* No. 7 in the marvellous Mma Ramotswe series
Now that she is finally and happily married to her long-term suitor Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency of Botswana might have expected life to grow more sedate. But the many problems that lead customers to Mma Ramotswe's door seem, if anything, to have multiplied, and no sooner has she settled her traditionally built person into the married state than she finds herself looking into several troublesome matters at once. There is, to begin with, a disturbing case of blackmail and theft from the Government catering college. Then, while on an errand for her husband to the Mokolodi Game Reserve Mma Ramotswe is seconded to investigate an unpleasant atmosphere that may be down to witchcraft, or something worse. There are sinister goings-on at a health clinic to be looked into, not to mention any number of small wrongs to be righted along the path to detective triumph. And all the time Mma Ramotswe has weighty questions of a philosophical nature to consider, such as whether it is right to find happiness in small things, such as a new pair of blue shoes, a slice of cake, or a red sunset over the Kalahari.
The books possess a beguiling simplicity that is hard to convey without making them seem fey, when in fact they are direct, vivid and down-to-earth ... what he achieves in his No.1 Ladies - Detective Agency novels is the depiction in the lives of his main characters of a benign system of morality - derived by Mma Ramotswe from the old-fas
DAILY TELEGRAPH - 'Nothing spoils [McCall Smith's] vision of Botswana as a place where decent people triumph over mischief-makers'
SUNDAY TIMES - 'Nothing will dim the charm of McCall Smith's series, with its portraits of goodness, its sorrow over greed and its profound love of Africa. They are
Amanda Craig, INDEPENDENT - '[BLUE SHOES AND HAPPINESS has] the quiet sophistication of the previous novels and its simplicity is deceptive.These novels take us through the looki
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over one hundred books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.