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Sonderbooks Book Review of

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

by Alexander McCall Smith


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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

by Alexander McCall Smith

Reviewed May 9, 2008.
Pantheon Books, New York, 2007. 213 pages.
Starred Review.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2007: #5, Fiction: Romance

This book, the eighth in the series about The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency, is extra special, because my copy is signed by the author. I got to hear Alexander McCall Smith speak at George Mason University. His talk was every bit as funny and delightful as his books. I was completely enchanted. Of course, that didn't surprise me at all, since his books never fail to delight me.

I continue to strongly recommend this series to library patrons. I do urge you to begin at the beginning, with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I think you will probably want to read the rest, and eagerly read each next installment.

In The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, will Mma Makutsi really leave the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency? The pleasant ups and downs of day to day life, as usual, are peppered with interesting cases. Another delightful book.

I will give a taste of the pleasant wisdom found in these books by listing some quotations I highlighted:

If there's bad behaviour, the quickest way of stopping it is to give more love. That always works, you know. People say that we must punish when there is wrongdoing, but if you punish you're only punishing yourself. And what's the point of that?

And that stopped the stealing. Trust did it. We trusted him, and he knew it. So he stopped stealing.

"What we are trying to do with these children," said Mma Potokwane suddenly, "is to give them good things to remember. We want to make so many good memories for them that the bad ones are pushed into a corner and forgotten."

There was no point in telling somebody not to cry, she had always thought; indeed there were times when you should do exactly the opposite, when you should urge people to cry, to start the healing that sometimes only tears can bring.

"That engine I've been working on will run so sweetly," he remarked as he poured his tea.

"Like life," she said.