Monday 15 December 2008

Book Review: Alexander McCall Smith – The Miracle at Speedy Motors

Despite being a fan, I had not even realised that McCall-Smith had written a ninth novel in this series (the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency), so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this book in the library as I have enjoyed every one of the books from this writer.

The book follows the usual format of a number of enquiries being investigated by our two detectives Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi and gently being unravelled almost as if by themselves. This time we have the case of the anonymous threatening letters sent to Mma Ramotswe herself and the case of the adopted woman looking for her family – something which the detectives struggle to understand simply because the concept of being without family (or people as Mma Ramotswe calls them) in Botswana is inconceivable.

As ever the story is interspersed with the drama of the characters own lives. Mma Makutsi’s forthcoming wedding, apprentice mechanic Charlie’s dreams of wowing a rich woman and Mr J L B Matekoni’s attempts at helping his wheelchair-bound, adopted daughter to walk. Each is met with varying levels of success causing both hilarity and pathos.

During the first half of this book, I almost felt as if I had seen it all before and that this book did not quite have the spirit of the earlier ones. However, as I got into the story, that feeling receded and was replaced by the sense of serenity and quietness that McCall-Smith’s books bring about. Again he touches gently on the matter of AIDS and of the corruption and unkindness that modern life brings. Again we feel a lot of affection for Botswana.

If you have read all of the books so far, I would recommend this one. If not, I would recommend you go back to the beginning and read the first one (The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency) and go from there.


  1. Look really exiting!!!

  2. Assalam-alaikam,
    It is a good book, I think they are making a series for the BBC of the books, which you would enjoy too.

  3. Really! I didn't know that!