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Customer Review

55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A familiar dish?, 30 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Limpopo Academy Of Private Detection (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) (Hardcover)
Sometimes a familiar treat you have been looking forward to proves to be a little disappointing, somehow not so tasty as you remember it. It's still good, but somehow not the same. For me, "The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection" is a little bit like that. The appearance in person of Clovis Andersen, author of Mma Ramotswe's professional bible, "The Principles of Private Detection", is a nice idea, and there is more happening than in some recent episodes: three of the long running characters run into trouble after getting involved with the wrong kind of businessman. Yet, despite at least one very enjoyable moment, courtesy of Charlie the apprentice, I cannot bring myself to give four stars this time around - 3.5 would be about right.
It is a long time now since I first discovered this series. Some people might wonder how a male Scottish author could write convincingly about African women, but I did find the early books very believable. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi both had enough troubles and weaknesses to seem real, and over the course of the series other characters came into the limelight from time to time, and moved the series on. This time, unfortunately, I felt that Mma Ramotswe, and particularly Mma Makutsi, were in danger of becoming parodies of themselves - the joke of Mma Makutsi's shoes talking to her has gone on more than long enough. I felt too that the baddies were so transparently bad that it was hard to believe that anybody could be fooled by them for a moment. Another minor annoyance is that Puso and Motholeli (the adopted children) were wheeled on for a page or two and then forgotten about. I am disappointed that Violet is once again an off stage presence. Overall I was left feeling that Clovis was introduced to spice up a dish that has been reheated too often. This book is less satisfying than the stews Mma Makutsi regularly prepares for Phuti.
I have bought almost all of this series in hardback, often on the day of release. Having come so far with it I'll probably continue to do so until the bitter end, but I do think it has gone on for too long now. There is a very confusing misprint on page 156, which I hope will be corrected in later printings.
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