The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith : A review

Precious Ramotswe and her No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency are back once more with more gentle tales of the human heart and human perfidy.

The case which is claiming Precious' attention this time around is one of cattle mutilation and killing. Cattle are currency in Botswana. They are also close to the soul of the people of Botswana. They are revered and when two of them are needlessly and cruelly killed, Precious must find out what happened and make sure that no more cows are made to suffer thus.

Her client, the cattle owner, is a furtive and secretive man who thinks of himself as a well-respected member of society, but Precious soon learns that he may be overestimating the regard of his neighbors. As her investigation continues, he becomes a suspect himself.

Meanwhile, Charlie, the mechanic's apprentice and ladies' man, is in trouble again. This time it seems that he may have impregnated one of his girlfriends. When he is confronted by a hostile Grace Makutsi about his responsibility to the young woman and her twins, he runs away. Precious, though, has a soft spot for Charlie and sets out to help solve the pickle of a problem in which he finds himself.

Grace Makutsi has concerns of her own, as well. She is planning a wedding. Her own. Yes, she and her fiance Phuti have finally set the date and it is fast approaching. Will she be able to organize everything in time, even with her famous lists to guide her?

Precious Ramotswe travels the countryside pursuing her investigations in her new, modern blue van, but she is haunted by the memory of her beloved little white van. And then she sees it on the road! But the van is dead, isn't it? Is this really her old van or only its ghost?

The mysteries that Precious seeks to solve are of the everyday kind, those that ordinary people get themselves into and need the help of a wise and humane woman to help them find their way again. There's no murder and mayhem here, and we can be assured that in the end, even if Precious hasn't completely solved the mystery as in this case, she will have solved the problem and set things right once again.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series has been a pleasure to read and this latest entry, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, upholds the standard that we have come to expect. Precious and her family and friends are wonderful characters and it is always a delight to visit with them. Having finished with this visit, now I shall be looking forward to the next one.


  1. Great series!! Listening to the one now on my morning walks. It's a great way to start the day!!

  2. I can't imagine many better ways to start the day than with Precious Ramotswe, Anonymous.

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