Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations

cover

****The Full Cupboard of Life

by Alexander McCall Smith

Reviewed April 5, 2004.
Polygon, Edinburgh, 2003.  202 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F MCC).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #4, Mystery and Adventure

Hooray!  My wonderful husband was in England and found this fifth book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.  Of course, when he got home, he was on the last 30 pages or so of the book, so I couldn’t really talk to him until he had finished, but it was worth it!

There’s nothing tremendously earth-shaking in this book.  We have the same characters with the same kinds of interactions.  Fortunately, they are delightful characters with amusing, refreshing lives.  I was very happy to spend time in their company again.  If you haven’t read any of these books, you should start at the beginning.  If you have, you’ll be as delighted as I was that a new book is coming out.  (I’ve ordered this book for the library, so it should arrive in the next month or so.)

Mma Ramotswe, that traditionally-built clever detective lady of Botswana, is still an engaged lady.  Will Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni ever set a date for their wedding?  Meanwhile, he has problems of his own, as he is again bullied into doing something he doesn’t want to do by Mma Potokwani, that fearsome matron of an orphan farm.  Mma Ramotswe has only one case in this book, and it doesn’t require as clever a solution as some in the earlier books.  Still, reading this book is a delightful interlude with wonderful people.

I began listing these book in the Mystery category, and I think I'll continue, to keep them together, but this one doesn't have a strong element of mystery.  I suppose now I'd put them in the "Literary" category, where I put other books I'm not quite sure what to do with.  These are simply funny but profound stories of  a remarkable woman and the land of Botswana.

Reviews of the other books in the series:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1)
Tears of the Giraffe (Book 2)
Morality for Beautiful Girls (Book 3)
The Kalahari Typing School for Men (Book 4)
In the Presence of Cheerful Ladies (Book 6)
Blue Shoes and Happiness (Book 7)
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (Book 8)
The Miracle at Speedy Motors (Book 9)
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (Book 10)
The Double Comfort Safari Club (Book 11)
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (Book 12)
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (Book 13)
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (Book 14)
The Handsome Man's Deluxe Café (Book 15)

Review of other books by Alexander McCall Smith:
The Great Cake Mystery
The Mystery of Meerkat Hill
The Sunday Philosophy Club
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
The Right Attitude to Rain
The Careful Use of Compliments
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday
La's Orchestra Saves the World
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs
Emma
The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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