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Book Name: The Double Comfort Safari Club

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

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Overall Rating: (4.54/5) View all reviews (total 52 reviews)
Description

Starred Review. As in 2009'sTea Time for the Traditionally Built, the previous entry in this beguiling, bestselling series, a personal crisis for one of the leads, rather than a mystery, drives the plot of Smith's superb 12th novel set in Botswana featuring his infinitely understanding sleuth, Precious Ramotswe. When a delivery truck backs into Phuti Radiphuti, the fiancé of Mma Ramotswe's prickly and insecure assistant, Grace Makutsi, and crushes his leg against a wall, Phuti's rude aunt won't allow Grace to visit her beloved in the hospital. Meanwhile, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency tries to help the executor of an American woman, who wished to leave some money to a kind tour guide, but couldn't recall the guide's name. The resolution to the problem of another client, who was cheated out of his home by a gold-digger, might strike some as unduly fortuitous, but it makes sense within the framework of these books, which are more about humanity than logic.(Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.

Reviews

Love, tragic events and the return of old enemies

by A. Woodley "Patroness, Janeites, the Austen list"
(5/5)

Precious Ramotswe's crime solving in Botswana ably assisted by her trusty side-kick, Mma Makutsi is chronicled in another gently humourous offering from Alexander McCall Smith. the Double Comfort Safari Club has some mystery, some minor tragedy and Smith manages to invest a little cunning legal tickery in here as well.Precious Ramotswe is on the case of a mystery guide who has been left a large legacy by a grateful American tourist who remembers their kindness. The only trouble the now 'late' tourist can not remember the name, or the name of the company they worked for. Precious and Mma Makutsi must travel to the area to discover this man. The journey is full of the small observations in life - who they will stay with, and most importantly (for Mma Makutsi) what shoes they must wear. McCall smith is at his most humourous best in these discussions. Mma Makutsi's helpful instructions while driving are just delicious.Meanwhile tragedy has struck Mma Makutsi. Her fiance Phuti Radiphuti of the Double Comfort Furniture shop has been struck by a truck and is now in hospital having an amputation. Unfortunately for Mma Makutsi, there is an aunt. There is always an aunt in Botswana, but this aunt it a jealous aunt. Mma Makutsi and Preious Ramotswe must navigate the tricky and unpleasant world of aunts to see Rra Raduphuti and give him the proper care which only a fiancee can provide.Meanwhile there is some legal problems, a man who thought he was in love and was tricked in to making his house over to his fiancee has been duped out of it. He comes to Mma Ramotswe in desperation, he knows she cannot do anything really - but just maybe there is something. This is a nice little case which brings back a dark shadow from the past, Violet Sephotho!In all the interlinked stories McCall Smith manages to invest strong voices in all his characters. I like the gentle wit and humour which underlies them all, for instance the internal discussion Mma Ramotswe goes through when wondering about offering tea to a client. Now that she is using the small teapot there is only tea for one person in it and with Grace away she cannot ask a man to make extra tea - so when a client arrives to talk to her she decides, after much internal reasoning, that it is better to not offer him tea. Until her (male) assistant offers to make tea out of the blue - and solves the problem.McCall Smith sets his characters on Safari and while it might be expected that people of Botswana are used to the bush - they are not. They are urbanites, used to city living. The canoe trip to the safari camp is spiced by the enlightening chatter of the 'taxi driver' from hell. No disaster or problem or possible fatal end to them is left unrelished by him.Full of wonderful touches of humour, this is another chapter in the life of the Number One Ladies Detective Agency.


Weak entry in the series

by Bearette24
(3/5)

I didn't think this was quite as good as the other books in the series, though the ending was redeeming. Here, Mma Ramotswe investigates a couple where each one accuses the other of cheating, and tries to find a safari guide so he can get his inheritance. Also, Mma Makutsi's fiance has an accident. The plot meandered for a while until the ending, where everything was nicely resolved.


Trouble with Grace and Other Problems

by Bill Jordin
(5/5)

The Double Comfort Safari Club (2010) is the eleventh Private Investigator novel in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, followingTea Time for the Traditionally Built. The initial volume in this sequence isThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.In the previous volume, Grace declared that everybody in the world was becoming lazy. They were driving when they should be walking. She expressed an opinion that people would evolve into wheeled creatures if this trend continued.Precious believed that Grace was overstating her case. However, walking more would give some benefits to most people. She remembered how much she walked as a child and decided to do a bit more walking.Precious and Grace had a new client. Molofololo said that someone was betraying the team. He wanted them to find the traitor.Precious knew that she was ignorant of the game of football. Yet Molofololo did not want her to solve the tactical problems of the team. He only wanted the agency to discover who was causing the team to loose their games.In this novel, Precious Ramotswe is the founder and Head Detective at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. She is now married to J.L.B. Maketoni. She and J.L.B are fostering two children -- Puso and Motholeli -- from the orphan farm.Grace Makutsi is an Assistant Detective at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. She is also the stenographer and typist. She is engaged to Phuti.J.L.B Maketoni is the husband of Precious. He is also an automobile mechanic and owns the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors.Charlie is the senior apprentice at Speedy Motors. He is more interested in girls and flashy clothes to attract girls.Fanwell is the junior apprentice at Speedy Motors. He is more diligent than Charlie, but is adversely influenced by the older apprentice.Phuti Radiphuti is from a rich family. They own the Double Comfort Furniture Store and many cattle. He has asked Grace to marry him.Constance Mateleke is a nurse and midwife. She is a friend of Precious.Mma Felo is a very rich lady in Botswana. She is a philanthropist and helps many charities.Violet Sephotho is a former classmate of Grace. She never earned more than fifty percent on the school examination, but got a job because of her good looks. She and Grace are not friends.In this story, J.L.B. thinks that no car is entirely perfect. He is on his way to check out the car of Constance. She says it is not working at all.On the way, the red car behind him is driving too close to his rear bumper. The traffic coming toward them is very heavy. So the driver passes on the shoulder. He waves thanks after coming back on the Lobatse Road.A short way down the road, J.L.B. sees Constance's car on the shoulder. The red car is just in front of it. When he parks his truck on the verge, Constance introduces the driver of the red car as a good Samaritan named Ntirang,J.L.B. checks out the car and finds it completely dead. He notices that Ntirang turns back toward Gaborone instead of continuing on to Lobatse. He mentions the incident to Precious that evening.As J.L.B. is towing Constance's car back to the garage, Grace is making tea. She thinks of the teapots they use and wonders why Precious uses the large pot and the rest of the staff uses the small pot. Precious doesn't drink a lot of tea, but Grace share the small pot with the garage staff.Grace mentions switching the teapots and Precious agrees. Grace says that they don't have to change their customs, but Precious says why not. Grace is very uncomfortable with the change, but Precious insists.Charlie is going out for a part and asks if he should pick up the mail. Precious gives him permission and he heads out. When he returns, Charlie mentions that Precious has a letter from the USA.The letter is from a lawyer. A Mrs. Grant has died and the lawyer has been named as her executor. One of the bequest is for a guide in a safari camp near Maun. The lawyer doesn't know the name of the camp or the guide.Precious thinks that a trip to Maun would be nice. Yet she needs more information. She decides to consult with a travel agent she knows.That evening, Grace is preparing supper for Phuti. He is running late. Finally she sees his car approaching.But the car is driven by Phuti's assistant manager. Phuti has been in an accident. One of his drivers backed a truck into him and his leg was injured.Grace is told that Phuti is having an operation. More information will be available afterward. Grace is told to wait.The next morning, Precious learns about the accident. She takes Grace to the hospital. Phuti's aunt is unwilling to talk to Grace.Later, Phuti is taken by his aunt to her house. Grace is not welcome there. She is not even allowed to sit on the veranda.The next Saturday, Precious is drinking tea at the President's Hotel near the Riverwalk. Mma Felo recognizes her and asks to sit at her table. Precious mentions her little white van and Felo says that her son had bought it.This tale takes Precious and Grace to the safari camp looking for the guide. Grace insists on wearing safari boots. Precious finds them comfortable, but doesn't really see the need. Yet she recognizes that the boots make Grace happier.Violet causes more trouble. The next installment in this sequence isThe Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.Highly recommended for McCall Smith fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of foreign cultures, detective investigations, and a bit of trouble. Read and enjoy!-Bill Jordin


Slow start, then it gets going well

by Bill Staley
(4/5)

If you have read the first 10, you will enjoy this one and should not miss it. But this is not the best of the series.The first two-thirds seemed a bit forced. One of the mysteries is no mystery at all to the reader. The last third was about average for this wonderful series. On the whole, it seems from Double Comfort like the author is a little tired of the series."Auntie No. 1" is a great villain introduced in this book. The climactic scene for this villain was not satisfying and seemed hurried, despite the build-up.This is the first book in this series that my wife and I listened to in the car, as opposed to reading the book. We listened over 2 days, which is about the same as reading one of the books on both legs of a long flight. Personally, I enjoyed reading more than listening, possibly because I was distracted by the long spoken "MMMMMa" and "RRRRRRa" and the names that seem more difficult to distinguish when spoken. The narrator did a good job, and paced it nicely.The name of the other garage apprentice (not Charlie) sounds like "Fanbelt" when spoken, which amused me.


Braving hippos, crocs and mean girls to get the job done

by Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow"
(5/5)

I've enjoyed every one of the gentle and witty books in Alexander McCall-Smith's wonderful "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, but this new one--"The Double Comfort Safari Club"--is something really special. The story is chockfull of the usual common sense and humanity that marks all of these novels, but in this latest episode, Mma Ramotswe takes on some tougher tasks that pit her once again up against Botswana's meanest "Mean Girl", Violet Sephotho; helping her assistant Grace Makutsi through a crisis with her fiance; sorting out a friend's marital shenanigans; and tracking down the legatee of an American visitor to one of Botswana's wildlife areas. With the latter chore, Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi go on safari, armed only with stylish new boots, to protect them from hippos and crocs that must be dealt with in order find the lucky heir to some U.S. dollars.So there are a bit more meat and potatoes in "The Double Comfort...", giving the novel interesting heft and zip. But, in the end, it's still the wonderful insights into human nature and the non-stop promotion of better angels that make the story so enjoyable. Mma Ramotswe's uncompromisable moral compass, her love of her country and her understanding of human behavior provide comfort and a good does of optimism for the lucky reader who picks up this book and spends a few hours with it. Wonderful and highly recommended.


Fun exciting short stories

by Book lover
(3/5)

The setting in Botwana is great as are the characters and life stories. Smith is a truly gifted writer. It is sad to see so many great writers like Smith go for the quick buck and write a series of short stories that should be one truly fantastic classic novel. I look forward to a real classic novel from this author. Until then these short stories are fun but repetitive in the basics.


A Pleasant Afternoon With a Good Friend

by booknblueslady
(4/5)

When I am in need of a mental pick me up, I find myself reaching for an Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book. There is nothing quite like a fix of Mma Precious Ramotswe to make the world seem like a better place. I want to visit Botswana and manufacture a problem which she can help me solve.The latest installation which I had on tap was The Double Comfort Safari Club . It has the same easy going pace of all, which I have become accustomed to. Grace Makutsi's fiance, Phuti has an accident which lands him in the hospital, Violet Sephotho is up to mischief once again and Precious and Grace must journey to a safari club on business.There are no great surprises or earth shaking discoveries when reading a No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book, but they continue to delight and comfort like a visit from an old friend. I'm sure they are not for everyone, but I just love them.


Seriously, This is Good!

by Bookreporter
(5/5)

The arrival of a thick envelope from America, addressed to Mma Precious Ramotswe, at The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Gabarone, Botswana, Africa, causes quite a stir. Even the apprentice mechanics who work next door at Speedy Motors, owned by her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, gather to speculate on its contents. It is not an everyday event to receive letters from America, and when one bears an American attorney's return address, all work stops.The letter reveals a request to locate a certain tour guide (name unknown) at a Safari lodge (name also unknown) in the remote Okavango Delta National Park. This unnamed guide was very kind to the lawyer's late client, Mrs. Estelle Grant, an American tourist who left a bequest of $3,000 to the guide. All the other heirs have been found and contacted, and in one last effort to fulfill this remaining request, the attorney had contacted the American Embassy that referred him to the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Could Mma Ramotswe please travel to the Delta region and locate the Safari camp and the guide, have the enclosed papers signed, and deliver the check? All expenses paid.Was this not a step up Precious Ramotswe's career ladder!She decided she could turn things over at the agency for a few days to Grace Matakutsi, her assistant detective recently promoted from secretary, while she set out for the wild delta region. As she was planning the trip, they received the bad news that Grace's fiancé, wealthy furniture store owner Phuti Radiphuti, had suffered a severe and potentially life-altering injury at his store. It was an injury that might even delay or cancel their plans for marriage, still pending while the procrastinating Phuti stalled on setting the date for their wedding. Their future becomes even more doubtful when Phuti's dear Auntie takes charge of her beloved ailing nephew at the hospital, keeping Grace from visiting, then spirits him off to her home to recuperate, still barring Grace's visits. Auntie informs Grace that simply being engaged is not the same as being married, and she has no rights to the unfortunate injured man. Precious wonders if there might not be more to this than meets the eye, but wisely sees there is nothing to be done while poor Phuti is still unable to fend for himself.Precious decides to take Grace along with her to search out the tour guide in the Delta to help take her mind off her problems with Phuti and his Auntie, and so they set off on an adventure. Every bit of Mma Ramotswe's diplomacy is called upon when it turns out that there could be more than one guide and more than one Safari camp meeting the vague descriptions provided in the letter. Then they learn that there may have been more than one American tourist named Mrs. Grant who visited the region during the time described in the letter. In her own inimitable way, Precious calls on her knowledge of traditional African customs to untangle the mystery and to satisfy the terms of the will and everyone involved.Meanwhile, Grace's nemesis, the scandalous Violet Sephathoto, resurfaces to practice her seductions on yet another innocent man and successfully separate him from his life savings. The defrauded man turns to our wily lady detective who cleverly devises a plan to return the man's home and money, and quite possibly expose Violet's evil ways.As usual, Precious Ramotswe resolves these and several other local problems that cross her doorstep with wisdom, grace and civility. As we close the cover on another No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel, we always wish that it were so in the real world.


Still great

by Brad Teare
(5/5)

I am always amazed at how the author of this series, Alexander McCall Smith, continues to expand the series while seeming to do so exactly as the characters require. When you finish the book it has an uncanny sense of completeness that is rare in other authors. I expected this series to peter out several books ago but Smith keeps writing away and I think the books are getting better.There are lots of heartwarming moments in this book, subtle but even more powerful because of Smith's deft writing. He is a keen observer of the human condition and knows how to write with authenticity. There are few false notes here with perhaps the exception of Mma Makutsi's talking shoes which I never quite understood. But this odd convention doesn't mar the overall quality of the books (although writing about it I realize that talking shoes are pretty odd, which is a tribute to Smith's ability to make nearly anything believable).If you enjoyed Smith's previous books you are nearly guaranteed to enjoy this one. Another series of Smith's that is quite different but equally enjoyable is44 Scotland Street.


Another Winner for Mr. Smith!

by BrianB
(5/5)

Alexander McCall Smith is a skillful storyteller who gives his readers great pleasure whenever he publishes a new novel about Mma. Ranotswe and the Number One Ladies Detective Agency. One can always rely on Mr. Smith for a wise, friendly and knowing tale about the familiar characters of his ongoing series. In this latest installment Mma. Ranotswe tries to help a man cheated out of his home, find a tour guide in the wild Okavango Delta, and assist her dear friend and colleague Mma. Makutsi (who graduated summa cum laude from the Botswana Secretarial College with a 97% average) when her fiance has an accident, and his hostile aunt will not allow her to visit.As always, the adventures are entertaining, but they serve merely as a background for the human lives of the characters, each of whom will seem like an old friend by page 30. Sr. Smith makes his characters real and engaging, and he brings the country of Botswana to life in a way that few writers can. Each book in this winning series can stand by itself as a good novel, providing heartwarming and engaging entertainment. This is not my typical "genre" of reading, but I recommend it to all, because these are truly excellent stories.


No.11 as wonderful as No.1 (and those inbetween)

by C. Catherwood "writer"
(5/5)

In fact No.11 is as good as No.1 and Nos.2-10 as well: I never thought that the novels went off. It is a remarkable literary achievement, to write eleven magnificent and thoroughly enjoyable novels, with our favorite characters getting even more lovable as time goes by, and without the quality tapering off in any way.So eleven cheers for Alexander McCall Smith not just on this novel as a stand-alone work - which is great in itself - but in this unique literary achievement of a series of eleven novels all of which are as good as each other. Not even JRR Tolkein managed it (with Lord of the Rings at just three volumes), and Dickens novels were all about separate characters. No, this is a truly remarkable feat...AND even more so if one considers that our favorite novelist is writing other series as well - including the two new novels set in London (out soon in the USA), which are equally good and, sadly it seems, not as well known or appreciated by McCall Smith aficianados as perhaps they should be, since they are every bit as good, not to mention hilariously funny, as the better known African eleven volume series.So read and enjoy this novel, and then dip into his other series as well, in Edinburgh (two series), London (one) and Germany (one series).Christopher Catherwood


Very pleasant, but not strongest in the series

by C. Ebeling "ctlpareader"
(3/5)

I prize the First Ladies Detective Agency series for its sense of Africa and its twinkly affection for the human condition. The mystery strands are uneven in terms of depth and predictability, but even a weak storyline is usually buoyed by the pageant of Africa through McCall Smith's Botswana and its people. Especially, he has excelled at portraying the delicate balancing act of reconciling traditional culture and values with the high speed of modern life.The Double Comfort Safari Club is an opportunity to return to the company of the protagonist, Mma Precious Ramotswe, and her friends and fellow citizens of Botswana, but I would not recommend it as the place to start in the series. It might not convince a newcomer of the series' strengths, such as the full impact of the 21st century world on traditional Africa. The puzzles are not really puzzles so much as waiting to see just how the lady detectives wrap up their cases. The solutions are more comic guile than anything else.So, read this if you like the series; read the other volumes first if you haven't fallen for the author's charms as yet.


The Double Comfort Safari Club

by Ch3ristina
(4/5)

I just love anything that Alexander McCall Smith writes. He is always kind, never cruel, very tongue-in-cheek and very enjoyable to read.


a pleasure to listen to

by Cloggie Downunder
(5/5)

This is the talking book version of The Double Comfort Safari Club, the 11th in the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of the best detective agency in Botswana, is kept busy with fraudulent fiancées, adulterous (or not) part-time reverends, jealous aunties and American legacies. Grace Makutsi's well-ordered life is thrown into disarray when her fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti, suffers a nasty accident; Violet Sephotho is up to new tricks that show her true colours; Precious has to mediate for a couple suspicious of each other; and Grace and Precious make a trip to Maun and the Okavango Delta to track down the recipient of a legacy from an American tourist. Precious bravely takes several canoe trips. As always, throughout, we are treated to the wisdom of Obed Ramotswe, Clovis Anderson, Grace Makutsi's footwear and Precious herself. We learn why Batswana always speak of their dead as "late", what Precious (and McCall Smith) think of Consultants, and more about the Old Botswana Morality and kindness. Delightful chapter headings, wonderful characters, charming and poignant. Once again skilfully abridged so that no important detail is missing, Adjoa Andoh's evocative narration is a pleasure to listen to.


Back on Track

by C. Richard
(5/5)

I have really enjoyed this series - now up to number 11 I think with this installment. It is unique in many ways and teaches many lessons about life. By the way, the TV series is great too.Besides the more obvious things like the great characters in the series - after a while they seem like you actually know them as you would real people - what I really liked about the series is the details about Botswana and life there. And so much of it is positive, unlike so much of what you hear about Africa these days. The books also teach many lessons useful to people everywhere, but from a Botswana/African perspective that can really shine a light where it needs to shine so to speak.The first book was especially good in portraying the Botswana background and viewpoint - I assume accuracy here as the author lived there a long time. The author seemed to move away from this as the series progressed - maybe he thought readers had enough or knew all of it already and did not want to hear about it so much. I disagree. It's what got me hooked on the series.Like many others, I was somewhat disappointed with the book right before this one - the 10th I think, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. It just wasn't as good as the ones before it. I was worried that the series had run out of steam.I am happy to see that this new installment gets back to the series roots in many respects showing us some more about the real Botswana, especially something we have not yet seen in the series - the delta region. The overall plot seems very vigorous too - an improvement over #10 I think. I won't go into that too much as readers usually like a surprise.I hope that series fans will come back and read this latest book, meet favorite characters again, be entertained, and learn something about Botswana and life in general as well.


Delightfully charming...

by Cynthia K. Robertson
(5/5)

Alexander McCall Smith has written another delightfully charming book in The Double Comfort Safari Club. This is the 11th in his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel. I have not read them all. Nor have I read them in order. But I don't think this is a necessity to enjoy this series.Mma Precious Ramotswe lives in Botswana, where she runs the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency with the help of her assistant detective, Mma Grace Makutsi. Mma Ramotswe receives a number of cases including a part-time minister and his wife who both suspect the other of infidelity. Mma Makutsi's fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti, is severely injured in a work accident, and his wicked aunt tries to break the young couple apart. A beautiful but sinister young woman swindles a house from her boyfriend. But the most exciting case comes from the United States. An American woman, Mrs. Grant, went on safari several years ago. She was much touched by the kindness of her safari guide. She died and left this guide $3000 in her will. But she didn't know the name of the guide, or even the company he worked for. She could only provide a partial clue. So her executor contracts Mma Ramotswe to investigate the various safari companies to discover the name of the guide in question. Just the portion where Ramotswe and Makutsi go on safari is worth the read.McCall Smith writes in a charming, gentle style about beautiful Botswana. The characters (like the author) are keen observers of people and life and they also see the humor in situations. When Mma Ramotswe's husband, auto mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni stops to help a woman whose car has broken down, he notices that she talks way too much. While some men might find "that exciting in a physical way...He bit his lip. He could not imagine being interested in that way in somebody like Mma Mateleke; how would one ever get to plant a kiss on such a person if she is always talking? It would be difficult to get one's lips in contact with a mouth that was always opening and shutting to form words; that would surely be distracting for a man, he thought..."It is so refreshing to find a detective series that isn't filled with weapons, bloodshed, murders, etc. I am making a resolution for 2011 to go back and read those novels in this series that I've missed.


Series Fan

by Darlene Vaughn
(5/5)

I have read everyone of the books in this series. I always look forward to the new book each year.


A comfort all the way

by Deborah Barchi
(4/5)

One of the most comforting series of books I've ever read are those written by Alexander McCall Smith in his No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. These books are set in modern Botswana and feature the detective skills and the compassionate, practical philosophy of Precious Ramotswe, a woman in early middle age who uses an inheritance from her beloved father to start Botswana's first female owned and operated detective agency.Precious is a unique character. She acknowledges herself to be of "traditional build", knowing that her comfortable and expansive girth is often appreciated by African men. More importantly, Precious is a woman who listens to others with an open mind, responds with kindness, is usually tolerant rather than judgmental of human foibles, and lives her life following a careful code of conduct.In the latest in the series, entitled The Double Comfort Safari Club, Precious and her redoubtable sidekick Mma Makutsi who works not only as her office secretary but as an assistant detective as well, must risk encounters with lions and hippos to try to find an African safari guide who has been left a generous legacy by a grateful American tourist; help someone who has been cheated out of the deed to his house; discover whether a client's husband is truly committing adultery; and find a way to free Phuti, Mma Makutsi's fiancé from the clutches of his scheming aunt. While not really involving any prosecutable crimes, these mysteries and their solutions will have a real effect on the lives of many people.These slender books are always written with such warmth, humor, and wisdom that they seem to carry their own atmosphere of balmy breezes and fragrant air, transporting us to Botswana, beloved by its citizens who view it with great pride. While in no way ignoring crimes and the people who commit them, Precious is upheld by her belief in the basic goodness of the world and by her enduring love for her country and its people.


No blood guts or gore.

by Diane Melbar
(5/5)

All Alexander McCall Smith's are very entertaining.


A Review Written by my SHOES

by D. N. Stone "the_stern_librarian"
(5/5)

Well, Boss, you really like that No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. This is the eleventh one you've read, some before you even met us. Personally, we like that 97 percent lady. She knows how to listen to a pair of shoes.No offense, Boss, but we would rather be worn by a detective, even an assistant one, than a librarian. Look at the adventure Mma Ramotswe's shoes get in this one. We would have loved to ride in a canoe to the safari camp. Hippos don't scare us! And the heels of that Violet Sephotho would be no match for sensible brogues like us.OK, so maybe we wouldn't like to spend too much time in that greasy garage with those apprentice mechanics, but a nice cup of tea from the larger pot in the office would hit the spot, Boss. And we could help solve the mysteries. Like Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, we have good instincts about these things on our own, even though no one would believe it.We would also like to tell that Phuti Radiphuti that life will go on and he can be just as active as before, once he finds the right shoe. He sure has the right fiance in that Grace to make sure he makes a fast recovery.And mostly, Boss, we would like to taste that fruit cake of Mma Potokwane's that Precious is so fond of. And we would like to bring a lot of our cousins to those orphans.Well, thanks for listening, Boss. We're glad we have found something we like to read. Please pre-order the next book in the series for us. And one last thing: don't get any wise ideas about buying hiking shoes, even if they would make you look younger. Fondly,Your Shoes (100% Comfort)


Double Comfort Plus!

by Donald E. Gilliland
(4/5)

Another strong and very enjoyable installment in this thoroughly delightful series. I'm happy that these novels remain so engaging this deep into the series. Needless to say, if you've read the rest of them, as I have, you'll need to sit down and savor this novel too. I love the way that Smith ties the threads together. And of course the wise and clever Mma. Ramotswe expertly achieves all the tasks she sets out to do, although with a few twists and surprises. Another happy ending ... but you guessed that already, didn't you? Looking foward to reading the next one!


The Sweetness of Life

by Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!"
(5/5)

"Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." -- Proverbs 16:24 (NKJV)The Double Comfort Safari Club ranks among the finest books in this superb series, evoking memories of an earlier Botswana when people cared about one another, the land, and their cattle. Alexander McCall Smith provides a loving microcosm of what humanity has lost around the world, portrayed with gentle humor. Mma Precious Ramotswe once again represents the values of the older traditions as she seeks not so much to solve crimes as to seek gentle harmony. Mma Makutsi symbolizes the ambitious strivers who want to get ahead but whose hearts are still mostly pure. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is a man who cares about his work and his family . . . and is content, a model of what happiness should be.The book presents Precious with a series of challenges, all of which seem quite difficult to surmount at some point . . . until the inner harmony of natural living emerges. A husband and wife suspect each other of infidelity. A man has lost his inheritance in a swindle. A grateful tourist leaves a legacy to someone who needs to be tracked down. Phuti Radiphuti's aunt tries to freeze out Mma Makutsi.The humor in the book is mostly provided by Mma Makutsi's love of shoes. As the two detectives prepare to search for a missing heir, Alexander McCall Smith has written one of his finest sequences about what a business trip can be like.The book begins with a beautiful sequence where Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni tries to think like his wife. It's precious!Come prepared with love in your heart, a smile on your face, and good will towards all.


"Having the right approach to life was a great gift."

by E. Bukowsky "booklover10"
(5/5)

In Alexander McCall Smith's "The Double Comfort Safari Club," the insightful Mma Precious Ramotswe of Botswana is hired to find out if a husband is having an affair, to locate the recipient of a generous legacy, and to keep a greedy and selfish woman from defrauding a nave gentleman. Mma Ramotswe's long-suffering assistant, Grace Makutsi, comes into conflict with the controlling aunt of her fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti. Grace will need Mma Ramotswe's support and sensible advice to help her overcome the obstacles that threaten her future happiness.There are many wonderful moments that will bring a smile to readers' faces. Mma Makutsi's shoes scold and praise her, depending on her behavior; the two lady detectives take a trip into the bush and bravely confront their fear of woman-eating hippos and crocodiles; and Mma Potokwane, who runs the orphan farm with formidable skill and determination, fearlessly tackles Phuti's insufferable aunt."The Double Comfort Safari Club" is the eleventh entry in a series that is consistently fresh and entertaining. McCall Smith has a genius for expressing profound thoughts simply and elegantly. He makes ordinary events seem extraordinary, and the experiences of his memorable characters impart valuable lessons about how to live happily and productively. Instead of fretting about things that cannot be changed, the author implies, we should concentrate on making this world a more hospitable place.


Double Comfort Safari

by Glenda S. Wilson
(5/5)

I would tell anyone to read these book . I have alway Dream to go to Africa But due to Health reason I will go in the Books Thank you getting here on time G. Wilson


delightful cozy

by Harriet Klausner
(5/5)

In Gaborone, Botswana a delivery truck backs into salesman Phuti Radiphuti, crushing his leg against a wall. He is rushed to the hospital. When his fiancée Grace Makutsi tries to see him, his aunt refuses to grant her entrance; shaking up the timid young woman.At the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency where Grace is the office assistant, owner investigator Precious Ramotswe works on a case for a late American. Twin City resident Estelle Grant left $3,000 to the kind guide who took her on a safari to the Okavango Delta. However, as she was dying Estelle could not recall his name or that of his camp. The office's other cases involves biologist Robert Monageng Kereleng seduced out of his home by a femme fatale con artist and midwife Constance Mateleke wanting proof of her husband's alleged affair.As always with this warm series, the mysteries take a back seat to the human drama as the wonderful heroine works her caseload using wit and acumen while making Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. With a charming look at Botswana, fans of the saga will enjoy the latest cozy.Harriet Klausner


NO. 11 IN SERIES

by ITZME "JEANNE"
(4/5)

Another emotion filled novel in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (#11). The main character is filled with so much kindness for others and for all things in God's creation. She is trying to assist a friend to reclaim his property, help locate an heir of a Chicago ladie's legacy, and to help a couple having marital problems (affairs). Her deputy detective has a problem with her fiancee's No. 1 Aunt. Good book with alot of wisdom to be gleaned from its pages.


Another great installment in this wonderful series.

by JanG
(5/5)

This installment to the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency lives up to the rest in the series. More character development and some new scenery in beautiful Botswana. I loved and it and hope it's not too long until the next one comes out.


Family Affairs

by Jeanne Tassotto
(5/5)

This is the eleventh in the NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY series of cozy mysteries. This series, which is very heavy in the 'cozy' and very light in the 'mystery' involves the 'traditionally built' Precious Ramotswe, founder of Botswana's first, and now only detective agency. As in the earlier novels Mma Ramotswe's skills are in demand as much in her private life as they are by her paying clients. Her able assistant Mma Makutsi's long awaited wedding day seems to be doomed to be postponed yet again, if it ever happens at all, when her fiance suffers a devastating accident. The ensuing turmoil distracts Mma Ramotswe from the sudden rush in official Agency business, they have not one but two cases. One of the cases even required Mma Ramotswe and her assistant to take a trip across the country to investigate. As always though Mma Ramotswe manages to resolve all the dilemmas in the best interests of all involved.These are charming, gentle stories set in exotic Botswana. The mysteries are not particularly challenging ones although the reader will be surprised a time or two along the way. The overall story arc of this series is quite strong, plot lines involving the ever expanding cast of recurring characters continues from book to book so for maximum enjoyment read this series in order as much as possible.


A lovely, warm and fuzzy novel

by Julia Flyte
(5/5)

This is the 11th installment in Alexander McCall Smith's enchanting and uplifting series about a female detective living in Botswana. It is not necessary to have read ALL the other books in the series, but if you haven't read any, this is probably not the best place to start.The structure is very similar to others in the series, with the familiar cast of characters appearing. There are essentially four interwoven storylines. Mma Makutsi's fiance Mr Phuti Radiphuti is in an accident and she clashes with his aunt over who should nurse him back to health. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has several cases on the go. She is asked to investigate whether a husband is being unfaithful, to assist another man who has been swindled out of his money and travels with Mma Makutsi to the Okavango Delta to track down a safari guide who has been left some money in a will. However these storylines often take a backseat to discussions about teapots, new boots and the merits of the new blue van.The book opens with Mr J L B Matekoni musing about road rage and the futility of reacting to it and it ends with Mma Ramotswe musing about how to lead a good life. "Do not complain about your life. Do not blame others for things that you have brought upon yourself. Be content with who you are and where you are, and do whatever you can to bring to others such contentment, and joy, and understanding that you have managed to find yourself."It's a lovely, warm and fuzzy novel that lives up in every way to the others in this gorgeous series.


LOVE it

by Karen A. Leeper "5th Grade Teacher"
(5/5)

I love all of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. The characters are comforting and the African life is engaging.


Among the best in the series so far

by Kenneth Simon
(4/5)

I've read every No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book, and this goes down as one of the best. Every new entry in the series feels much like I'd imagine a visit to Mma Ramotswe would. Sit back, enjoy a leisurely pot of tea, and let the conversational storytelling wash over you. Nominally, this is a mystery, but by the time we're here in the eleventh book in the series, we know why we're really here: for another gentle, heartwarming visit to Botswana, and the characters we've come to know well. The Double Comfort Safari Club features what I think is one of the most beautiful passages in the entire series: watch for the scene in which Mma Makutsi takes shelter from a sudden storm and finds herself to be an unexpected guest in someone's home. Wonderful.


"Mma Ramotswe thought about this. Having the right approach to life was a great gift in this life."

by LoriDee
(4/5)

Mma Ramotswe has several mysteries to ponder and one or two moral dilema's to rectify in this latest installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. As usual McCall Smith conjurs up Botswana vividly and beautifully giving Africa a starring role in the novel. One of the many strong points in the series in my opinion. The usual cast of characters make an appearanace especially Mma Makutsi who is challeneged yet again when her fiance is involved in an accident. I enjoyed seeing Mma Makutsi the no nonsense Assistant Detective display her vulnerable and meek side. In a poignant scene at the hospital Mma Ramotswe helps her friend find the confidence to tackle Phuti Radiphuti's No. 1 auntie's attempts at barring Mma Makutsi from seeing him. The gentle goodness of Mma Ramotswe permeates throughout the book, and is especially evident when she has a showdown with "resident badgirl" Violet Sephotho. I guess for me what makes this series most enjoyable is that I feel good when the book is done. On that note this 11th installment won't disappoint.


Well-defined characters

by Luckduck
(5/5)

Great series! I even pulled up a map of Botswana and "followed along" with Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi as they trekked to the safari club!


English vs American Recording

by Marco Antonio Abarca
(5/5)

Through a quirk of Amazon, I ended up ordering the Audio CD produced for the English market instead of the audio production made for the United States. This is the eleventh book in the series and I have fallen in love with Lisette Lecat's voice. As an African, she brings a feel of authenticity to the recording. So it was a suprise to learn that another actor narrates the series for the English market. The British actress Adjoa Andoh is the narrator for the series released in Great Britain. Like Lecat, Adjoa Andoh is also a very skilled voice actor. The biggest difference between the American and British release is that the British Audio CD is abridged. This is the eleventh book in the series and like most readers, I have fallen in love with the character of Mma Remotswe. Whether you listen to the American or British recording, it does not matter. The series continues to delight.


I'm hooked now - I have to read all the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series

by Mark M.
(5/5)

I like Alexander McCall Smith's writing better and better the more I read his books, especially the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. What a knack for writing! Mma Ramotswe is so clever! And who says good detective stories have to be about murders?I laughed out loud during the scene where Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have to travel in an overloaded canoe in a river infested by crocodiles and hippopotami - about which their guide happily continues to tell them. I'm not surprised that many readers of these books want to visit Botswana to experience its charm first hand.


Acting for a Friend

by Mary E. Sibley
(5/5)

Mr. Matekoni knows that no car is perfect. He is setting out to rescue the car of a midwife. In Botswana people are rude in a fairly polite way Mr. Matekoni observes. Mma Ramotswe, his wife, specializsd in the motives of others. Mr. Matekoni does not like the midwife's car. He believes the car is stuck on the roadside and that he is up against electronics.There is an accident at the Double Comfort Furniture Store involving the fiance of Mma Ramotswe's assistant, Grace Makutsi. Deprived of the services of her assistant, Precious Ramotswe seeks to help a new client in his tangle with a devious and treacherous woman.The assistant is on compassionate leave, and the title of the series, including this entry, could be compassion. One reads these books with such a reassuring glow of the possibility of having harmonious relations with others in the world.The charm of the writing, the storytelling, makes it understandable that Botswsana has become everyone's desired destination in Africa. I have read that Botswana has experienced a surge in tourism through the popularity of the NO. 1 DETECTIVE AGENCY series. Truthfully, the product on offer is traditional wisdom which this book has in abundance.


"Love without freedom is like a fire without air. A fire without air goes out."

by Mary Whipple
(4/5)

"Traditionally built," and focused on the traditional values of Gaborone, Botswana, where she runs the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Precious Ramotswe is genuinely "nice"-always believing in the goodness inherent in even the most challenging adversary, sympathetic without being a pushover, and thoughtful and intuitive in sniffing out the motives of her clients. As relaxed and considerate as the society she appears to represent, Mma Ramotswe believes that almost any problem can be made better if it is discussed over a cup of bush tea. In this novel, the twelfth in the series, Mma Ramotswe continues to rely on her understanding of human nature and her ability to communicate to solve her clients' problems.She also relies on her coterie of friends and acquaintances-Mma Grace Makutsi, her homely assistant, still not married to furniture store owner Phuti Radiphuti; Mr. Polopetsi, the "unqualified assistant" to her mechanic husband Mr. J. L. B. Matekone; and Mma Potokwami, the demanding woman who runs the orphan farm, where Mma Ramotswe's adopted children once lived. Once again, too, Violet Sephotho, the one character for whom it is difficult to find redeeming qualities, is creating serious problems by bewitching gullible men.Four revolving plot lines keep the reader involved and often amused: Mma Ramotswe's husband suspects that one of his customers may be having an affair, but before long, that same woman appears in Mma Ramotswe's office, wanting help because she believes that her husband may be unfaithful. While this story is unfolding, Mma Ramotswe receives a letter from a lawyer in the US, telling her that an elderly woman who had been on a safari to the Okavango delta four years ago is now "late," and that she has left a sizable inheritance to an unknown camp guide. He asks Mma Ramotswe to find the guide, a job that requires Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi to take a trip to the delta for the first time. The trip is a welcome relief for Mma Grace Makutsi whose fiance, Phuti Radiphuti, has had a serious accident, and whose aunt refuses to let Grace see him. In the final plot line, still another new client appears at the agency, seeking help in rebuilding his life after an encounter with Violet Sephotho.Filled with colorful detail about life in Botswana and even more colorful detail about life in the Okavango delta, the novel retains the warm and endearing charm of all the previous novels, even as the repeating characters continue to develop. Author Alexander McCall Smith has ultimately created an entire community in Gaborone, one which seems somehow familiar, despite its differences from our own lives. The coziest of "cozy" mysteries, this novel, like its predecessors will make lovers of this series feel as if they are "going home" again. Mary WhippleTea Time for the Traditionally Built: A No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel (10) (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series)The Miracle at Speedy Motors: A No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel (9) (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency)In the Company of Cheerful Ladies: A No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel (6) (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency)The World According to Bertie: A 44 Scotland Street Novel (4)


Questions on usage

by Melvin Anderson "author Diabetes?What's That?"
(4/5)

I first bought "The Miracle at Speedy Motors" but it had no interest for me and I could not finish reading it. Then I tried "The DoubleComfort Safari Club" just to find out what double comfort meant. I got two surprises, first the book was so interesting I was hooked into reading the whole thing,and secondly I am still wondering what double comfort means in Botswana since the double comfort furniture store is also mentioned in this book. However I am still even more puzzled over the double use of m's in mma and r in rra as titles when addressing people, the m's femine and the r's masculine. How is it pronounced, what does it mean? Is it Miss, madam, mrs., or what? Does rra mean mister? Everytime I encountered these words in the book I was stopped, it broke my concentration and hence my enjoyment of the book. Some of the other usages did not, I just assumed it was courtesy in Botswana to use the full name or all the initials, it made me feel I knew a little about Botswana then and did not spoil my concentration, it only increased my enjoyment. The thing that dropped the story from five stars to four was the use of coincidence, even though Smith spent time defending his use of it, I did not go along with his explanation, the two Grants at the same time. Too close, and the bird or animal name safari clubs, why did Precious not check that instead of stopping solely at finding one? She does not seem so stupid as to not check further at the start. I did like the fact that other investigations were under way, too many authors pick just one and devote the entire book to its solution, disregarding the fact that other events are occurring and should be interesting their protagonists.


Needs to Tie a Few Loose Ends, Otherwise Fun

by Miami Bob "Resurgent Reading"
(4/5)

As a believer and reader of the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, I will fight to my last breath before proclaiming that the series has "jumped the shark" and so here it is: it has not jumped the shark.But is has faltered a bit.By using the formulaic pattern of three investigations meshing in the world of Mma. Ramotswe, combined with occasional personal story of the life of the main character or those nearest her, this book does not surprise. And, because the courtship of Mma. Ramotswe and her husband, Rra. J.L.B. Matekoni, has been delivered to the depths of having adopted children whose ages are now in double digits, we must nose into the lives of others - most particularly Mma. Makutsi, a secretary of Mma. Ramotswe whose title has arisen to "assistant detective."Hence,the personal story within this book is between Mma. Makutsi and her fiancé Phuti Radiphuti. After suffering a terrible injury, the otherwise normally warm and fuzzy environment of Gaborone, Botswana, includes a very cold and offensive character who would be ostracized in any culture - the aunt of Radiphuti. And, we are left to wonder: Why is she acting the way she is? How do people in the self-described environment of a "village" of Botswana tolerate this behavior? How can the grown man Radiphuti allow her to control his life when outside of this incident he is an owner of an established business which employs many? How does the business manage while he is away? And more. These are all valid and easily addressed questions which this author can tackle with succinct ease. But, they are not.This author is handling many series and all of which are handled in good fashion. The numerous series is akin to the old school of writing which some modern writers follow - but few can do so with the success of McCall Smith. So, as stated earlier, I am a fan and someone who honors he and his work.I direct this message instead to the editor. Tighten the next novel so that it is more like the first five or seven. Tightly knit pieces with no openings which beg questions which could or should have been handled in the text.Because I am sure that I am not the first to bring out this point, I optimistically believe this issue will not be in his next book - that is why I wait for the next


relaxed + easy

by Neale Blackwood "Neale"
(4/5)

More activity in the story than most in the series. The mystery aspect of the stories is becoming less and a simple, comfortable storyline more apparent.


Keep this series going

by Patricia
(5/5)

There is always something new in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I saw Alexander McCall Smith in a reading several years ago, and one of the things he said that is so true, is that you can build a beautiful story without having a huge amount happening. He does this magnificently in his novels especially with Precious Ramotswe from Botswana. All the characters are full and understandable. There is some tension, and a bit of sadness, but it all works out. This Double Comfort Safari Club had quite a bit more of the wildlife than the others, and was grabs that side of Africa--They are all great.


Precious, and AMS, Do It Again!!!

by Portianay "portianay"
(5/5)

This is McCall Smith's best series, and I hope it just goes on and on! Precious made it on to my list of favorite female protagonists long ago, but she is sailing all the way to the top these days. This book has all the (endearing) trademarks of this series: Precious' kindness, humor, and self-effacement; her assistant's fragile ego, her husband's unswerving loyalty--with a few pleasant surprises, a few (even more endearing), quirks thrown in for good measure. Favorite line: "We saw, Boss, and we were proud."


Amazing - Just Amazing

by Prabal "All paths lead to God..."
(5/5)

Have grown to love this series a lot. Have read all the books in the series. This one may not be as funny as others' but is still a good read. I love those messages that the writer never fails to give. Particularly, that everything we have is on a loan. Obviously, the author himself is a wise man and it reflects in these beautiful characters he has created.I love the fact that Violet is quickly becoming a villain par excellence and can hold on her own ground ( in villainy and nastiness) when compared with her other fictitious contemporaries.I do want to taste the Red Bush Tea, but you can't get it in India.


I love it

by Roxms2003
(5/5)

Another great book from the No 1. Ladies Detective Agency series. I was sad to see HBO cancel it, but I still get to hear how the story goes.


Pleasant, but adventures are getting a bit stale...

by R S Cobblestone
(4/5)

I am a big fan of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency! Whether Precious Ramotswe, Detective, is called to track down a kind safari guide named in a will, check out whether one, both, or neither of a couple are [is?] having an affair, or find out if there is a way for a kind but naive gentleman to get his house back, she puts all of her "traditionally built" characteristics into the task. I enjoy reading about Botswana and its culture through her "eyes," and I appreciate the efforts of Alexander McCall Smith to give us a kinder, gentler version of African life.The drama in this book revolves around poor Phuti Radiphuti, fiancee of Grace Makutsi. Phuti Radiphuti suffers a grievous injury, and Grace Makutsi (graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College, with a score of 97 percent) again is uncertain whether the wedding will ever take place.In this edition of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, there is no wedding. Again. Violet Sephotho (graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College, with a score of about 50 percent) again is cast into a negative light. Again. The case involving infidelity ends with a twist. Again. In other words, there is a discouraging lack of originality creeping into the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.I find myself wanting more. Can there be no cases involving the desertification of the country, and the concerns over too many livestock? One of the highest HIV infection rates in the world? The regional politics and tragedy of genocide and despot rulers? The persecution of the Bushmen? The thousands of Zimbabweans who flee economic collapse and political persecution?Can Phuti Radiphuti and Grace Makutsi get married?Precious Ramotswe is a well-developed character. It really is time to allow her to expand her sophistication, or to have an experience that scares her into keeping a low profile.She can do it!


A double comfort enjoyable read

by Sandy Kay
(4/5)

Reading the books in this series is like visiting some distant relatives who are so relaxing to be around that you feel comfortable sitting down with them. After so many books the characters feel like old friends or family members and the descriptions of Botswana's landscape and people -- especially the traditional values loved by Precious Ramotswe -- are enjoyable to read.The cases that come to the detective agency are not the usual mysteries but instead are often about human nature and are handled not with a gun or violence but a listening ear, a kind heart and a cup of tea. In this installment, there is a question of spousal infidelity, a man who has been taken advantage of by a scheming woman, and locating the unnamed beneficiary of a bequest. And a fiance's aunt who wants Mma Makutsi out of the picture.Reading these books makes me happy.


Savoured like a dessert

by Sharon "Business Lady"
(5/5)

Up front disclosure - I am a fanatical fan of Alexander McCall Smith's novels - all of this genres. I saved this one as a reward after reading several nonfiction books. As with a favorite dessert, it went all too quickly. I continue to be impressed that the characters in this series stay true to their personas, yet grow and reveal more about themselves - just like real life. As others have indicated, I love getting to know the Botswana so richly and adoringly described in this series as well. I hope Mr. Smith keeps them coming for years to come.


Contentment

by Stephen T. Hopkins
(3/5)

All the familiar elements of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels are present in The Double Comfort Safari Club, along with a larger than usual degree of drama. Fans will appreciate more time spent with Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi and the familiar secondary characters. I usually close each book in the series feeling good, and that was true with this one. Readers who enjoy character-driven fiction that brings all tension to resolution by the end will enjoy this novel and the others in this series.Rating: Three-star (Recommended)


A day with Precious Ramotswe is a day well spent

by Terry Mathews
(5/5)

A day off and a new Alexander McCall Smith book to read. It just doesn't get much better than this.I've been a fan of Precious Ramotswe since she made her 1998 debut in the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series. In "The Double Comfort Safari Club," the 11th novel about the "traditionally built" and fiercely independent queen of Botswana private investigators, Smith continues to weave several plot lines into sweet, gentle fiction that provides a peek into a world far removed from our day-to-day hustle.Mma Ramotswe and her husband, the distinguished mechanic and owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, are facing several challenges.Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni witnesses a strange interaction on a highway and puzzles about how to tell his wife what happened.Mma Ramotswe receives a letter from the United States, requesting her to find an anonymous safari guide at an unnamed camp somewhere in Botswana. She also handles an uncomfortable property dispute for a client who has been taken in by a woman of questionable character.Grace Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe's esteemed assistant and "graduate summa cum laude of the Botswana Secretarial College," has issues of her own. Her fiancé, Mr. Phuti Radiphuti, owner of the Double Comfort Furniture Shop, is involved in a horrific accident at his store's loading dock. As he recuperates, his maiden aunt takes over his life, shutting Mma. Makutsi out.Those familiar with the series will know there is no action and very little adventure in these stories. What keeps readers coming back to them, however, are the rich characters and how they live from day to day, never losing their kindness and compassion. Maybe it's the Botswana air, or maybe there's something in the red bush tea Mma Ramotswe drinks all day. Whatever it is, the characters in Smith's books never seem to lose their appeal.As in the past, I still have issues with Smith's use of the word "that." Here's a perfect example: .... "So although she knew that she could not refuse to help Mma Mateleke, she also knew that she could not refuse her friend." (Emphasis added.)Early in the series, it wasn't important to have read all the books to enjoy new ones. Now, however, I believe the books should be read in order of publication to thoroughly enjoy each layered nuance of the slow and gracious life of these characters.In "The Double Comfort Safari Club," Smith spends a lot of time on the characters' internal thought processes. Being completely familiar with their storylines will certainly increase the reader's ultimate understanding of these dear, gentle people.This review is dedicated to Dr. Laurene "Laurie" Van Camp Fausett, who loved Mma Ramotswe, and anxiously awaited each new story from Botswana. Laurie lost her battle with cancer on April 18. A copy of "The Double Comfort Safari Club" will be donated to the our public in Laurie's name.Sail on, dear, gentle lady.


Wonderfully simple, simply wonderful

by T. Herbert "Amazon shopper"
(5/5)

Die spite the simplicity of the writing, the characters are richly drawn and the stories timeless. I love this series!


The Double Comfort Safari Club: Serendipity Doo Dah

by T. M. Johnson "TMJ"
(4/5)

In which good old Botswana karma helps the # One Ladies' Detective solve the two main cases; in which that gold digging fifty per center Violet Sephoto perpetrates another injustice on men with money but is foiled as Mma Ramotswe intervenes and the vendetta grows; in which the betrothed Mma Makutsi and Mr.Phuti Radiphuti's marriage is put on hold due to a freak accident; in which in the case of spousal infidelity the husband isn't ALWAYS at fault; in which in spite of an excess of serendipity this reader cannot wait for more of Mma Ramotswe's gentle wisdom and Botswana common sense to be brought to bear against life's minor conundrums; and in which I say: "Alexander McCall Smith, bring on # 12."


This Classic, Lovable Series Continues

by zorba
(4/5)

Reading each Precious Ramotswe book is like attending an annual family reunion, where we are brought up to date on the happenings of each attendee over the past year. We've come to love the small cast of characters we've encountered through the near-dozen books in this wonderful series and we smile as they go about life in the pleasant country of Botswana. And there's a lot of Botswana in this book as Mma Ramatswe and Mma Makutsi venture to the fabled Okavango Delta on a case. What makes this series so likeable is the sheer humanity of the characters, their wisdom and insights (or occasional lack thereof), and the gentle but enjoyable plots that wind their way through the book. It is always a pleasure to kick back and read another of Alexander McCall Smith's books about the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And this is one of the best.


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