Kalahari Typing School for Men

Smith, Alexander McCall. The Kalahari Typing School for Men. New York: Anchor Books, 2002.

You don’t have to read the first three Mma Ramotswe books in order to enjoy Kalahair Typing School for Men but I think you would enjoy them better if you did. In the fourth installment of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency the plot continues to move away from solving mysteries (as it had been in Morality for Beautiful Girls) and the emphasis is placed more on character development. To bring you up to speed: Mma Precious Ramotswe is Botswana’s only female detective. She is engaged to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and together they have adopted two children, a brother and sister, but still haven’t set a wedding date. It seems Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is content to stay engaged for an indeterminate amount of time. Mma Ramotswe has two cases of interest. One is a gentleman wishing to repair his not so sterling past. He wants to make amends for a series of wrongs he has done as a youth. The other mystery is a typical marital woe of a woman thinking her man is cheating on her. The title of the story comes from Mma Matakutsi’s side business of starting a typing school for men.

Now that I am actually reading I have a few favorite lines, “That was the trouble with people in general: they were surprisingly unrealistic in their expectations” (p 5) and “We do not care about other people’s hats in the same way these days, do we? We do not” (p 158).

Reason read: to continue the series (started with The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) in honor of Mystery Month in January. Note: up until this point I have listened to the series in CD. I appreciated Lecat’s narration and pronunciation. For example, if I had read the series from the beginning I wouldn’t have known that “Zebra Drive” (where Mma Ramotswe lives) is pronounced Zeb – bra Drive and not Zee – bra Drive.

Author fact: You just have to check out the videos on Alexander McCall Smith’s website. He is quoted as saying he is very fond of Botswana and he wrote the Mma Ramotswe series as a tribute to the country. (see link on Morality for Beautiful Girls book review).

Book trivia: This is the fourth book in the series. Next up is The Full Cupboard of Life.

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ms. Mystery” (p 171).

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