cover image The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

Alexander McCall Smith. Pantheon, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-307-91156-8

Precious Ramotswe goes on vacation in Smith’s enchanting 16th No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel (after 2014’s The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café). Her second in command, the prickly Grace Makutsi, is glad to take charge in her absence. Mma Ramotswe, who’s basically staying home on Zebra Drive in Gaborone, can’t help worrying about how things are going at the office. Her concern grows when Mr. Polopetsi, a part-time chemistry teacher who also helps out at the agency, confides that Mma Makutsi has failed to make progress on a new case involving a late government official. With Mr. Polopetsi’s blessing, Mma Ramotswe discreetly investigates. Meanwhile, she comes to the assistance of Samuel, an abused boy she encounters on the street, and discovers that scheming Violet Sephotho, Mma Makutsi’s rival from the Botswana Secretarial College, has started the No. 1 Ladies’ College of Secretarial and Business Studies. As usual, Smith’s blend of gentle humor and insights into human nature is irresistible. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Oct.)