13 March 2014

Review: THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON, Alexander McCall Smith

  • published 2013
  • ISBN 978-1-4087-0431-8
  • 248 pages
  • #14 in the No 1. Ladies Detective Agency series
Synopsis (Publisher: Little, Brown)

As Botswana awaits the familiar blessing of the rains and the resumption of the eternal cycle, seismic upheaval is taking place at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

Not only is Mr J. L. B. Matekoni attempting to reform himself into a modern husband, but after her marriage to Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Ramotswe's challenging but irreplaceable associate Mma Makutsi has joyful news.

With the arrival of an heir to the Double Comfort furniture empire and Mma Makutsi busy with motherhood, Mma Ramotswe must tackle tea-making and detective work alone. Well-known troublemaker Violet Sephotho may or not be behind a smear campaign against the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, and a dispute over the will of a local dignitary points to a shocking family secret. But the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is resilient and adaptable, and change brings salutary lessons: that our enemies are not always obvious, that a snake under the bed may be an ally, and that a mother's love conquers all.

My Take

The ability of these cozies to delight never ceases to amaze me. I was thinking after I finished this one that you rarely see a body and almost never sight blood. Most of the "cases" the agency takes on are domestic issues. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency has been operating for some years now and although it charges fees, rarely makes a profit when costs are taken into consideration. Many of the investigations they take on do not actually come in through the door, but result from people consulting Precious Ramotswe on a casual basis as she does or shopping or sits at the market drinking coffee.

THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON is all about relationships. Mma Makutsi's maternity leave brings Precious Ramotswe to a realisation of how much she enjoys Grace's company. Her absence in the office causes a temporary depression which sparks Mr J. L. B. Matekoni to consider how he can become a more modern husband and he has a disastrous experience in a night course he decides to attend. Mma Ramotswe takes on an inheritance investigation and misses her friend and associate when she looks for someone to bounce her ideas off.

The ending of THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON and the knowledge that there will be another in the series will delight followers. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

My rating: 4.6

I've also reviewed
TEA TIME for the TRADITIONALLY BUILT
THE MIRACLE AT SPEEDY MOTORS

THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB
4.5, THE SATURDAY BIG TENT WEDDING PARTY
4.5, THE LIMPOPO ACADEMY OF PRIVATE DETECTION 

5 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Oh, I must read this one :-). I love this series but haven't quite gotten to this one yet. Thanks for whetting my appetite. :-)

Irene said...

I have this series on my shelf, and have yet to start it, even though I know I will enjoy it. thanks for the reminder.

Marg said...

I am reading this at the moment, and yes, I am being delighted all over again!

Rebecca Bradley said...

I may be reading the very first one for our crime book club in April. I'm looking forward to reading a cozy very much.

Kathy D. said...

I love this series, have read the first six books. I had to start buying copies to loan friends who adore them.

There are a lot of reasons for the series' fans. Precious Ramotswe is a wonderful, optimistic woman, who brings warmth to those around her.

The books don't have violent themes or scenes, in general, but, rather deal with human relations.

How often have I needed a break, a stress reliever and I pick up one of these books, make tea and eat cookies -- and presto, I'm transported to Mma Ramotswe's world, and all is well.

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