The Kalahari typing school for Men

by Alexander McCall Smith

Read Around the World: Botswana

How obtained: second hand store (~$2)


Precious Ramotswe and her assistant Grace Makutsi are back in the fourth instalment of the No. 1 ladies Detective Agency series.  Mma Ramotswe is continuing through life’s obstacles and challenges in her usual serene manner- patiently waiting on her fiancé to set a date, wisely dealing with her foster children’s issues,  empathetically treating a client who wishes to fix past wrongs, and investigating her cases with respect. Mma Makutsi is going through a time of change- she has taken up the challenge of running the autorepair shop when Mma Ramotswe’s fiancé was ill, and is now looking to start her own business. She works towards this, and is surprised by a love interest.


I have actually not read the other books in the series, but it doesn’t matter too much. I think the books are less about what actually happens and where the characters end up, and more about appreciating the way they go about their business. Throughout, there is a love for Botswana, and particularly the ‘old ways’, which are painted as a time when people were respectful, honest and cared about how they treated each other. There is a sense of the slow beauty of life, that is always there behind the busyness we create.


I really liked this book, for the reason’s just mentioned. It is a short easy read at 200 pages. I wouldn’t hesitate to read the others (there are 17 all up apparently), and I am thinking of trying to get a copy of the TV adapation- I saw one episode on TV and the scenery was lovely.


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