Precious and Grace

Alexander McCall Smith, 1948-

Book - 2016

"The delightful seventeenth installment of the ever-popular, perennially best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective, is a little short on help. The co-director of the agency, Grace Makutsi, is busy with her own case, her client none other than their erstwhile assistant, Mr. Polopetsi, who has unwittingly involved himself in a pyramid scheme. The agency's other assistant, Charlie, may also need more help than he can ...offer, as he is newly embroiled in a romance with a glamorous woman about whom the others have their doubts. So when a young Canadian woman approaches Mma Ramotswe with a complex case, it's up to her alone to solve it--with her signature intuition and insight, of course. The young woman spent part of her childhood in Botswana and needs help finding a long-lost acquaintance. But much time has passed, and her memory yields few clues. The difficult search--and the unexpected results--will remind them all that sometimes it's those we think we know best who most surprise us"--

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Series
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series
Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Published
New York : Pantheon Books [2016]
Edition
First United States edition
Language
English
Physical Description
227 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781101871355
1101871350
Main Author
Alexander McCall Smith, 1948- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This seventeenth installment of McCall Smith's wildly popular No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is that rare find in a long-running series: a book that can appeal both to newcomers and to longtime fans. The opening pages, in which Mma Precious Ramotswe, who founded and owns the only detective agency in Botswana, drives her beloved, battered white van along the bumpy road to her office and thinks about the people in her life, both living ("in some cases, only too obviously present") and dead, is a brilliant reconstruction of the previous 16 novels' major characters. For those familiar with the series, it's like meeting old friends, with nice touches that appear in every novel, including the 97 grade that Precious' one-time secretary and now co-director, Mma Grace Makutsi, earned at the Botswana Secretarial College and brings up in nearly every conversation. Much of this book shows the prickly, comic-yet-loving relationship between Precious and Grace, with Precious nimbly sidestepping Grace's massive ambition. There is a central case, that of a woman from Canada who grew up in Botswana and wants to find her old home. There's also a local pyramid scheme that threatens to sink a part-time, sad-sack employee of the agency. But these cases lead to what is most fascinating in McCall Smith's writing—the way he uses clients' problems as a springboard into wise Precious' reflections on how to live. As always, a marvelous mix of humor, startling incidents, contemporary African setting, and memorable characters.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A long-running series with a built-in audience that always craves more—the recipe for success in crime fiction. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In her 17th outing, Botswana lady detective Precious Ramotswe has a big case on hand: helping a Canadian woman raised partly in Botswana find a long-lost friend. With codirector Grace Makutsi helping their assistant Mr. Polopetsi disentangle himself from a pyramid scheme and second assistant Charlie wrapped up in a hot romance with a woman the others distrust, Mma Ramotswe is on her own. With a ten-city tour. [Page 48]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Forgiveness is often the solution," observes Precious Ramotswe toward the end of Smith's warmhearted, humane 17th No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel (after 2015's The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine). Mma Ramotswe is referring to the book's main case, which involves a Canadian woman in her late 30s, Susan, who spent her childhood years in Botswana and now wants to find Rosie, the nurse maid largely responsible for raising her. Mma Ramotswe places an ad in a Gaborone newspaper, which brings a woman who claims to be Rosie to the detective agency. Grace Makutsi, the agency's prickly codirector, suspects this Rosie is a fraud, while Mma Ramotswe senses something not quite right about Susan's quest. Meanwhile, the ladies deal with a couple of minor cases: their assistant Fanwell rescues a stray dog that needs a home, and Mr. Polepetsi, their sometime helper, becomes an unwitting pawn in a pyramid scheme involving cattle. As ever, Smith adroitly mixes gentle humor with important life lessons. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Helping Mr. Polopetsi with an entanglement in a pyramid scheme and Charlie with a dubious romance, an unassisted Precious Ramotswe tackles the case of a young Canadian woman who would find a long-lost acquaintance from her Botswana childhood. By a best-selling author.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"The delightful seventeenth installment of the ever-popular, perennially best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective, is a little short on help. The co-director of the agency, Grace Makutsi, is busy with her own case, her client none other than their erstwhile assistant, Mr. Polopetsi, who has unwittingly involved himself in a pyramid scheme. The agency's other assistant, Charlie, may also need more help than he can offer, as he is newly embroiled in a romance with a glamorous woman about whom the others have their doubts. So when a young Canadian woman approaches Mma Ramotswe with a complex case, it's up to her alone to solve it--with her signature intuition and insight, of course. The young woman spent part of her childhood in Botswana and needs help finding a long-lost acquaintance. But much time has passed, and her memory yields few clues. The difficult search--and the unexpected results--will remind them all that sometimes it's those we think we know best who most surprise us"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

While helping Mr. Polopetsi with an entanglement in a pyramid scheme and Charlie with a dubious romance, Precious Ramotswe tackles the case of a young Canadian woman who would find a long-lost acquaintance from her Botswana childhood.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In this latest installment of the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi help a young woman on a quest to find someone from her past.Changes are afoot at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, where Mma Makutsi, who has recently been promoted to co-director, has been encouraging Mma Ramotswe to update to more modern office practices. However, an unusual case will require both of them to turn their attention firmly to the past. A young Canadian woman who spent her early childhood in Botswana requests the agency’s help in recovering important pieces of her life there. With only a faded photograph—and, of course, some good old-fashioned detective skills—to guide them, Precious and Grace set out to locate the house that the woman used to live in and the caretaker who looked after her many years ago. But when the journey takes an unexpected turn, they are forced to consider whether some lost things may be better off unfound.Busy as she is with this challenging investigation, Mma Ramotswe can always be relied on to come to the aid of her friends—who seem to have a special knack for landing in hot water. Mr. Polopetsi, an occasional assistant at the agency, has made an ill-advised business decision that may lead to serious trouble. And next door at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Fanwell, the junior mechanic, has become helplessly attached to a stray dog who proves to be a bigger responsibility than he can handle. With Mma Makutsi by her side, Mma Ramotswe dispenses help and sympathy with the graciousness and warmth for which she is so well known, and everyone is led to surprising insights into the healing power of compassion, forgiveness, and new beginnings.