Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

This is the second of the Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency series. I happened into these books out of good intention and boredom. My Mom had sent me the first of these books after reading it herself and enjoying it. But it sat on my shelf for a little while until it got found again one day while looking for a new read.
The second I had to find for myself.
This book is a sheer delight. Really. They are timeless books that seem to take complicated matters and make them simple in a very fine writing style. The series follows Precious Remotswe. A lady in Botswana who decides to open her own detective agency. She is not highly trained, but is highly intellegent and knows people well. And it is from these traits that she earns her success.
I really just love how these books are written. Nothing fancy. Nothing over the top. Just very insightful.
Here's a quote from p. 6 of Tears of the Giraffe that stuck with me:
"She now knew why Mr J.L.B. Matekoni had never invited her to the house before. His office at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors was bad enough, with all that grease and those calendars that the parts suppliers sent him. They were ridiculous calendars, in her view, with all those far-too-thin ladies sitting on tyres and leaning against cars. Those ladies were useless for everything. They would not be good for having children, and not one of them looked as if she had her school certificate, or even her standard six. They were useless, good-time girls, who only made men all hot and bothered, and that was no good to anybody, If only men knew what fools of them these bad girls made; but they did not know it and it was hopeless trying to point it out to them."
When I read that I wanted to share it with somebody and read it out loud. But there was no one around at the time and since I'm currently sick and cough I wouldn't do it justice anyway. As you can tell from that one little paragraph, this a book that is just as charming and insightful as its main character. But please do start with the first book first and then this one. I'm going to start tracking down the third.

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