The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith

Romance is in the air, and not just for Phuti Radiphuti, whose wedding is on the horizon. His fiancée, Mma Makutsi needs all 97% of her organisational skills to ensure everything runs smoothly, including the purchase of those all-important bridal shoes. Charlie, surely qualified as the longest serving apprentice ever, is dealing with – or rather, trying to avoid – the results of a romance, some nine months previously. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe is handling a very unpleasant case on a cattle farm and grappling with one of Clovis Anderson’s basic principles of detection advice – “never lie to a client”. There is a “love interest” for her too, in the shape of the ghost of her old white van

Verdict: Settle down with a nice pot of Redbush tea and a slice of cake; immerse yourself in a Botswana, where tradition and family ties remain important and decent people, with good manners, go about their day to day life.Although not quite as cheery as some of the earlier books in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, the story drifts along pleasantly, with wrongs being righted, good overcoming bad and cars being mended, all fuelled by lots of tea. Alexander McCall Smith writes beautifully so if you haven’t read the others I urge you to start at the beginning and enjoy the knowledge there are 11 more to go. ****

Warning: if you’re an animal lover, you might want someone to mark page 38 and one or two other pages as “unsuitable for the pathetically squeamish”.

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