The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
(No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #12)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Published March 3rd 2011
by Little, Brown
Whether you think of them as low stress mysteries or African cozies, Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels are irresistible. The twelfth installment of this beloved series breathes with the personalities of its main characters: Precious Ramotswe, Grace Makutsi, Phuti Radiphuti, Violet Sephotho, and all the rest. As always, the network of plots are woven into those personalities and as always, Mma Ramotswe confronts and solves personal problems that would embarrass hard-boiled American detectives, but will only charm any honest reader. Restful, arresting nighttime reading.
I totally forgot all about this book when I was doing my Best of 2011 reads. I simply love Mma Ramotswe adventures. And as usual they are a lot of funny, stimulating and thoughtful conversations in Alexander McCall Smith's works. Maybe it is the African setting or the way McCall Smith has of making all his characters to be alarmingly charming and endearing to the readers. Well, except for that vile man-hungry Violet Sepotho of course. Ouch!
And besides Mma Ramotswe, I find Grace to be supremely likeable. Yes, she is overbearing sometimes. What with her 97 % in her Secretarial finals exam and the way how she has an opinion about almost everything but I can't help but love her. She's like Hermione in some ways. You know how the world treats confident smart woman who is not really high up on the looks department. Yes, she's that woman. And at long last she's getting married. To her not so handsome but filthy rich fiancé. Horay!
The characters are very near and dear to my heart and after following the series for some time, I can clearly said they're sort of my friends in some ways. Yes, the mysteries are there for the women detectives to solve but it's their story that will stuck with you.
The good thing about McCall Smith's series is that you can read any book in the series even if you did not read the first one. It is as much a stand alone novel as a series altogether. And yes, I have all the books in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
Oh by the way, I do read other genres other than YA fantasy so don't be surprised to read this review. Cozy mysteries are my thing too. And no, contrary to what most people think cozies are not only read by middle-aged ladies. I've been reading them since I was a teen until now.
Verdict: 5 stars of course!