Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Mma Ramotswe and her friends are back solving problems big and small in the latest visit to Botswana and the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  The book begins with Mma Makutsi, partner in the firm, suddenly ordering stationery, name plates, and office upgrades which make it seem SHE is in charge of the first detective firm run by ladies in that country.  Mma Ramotswe, the founder and force behind the company, is alarmed but decides to see where all this is going before confronting her friend about the situation.

The orphan farm, run by the well-known and beloved Mma Potokwane, gets a new bookkeeper in the form of a young woman named Patience. It turns out that Patience, like Mma Makutsi, comes from the village of Bobonong.  Since everyone knows everyone there, the two ladies are acquainted with each other and happy to reconnect in the relatively cosmopolitan city of Gabarone.  While catching up, Patience reveals that she has moved to town with her 14-year-old son because she was escaping a bad relationship but has fortunately met a very nice man.  Her son, however, is making all of their lives difficult with his surly behavior.  Mma Ramotswe may just have a plan to solve the problem . . .

At the same time, Mma Makutsi's husband, Phuti Radiphuti, is also facing worrying times.  His furniture store is being undercut by a new, flashy furniture company in town.  While they don't sell the same type of furniture, exactly (the new store places more worth on style than comfort), Phuti's business is in serious decline.  It doesn't help matters when everyone's nemesis, the glamorous but evil Violet Sephotho is hired to be a model and CELEBRITY OPINION FORMER for the rival company.  But once again, Mma Ramotswe can outmaneuver dirty business tricks with her own brand of wholesome revenge.

It is a pleasure to revisit all the characters and to find them pretty much the same as always:  Mma Ramotswe enjoying red bush tea, Mma Makutsi and Charlie, the apprentice detective, sniping away at each other, Violet up to her old tricks, and Mma Potokwane baking and eating her fruitcake.  It is lovely to step into their gentle and kind world and to know that everything will work out in the end, and the reader will have an enjoyable journey getting there!

I received a copy of A Song of Comfortable Chairs from NetGalley 


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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