The Double Comfort Safari Club
By Alexander McCall Smith
Pantheon Books, 2010. 211 p. Mystery
Detection knows no finer ally than Precious Ramotswe, founder of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in the good country of Botswana. With her wisdom and genuine good sense, Mma Ramotswe is available to aid all her countrymen and women. This time, McCall Smith’s cherished detective must solve the mystery of a friend’s presumed infidelity, find and award an unknown safari guide and relieve her assistant’s fiancée from the grasping clutches of his odious auntie back into Miss Makutsi’s (of the 97 percent fame) grateful arms.
As usual, McCall Smith’s view of the world (even in far-off Botswana) is spot on. He deftly reaches inside the human heart and psyche to place his gentle, inky finger on humanity’s resplendent heroism and sheepish foibles. A favorite sentiment from the book reads, “That was the way the world was; it was composed of a few almost perfect people (ourselves); then there were a good many people who generally did their best but were not all that perfect (our friends and colleagues); and finally, there were a few rather nasty ones (our enemies and opponents)." Too true!