The Double Comfort Safari Club


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About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-five languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.


As in 2009's Tea 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 fiance 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 2010 Reed Business Information.

The prolific Smith is back with the 11th entry in his popular "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series. These stories have mostly been a delight to read, but now their author seems to be running out of steam. He apparently set out to create an adventure set at a Botswana safari camp but lost interest along the way with a half-hearted plot that never seems to go anywhere. By the time Precious Ramotswe and her sidekick Grace Makutsi finally get out to the wildlife preserve, the book is almost over. What small problem there is at the safari lodge is resolved by a very convenient coincidence. Verdict No one expects these gentle stories to be thrillers, but this novel definitely needs more suspense and more focus. The two lady detectives are as likable as ever, but if Smith plans to keep writing this series, he needs to find more interesting work for these two indomitable characters. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/09.]-Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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