The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

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The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Always a delight, more gentle humour and character insights with our favourite lady detective.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: September 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781408706664

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Back to Botswana I go, having saved this newest outing in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series for a delightful weekend read. I never tire of these characters, and I always look forward to seeing what is happening in their lives. This time around the story is about holidays, amongst other things, and the tricky plans to persuade Mma Ramostwe to take a holiday. But what is Mma Makutsi up to? Does she have plans to take over the agency entirely whilst Mma Ramotswe is away?

Mma Ramotswe is so lovely. I have often thought how much I would like her to be my friend, and once again in this book I felt the same. I think, perhaps, the thing I love most about her is that sometimes (not often) she has less charitable thoughts than you might expect, but then she humorously realises the error of her ways and is quickly back to her kind, gentle self. She also delights in being a traditionally built lady, and would never turn down a second slice of cake. In this particular story she sits on someone! The 'someone' she sits on is not a very good person, of course, and Mma Ramotswe really has no other recourse but to sit on them. I think this might be one of my favourite moments in any of the books, ever!

I liked the intrigue around Mma Ramotswe's holiday, and her difficulties in actually letting go of what was happening at work. Of course, she being who she is she just can't help but to stumble upon a mystery or two, holiday or no holiday, and I enjoyed the plot as it unfurled. Mma Potokwani, one of my favourites, puts in an appearance, along with her delicious-sounding fruit cake and there is a rather wonderful moment with Grace gloriously defeating Violet Sepotho. I'll let you read the book to see what happens there…

The story also has some moving moments. Mma Ramotswe's dealing with a young street urchin who tries to blackmail her end up being both very funny, when she threatens to spank him, and also heartwarming too when she takes the time to listen to him, and discovers his tragic tale. I do, very occasionally, find myself a little jealous of how easy childcare appears to be for Mma Ramotswe. She has her two adopted children and yet they appear to be no trouble whatsoever! Indeed, she manages to have a full time job with no worries about after school childcare or the making of packed lunches. I do drink Redbush tea now, as she does, but I don't find that it has made my daily schedule any less frantic!

My only complaint was that this book was, perhaps, not quite long enough! I know, I know, poor AMS is churning out novels for multiple series, as well as stand alone books and doing no end of other things, so I shouldn't complain. It is only that I am so eager to read a new one when it comes out that I am always a little sad once I've finished! Take a well-deserved break yourself to cosy up and read this book. I came away feeling warm inside, as if I had been out walking in the sunshine myself.

Further reading suggestion: If you're not sure where you're up to in the series, this is the previous book The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, and for younger readers you'd like to encourage onto the AMS bandwagon, get them to take a look at Precious and the Zebra Necklace.

Alexander McCall Smith's The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series in Chronological Order

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Buy The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon.com.

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