Even the arrival of her baby can't hold Mma Makutsi back from success in the workplace, and so no sooner does she becomes a full partner in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - in spite of Mma Ramotswe's belated claims that she is only 'an assistant full partner' - than she also launches a new enterprise of her own: The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café, Grace Makutsi is a lady with a business plan, but who could predict temperamental chefs, drunken waiters, and more? Luckily, help is at hand, from the only person in Gaborone more gently determined than Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe, of course.
©2014 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2014 Hachette Audio
Loves language learning, literature, history. Auditor and Business Advisor from the UK working in Warsaw and all CEE.
The narrator is 96% perfect. If she had not changed the pronunciation of Phuti Radiphuti in this episode I would have given 97%. I don't want to give more than 97% because that really would set the cat among the cape pigeons!
“There was also enough light, Mma Ramotswe reflected, to see that the world was not always a place of pain and loss, but a place where our simple human affairs – those matters that for all their pettiness still sometimes confounded us – were not insoluble, were not without the possibility of resolution.”
The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café is the fifteenth book in the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Scottish author, Alexander McCall Smith. Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi are faced with a puzzling case: Mr Senagupta, proprietor of Senagupta Office Supplies, and his sister, Miss Rose, want the Ladies to discover the identity of a woman who has arrived at their house with no idea of who she is, or where she’s from. But Mma Ramostwe suspects there is more to this case than just amnesia.
Grace is about to embark on a new challenge. Already a wife to Phuti Radiphuti, and mother to Itumelang Clovis Radiphuti, and a partner in the Detective Agency, she now has a lease on the shop that is to become the Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café. But while Grace extends, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni has to downsize, and Charlie, still without any qualifications, becomes the unfortunate casualty.
This instalment sees the tiny white van getting dented (twice!), Mma Ramotswe selling cattle for a good cause; Mma Potokwani solving two tricky problems, Mma Makutsi failing to follow the advice of her shoes, Violet Sepotho living up to her nasty reputation, Mma Ramotswe reminded of her first marriage, Charlie embarking on a seemingly unlikely career, Mma Makutsi helping to advance the career of a smart young girl and the formation of an unexpected partnership.
As always, McCall Smith includes plenty of gentle philosophy as his characters muse on waiting-room magazines, what men dream, Prince Charles, female intuition and Pilates. Plans are thought about: “The trouble with plans was that they tended to be expressions of hope…for most people the plan merely said what they would like to happen rather than what they would actually do”, as are dreams: “no matter how unhappy or fraught our waking world may be, we are sent dreams in which we can do the things our heart really wants us to do”
The late Obed Ramotswe’s wisdom about disputes is remembered: “When you don’t talk about something, then something will talk about itself for you” and Mma Ramotswe thinks about behaviour: “You cannot judge somebody of eighteen by the standards of somebody of thirty, even less by the standards of somebody who was forty”. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni pontificates on progress: “I am not modern, and there are many people who are not modern. We want to stay exactly where we are, because there is nothing wrong with that place” and thinks about traffic: “How much worse was it in other countries not too far away where people drove as if they were being pursued by a swarm of bees”
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments (the Café menu is a case in point), as well as thought-provoking situations, heart-warming reactions and a satisfying conclusion. The Audible version is, once again, beautifully narrated by Adjoa Andoh. The only puzzling thing is why, after so many books, she has suddenly changed the pronunciation of Phuti Radiphuti’s name. Another excellent dose of Precious Ramotswe and co.
when the young girl gets 98%
why has the pronunciation of Phuti Radiphuti changed??
Loved it as I love all these books, except for the new usage of Phuti 's name. What is with the Puti, please revert to the original pronounciation so we feel back at home with the characters. No faults at all with anything else and am looking forward to listening to my next awaiting one.
Books are life, beauty and truth.
Yes, it's really enjoyable, very well read, a nice story in this lovely series.
The 98% chapter!
Yes, this is just as good.
Yes, I love the narrator's authentic African accent and her interpretation of the different characters
Yes, please can you ensure that Phuti's name is changed back to the original pronunciation?
This was my first audible book having read all the series before on kindle. Such an enjoyable experience and I could not easily turn it off in between. But I was able to listen in peace and quiet or listen while doing other things including cooking. Very well read and added to the atmosphere as did the African music at the end. A lovely surprise. Thank you audible.
As usual, witty, comforting and thought provoking. I'd recommend this to all his fans and anyone who loves books about people and their lives. The narrator gets all the voices just right, absolutely wonderful. Listening to this audio book is like snuggling up in your pj's in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa (or Redbush tea!).
I would listen to this again. The narrator, Adjoa Andoh, does a cracking job and makes the book really pleasurable. Another great book in the No 1 Ladies a Detective Agency series.
All the other books in the series. All beautifully crafted and a oleasure to read and listen to.
All of it! She is simply perfect and well cast as the narrator for this story.
There are lots of moments. All the books in the series are really about kindness and don't we all need some of that?
This is the first Alexander McCall Smith book that I have not finished. I don't know if that is because the narration did not quite work - some of the speech patterns seemed very repetitive.
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