about slowly and the book is full of the repetition we each have in our own lives. I believe one of the reasons that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is so popular is because of the characters; their quirks, honest portrayal of the human character and their reactions to each situation.

In The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection I particularly liked meeting the famed Clovis Anderson. He knew he wasn’t the man Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi believed him to be and had to confess his own short-comings. What is truly wonderful is Mma Ramotswe’s reaction, that he is important even if only one book had ever been sold because he has helped others. I highly recommend this series.

4 out of 4 stars


– Michelle

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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