Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
Alexander McCall Smith
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THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 10
Fans around the world adore the best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.
In this latest installment in the endlessly entertaining series, Precious Ramotswe faces problems both personal and professional.
The first is the potential demise of an old friend, her tiny white van. Recently, it has developed a rather troubling knock, but she dare not consult the estimable Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni for fear he may condemn the vehicle. Meanwhile, her talented assistant Mma Makutsi is plagued by the reappearance of her nemesis, Violet Sephotho, who has taken a job at the Double Comfort Furniture store whose proprietor is none other than Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Makutsi’s fiancé. Finally, the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has been hired to explain the unexpected losing streak of a local football club, the Kalahari Swoopers. But with Mma Ramotswe on the case, it seems certain that everything will be resolved satisfactorily.
underneath. You know what I mean, Mma?” “I think I do,” said Mma Ramotswe. “So it is the job of women—and that means you and me, Mma—to find out what our husbands really want to do, and then to tell them about it. That is our job, I think, Mma.” Mma Ramotswe wondered about Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. He was a mild man—famously so—and she had never heard him speak about the things that he wanted to do. Did he have ambitions? He must at some time have wanted to have his own garage, and he must have
truck and I steered your van. We took it to that man who finds spare parts from scrapped cars. Harry Moloso. He has that place in the industrial site, over that side. I sometimes go and get spares there. He is a fat man who drinks a lot of beer and has a stomach that goes out like this. That is where we took it.” Mma Ramotswe listened to this with a growing feeling of emptiness. It was not a dignified end for her tiny white van—to be handed over ignominiously to Harry Moloso with his beer belly
was very clear on that one. The teacher is a very honest man.” Mma Makutsi approved of this. “Teachers should be honest. It is a great pity, Mma, that these days teachers are just like everybody else. I do not think that is right.” Mma Ramotswe had views on that—she had great respect for teachers—but she did not want to get into a discussion of that just now. “Not only was he honest,” said Mma Ramotswe, “he was very fit. He took me to show me the new school gymnasium—a very fine room, Mma, with
office, wiping his hands on one of the pieces of lint that Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni insisted on using, in spite of the ubiquity of paper towels. “What is it, Mma Ramotswe?” he asked. “Are you ladies having difficulty adding figures or something like that? I'm your man for that. Best in class for mathematics at the Botswana Automotive Trades College—two years running. One, two, three, four—I'm your man.” “Excuse me,” said Mma Makutsi as she made her way back to her desk. “If you were best in class at
Makutsi of this and the subject had been dropped. Now, moving aside to let Mr. Leungo Molofololo enter the office, Mma Makutsi said, “Mma Ramotswe, this is your ten o'clock appointment.” Mr. Leungo Molofololo looked at his watch. “And I am here at precisely four minutes past ten, you will observe, Mma. I like to be punctual, you see.” “That is a great virtue, Rra,” said Mma Ramotswe, rising from her seat and gesturing for him to sit down. “Yes,” said Mr. Leungo Molofololo. “If only more