The eleventh novel in the delightful No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, “The Double Comfort Safari Club” takes the reader on yet another series of sleuthing adventures across Botswana, with the charming, compassionate, and very traditionally built Precious Ramotswe.
With his elegant and affectionate prose, Alexander McCall Smith evokes the sights and sounds, the smells and the dust, and the very essence of Botswana. People are kind and considerate. They retain their traditional values – and their traditional build – and never lose sight of their village origins. There is a palpable sense of community and compassion in the world of Precious Ramotswe – values that have been lost in many other seemingly more developed parts of the world.
“The Double Comfort Safari Club” features two of the secondary characters whom we have met over the preceding books.
Poor Phuti Radiphuti – soon to marry the clever Grace Makutsi, or so we hope – meets with an accident.
And the woman we all love to hate, the scheming, shameless “arch-Jezebel” Violet Sephotho (who could only manage 50% in the final exams of the Botswana Secretarial Ciollege) shows her true colours. And she is certainly no shrinking Violet.
This novel also travels further afield, out of Gaborone, Botswana’s dusty, friendly, low-key capital city, and off to Maun and the Okavango Delta.
Alexander McCall Smith has done more to put Botswana on the literary map than anyone else, and his unerring ear for dialogue and his obvious love of Africa and her people, all combine to make this eleventh novel in the series every bit as charming as the earlier books.
“The Double Comfort Safari Club” is published by Little Brown and costs £12.99