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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review: To the Land of Long Lost Friends

Title: To the Land of Long Lost Friends
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: 10th September 2019 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 227 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: contemporary fiction, Africa, mystery
My Rating: 4.5 crowns

Mr J. L. B. Matekoni usually steers clear of Mma Ramotswe's cases, but on this occasion he is approached by a client of the garage who tells a tale of woe. This man has entrusted his brother to oversee the building of a house, yet the project is complete and now the brother won't leave. How is he to get him to move on? Surprisingly, Mr Polopetsi comes to the rescue. Elsewhere, a woman with a troublesome daughter comes to see Mma Ramotswe, and Mma Ramotswe finds herself trying to reconcile the two. Finally, Charlie is still enamoured of Queenie-Queenie. She, however, has developed a fancy for Fanwell. With the threat of an awkward love triangle looming, Mma Makutsi gets involved and so do her shoes . . .
My Thoughts

"Mma Ramotswe sighed. You had to sigh sometimes, because life was so complicated or impenetrable; or because people behaved in a messy way; or because there was simply no ready solution to a human mix-up ... you should not expect a resolution of everything because some details in any picture were simply not there, and never would be?" 

I cannot tell you the complete and utter joy I get in opening up a fresh new tale from the ‘No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’. It is hard to believe this is the 20th instalment! Yes! You read correctly, twenty .... and still going strong. Precious Ramotswe and her life in Botswana is a place I long to retreat to after a long, hard day. 

Followers of this series are in it for the long haul as it’s like catching up with old friends. More often than not, it’s not the slow, gentle story/investigation that unfurls that draws you in, but rather the tidbits that make you smile, or pearls of wisdom that cause you to pause and consider. These are tales that make you feel. 

Alexander McCall Smith has managed once again to write another wonderful tale where our leading lady, Precious, encourages us to slow down, ponder and express gratitude. To many it might at times appear trite, but such is the superb craftsmanship of Alexander that it provides us with a gentle reminder to be more open minded and extend warmth to those around us. 

"She rose from her desk. She had already had a cup of tea at home, before she left for the office, but that was no reason not to have one now. A cup of tea usually restored perspective on things,and that was what she needed now, rather than to sit and think about the ways in which the modern world was ordered. And she was right: a steaming cup of redbush tea was sufficient to banish thoughts of change and decay and to restore the spirits. This was going to be a good day - she was determined to make that so -  and she was going to work steadily and efficiently through the list of tasks she had written out for herself."

Thanks goes to Hachette Australia for a copy to read and review. 

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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