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Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith

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1 month ago by yen.paul

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S$4

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Paperback. Some age spots but this has no impact on the reading experience. Morality for Beautiful Girls is the third detective novel in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, set in Gaborone, Botswana. The novel features the Motswana protagonist Mma Precious Ramotswe. Her fiancé is struck down by depression, so Mma Ramotwe ensures he gets medical treatment and then appoints her secretary, Mma Makutsi, as acting manager of the garage. They had already decided to move the detective agency to office space in the garage, to cut expenses. Two cases are resolved, one by Mma Ramotswe and the other by Mma Makutsi, all on her own, as she manages the garage as well. Both women have opportunities to reflect on morality in modern Botswana. A boy with a strange history is brought to the orphan farm; Mr JLB Matekoni reaches out to him, teaching him language and making toys for him. The novel was reviewed by the New York Times when this and the two prior novels were published in the USA at once in 2002.[1] The reviewer finds the writing to have "energy and eccentricity" but with "formal cadences [that] can sometimes slide into a languid drone".[2] The author writes "about the variety and resilience of a nation to which Smith seems utterly devoted." The main character "Mma Ramotswe acts as much like Miss Manners as Miss Marple."[2] Other reviews note that Mma Ramotswe is "a remarkably original character" and that McCall Smith's writing style is deceptively simple and direct, marked by "passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once".[3] A review of the audio books in the US noted Mma Ramotswe's solutions of mysteries through her "finely honed sense of human frailty and simple wisdom" and finds the audio version is especially good for readers of this novel, as the accent on English from Botswana is unique.[4]

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