The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series)
Alexander McCall Smith
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THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 12
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 charming, bestselling series, Precious Ramotswe faces two confounding cases: the mysterious fate of some cows, and the ghost-like reappearance of her dear old white van.
As Mma Ramotswe investigates the deaths of cows at a cattle post outside Gaborone, she finds herself also pursuing other mysteries closer to home. One of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s apprentices appears to have gotten a girl pregnant, and has run away to avoid marrying her. Meanwhile, Precious sees her beloved old van—sent to the junkyard long ago—trundling around the city again. Has the van been miraculously revived, or is she hallucinating? Further complicating matters are Violet Sephotho’s newly launched campaign for a seat in Botswana’s parliament, and Grace Makutsi’s growing fears that she’ll never be able to marry her fiancé Phuti Radiphuti if she can’t find the perfect pair of wedding shoes. As ever, Precious will draw on her trademark grace and wisdom as she helps unravel all these tangled threads.
do something with the parts that he could strip from the body of the van. That was all Mma Ramotswe heard, and nothing more. It was a better fate, perhaps, than that of total destruction in the jaws of some metal-crushing predator, but still she hoped that the young man who had bought the van for scrap might exercise his mechanical skills and restore it. And that possibility she kept in her mind, tucked away among the other scraps of hope of the sort that we go through life with, not thinking
problems—whatever they were. Charlie was an apprentice of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, and it would have to be Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni who took action. She looked across the room at her assistant, who was frowning with concentration as she poured the boiling water into the teapot. “Very well, Mma Makutsi,” she said. “Tell me what the trouble is. What has our young friend been up to now?” CHAPTER TWO THE CHARLIE PROBLEM THAT EVENING, Mma Ramotswe pondered what she had been told by Mma
of a bride the other day in Drum. And do you know, she was wearing a pink dress and bright yellow shoes. Bright yellow shoes, Phuti! She looked ridiculous. I laughed and laughed, and so did Mma Ramotswe.” Phuti Radiphuti smiled. “Yes, very silly. She should have worn pink shoes to go with her pink dress, or maybe a yellow dress to go with her yellow shoes.” He took a forkful of food and then continued, his mouth half full, “But did you buy those shoes?” Mma Makutsi looked vaguely into the
him a beating.” Mma Ramotswe gasped. “Please! Let’s not beat anybody. And …” She paused. It would be impossible to speak to the boy in the teacher’s presence, and yet she would need to be tactful. “If you wouldn’t mind too much, I think it might be better for me to speak to him privately, Rra.” “Why? I am his teacher.” “Yes, and I’m sure that he respects you very much. But in my experience, Rra—and I have been a detective for a few years now—I find that some witnesses, and particularly
short life. She wondered whether he had ever been taken to Gaborone—probably not; or given a treat—almost certainly not. She remembered her first ice cream and the pleasure she had derived from that; how lucky she felt to have had a childhood in which she had been able to lay down good memories. “When I saw you last time, Mpho,” she said gently, “I thought you were a little bit frightened of something. I don’t want you to be frightened now.” He continued to stare down at the ground. He was