16 April 2009

Review: TEA TIME for the TRADITIONALLY BUILT, Alexander McCall Smith

Little, Brown, 2009, ISBN 97801-4087-0103-4, 250 pages

An annual meet up with Precious Ramotswe, proprietor and founder of the No 1. Ladies Detective Agency in Gaborone, Botswana, is one of the pleasures of life. For me it is like renewing a friendship with an old friend.
For TEA TIME for the TRADITIONALLY BUILT is #10 in the series, the first of which was published back in 1998.

Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi are called upon to investigate why a local football team has begun to lose on a regular basis. Mma Ramotswe's faithful little white van has a terminal illness, and Mma Makutsi's fiance Phuti Radiphuti does not recognise a Jezebel when he comes into contact with one. There is a more detailed synopsis in my earlier posting.

If you are looking for a blood and guts read, then this is not the book for you. As always with all the books in the series, this is a gentle progress, characterised by investigations into the small problems that loom so large in ordinary lives.

While I enjoyed the book, it is not the best in the series. I thought it felt a little padded out, with descriptions and philosophising as Mma Ramotswe ponders the meaning of life.

My rating: 4.0

The series:
1. The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (1998)
2. Tears Of The Giraffe (2000)
3. Morality for Beautiful Girls (2001)
4. The Kalahari Typing School for Men (2002)
5. The Full Cupboard of Life (2003)
6. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (2004)
7. Blue Shoes and Happiness (2006)
8. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (2007)
9. The Miracle at Speedy Motors (2008)
10. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (2009)

Alexander McCall Smith's website is at http://www.alexandermccallsmith.co.uk

My other McCall Smith postings: all of them
Other Reviews


Marg said...

I am looking forward to reading this one. Every now and again there is one in the series that isn't quite as good as the others, but the style of writing is so easy to read that you can live with it.

Bernadette said...

I've only read the first 2 in the series so far and I agree Kerrie that the gentleness is appealing. I wouldn't want to read them all the time but I'm slowly mooching the series and will read them in order when I need a break from the grimmer stuff.

Kerrie said...

Bernadette - I have a copy of The Good Husband of Zebra Drive you can have (#8 I think) - I'll bring it to our next f2f


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