Shoma Patnaik's Reviews > The Full Cupboard of Life

The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
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's review
May 23, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011, detective, humour, mystery, romance, rural, society, africa
Read in May, 2011 — I own a copy

"I'’d like you to do a sponsored parachute jump, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni". How can this book be anything but entertaining?

The series has lost none of its honest charm. These books are the quintessential cozy mystery. There's no tea and geriatric activities involved (well, except red bush tea) but reading them is such comfort. There are cases to solve, bad people to catch and you still end up feeling like the world is a good place even if it's not perfect.

I have to say that I'm really starting to like Mr. J.L.B Matekoni. I loved the part where he inspects the engine of a car that has been serviced with less than noble intentions - "So he turned away and shook his head, as might one who had seen some great work of art destroyed before his eyes, cast low by the basest Philistines." A good man with a passion for good work is such an admirable thing.

Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B Matekoni's marriage is touching without being syrupy and Mma Potokwani's shotgun-esque plot is wickedly funny! On the other hand, I was a tad disappointed by the somewhat unscrupulous solution Mma Ramotswe comes up with to prevent the parachute jump. Getting Charlie to do something she considers far too dangerous for her own fiancé, even if she shows concern and regret later was a little out of character for her. (I'd also like to nitpick over the fact that McCall Smith misspells "Gandhi" but that's because I think "Ghandi" looks faintly obscene when it's spelt like that). Also, the subplot with Mma Holonga was wrapped up in a hurry. Still, it gives us "Mr. Spokes Spokesi, the Airwave Rider" - I swear, these names are EPIC.

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