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Thursday, August 10, 2006

McCall Smith in Botswana

In a much earlier post, I discussed Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, the first in a series of mystery novels taking place in Botswana. In the intervening months I have subsequently read the next four in the series: Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, and The Full Cupboard of Life. My opinion remains unchanged: these calmly paced novels manage to keep the reader’s attention while immersing him or her in a convincing world. Though more formulaic than I would like, they are no more so than most detective story series. There is something comforting about adhering to a formula, and “comforting” is such an appropriate distinction for this particular set of novels. Don’t expect excitement, don’t expect plots with twists and turns, but do expect a pleasant journey to an unfamiliar land with companions whom you would like to know.

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