The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection

Alexander McCall Smith. Pantheon, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-37840-8
Smith wisely doesn’t tamper with his winning recipe for literary comfort food in his 13th excursion to Gaborone, Botswana, in the company of bighearted PI Precious Ramotswe (after 2011’s The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party). An unknown tall man appears in a dream to Mma Ramotswe, and before long, one shows up for real, in the person of American Clovis Andersen, author of the bible of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, The Principles of Private Detection. Invited to the country by a woman working on an American project to build school libraries, Anderson ends up assisting his biggest fan in looking into the dirty laundry of a businessman whose plans to make the local orphanage more efficient threaten the role of its matron and its successful operation. As always, the detection is secondary to Smith’s continuing exploration of the rhythms and social dynamics of smalltown African life. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
Release date: 04/03/2012
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