Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful private investigator of `traditional build', is well-known to millions across the world through the bestselling No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Those who have been following her exploits in five previously published novels can now read the next instalment, in which, as usual, circumstances are never as straightforward as they seem.
Precious Ramotswe is now married
to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The Agency is busy, but Mma Ramotswe cannot ignore the plea of a woman who comes to her with a tale of particular misfortune. Unfortunately, her attempts to help are interrupted by a close encounter between her tiny white van and a bicycle, and by a spectacular disagreement between her assistant, Mma Makutsi, and one of the apprentices at the garage.
This apprentice has found a fancy girlfriend who drives a Mercedes-Benz. How can he be rescued from his folly? And as for Mma Makutsi, she has found a dancing class, and a man who may not be able to dance very well but who admires her greatly. And all of this happens against a background of quiet sessions of bush tea, and of a land that stretches out forever under mile upon mile of empty sky.
Both entertaining and moving, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is another masterpiece of comic understatement from Alexander McCall Smith and an affectionate homage to Botswana and its people.