Monday, June 04, 2007
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. Alexander McCall Smith.218pages.Polygon.2007.
Book number eight in "The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency " series sees the focus move from the main character Precious Ramotswe and concentrate more on a couple of the minor characters.Mma Ramotswe's assistant Mma Makutsi begins to get a bit big for her boots or rather her shoes and faces the consequences while apprentice mechanic Charlie also features as he tries to gain his independence and leave his employment at the garage.
The cases the Agency investigate in this book provide the chance for some more philosphical writing and comments about relationships,society and justice.Its not heavy handed and some of the observations are amusing and humorous such as the need for people to have job titles or why men never throw away old clothes.
As with the earlier books in the series I enjoyed reading about a different life,society and country.I particularly liked the opening as Precious potters about in the morning getting breakfast ready while thinking about various things.A natural way to ease the reader back into the characters life and reacquaint oneself with life in Botswana.
While I have no problem recommending this as a good read it might be best if one started from the first book in the series to build up your knowledge and background of the characters.Precious mentions people and events such as her late father and former husband which may leave new readers unfamiliar with the earlier books a little confused.