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Blue Shoes and Happiness

by Alexander McCall Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,634682,542 (3.89)110
There is considerable excitement at The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. A cobra has been found in Precious Ramotswe's office. Then a nurse from a local clinic reveals that faulty blood-pressure readings are being recorded. And Botswana has a new advice columnist, Aunty Emang, whose advice is rather curt for Mma Ramotswe's taste. All this means a lot of work for our heroine and her assistant, Grace Makutsi. But there's trouble brewing in Mma Makutsi's own life. When Phuti Radiphuti misses their customary dinner date, she begins to wonder if he is having second thoughts about their engagement. And while Mma Makutsi may be able to buy that fashionably narrow (and uncomfortable) pair of blue shoes, it may not buy her the happiness that Mma Ramotswe promises her she'll find in the simpler things--in contentment with the world and enough tea to smooth over the occasional bumps in the road.--From publisher description.… (more)
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» See also 110 mentions

English (65)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Another mind holiday! I love the way these stories just plod along. They aren't super exciting, action packed stories. I just love the way Alexander McCall Smith manages to capture the everyday & turn it into a story worth reading :O)
  leah152 | Feb 10, 2021 |
Love this whole series!! ( )
  mcsp | Jan 25, 2021 |
This is a review I wrote in 2007:

If you've enjoyed all of the other books in the series, then you should enjoy this one too!! I just love this series. Set in Botswana, Alexander McCall Smith writes so superbly, enabling the reader to cross continents and be right there in Gabarone with Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi and Mr J.L.P. Matekoni. With touches of understated comic irony, this series are just a delightful light-hearted read. Watch out for the moral elements - Mma Ramotswe spends a lot of her time philosophising on life, and the good old days in particular when morals were better, young people were more polite and there was more respect in society... but her moments of reflection just add to the charm of these novels!

In this, the 7th in the series, life is finally becoming a little more settled for Mma Ramotswe. She is now happily married to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni (proprietor of the respected local garage "Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors"), between them forstering two children from the local orphanage. Her detective agency business is now respected and established and her assistant Mma Makutsi has finally found herself a suitable suitor / fiance! (although she still can't resist a new pair of shoes!!). However, Mma Ramotswe allows doubts to creep in regarding her traditionally built figure... perhaps she should start a diet? And some strange events require investigating... possible withcraft, a case of blackmail.

If you're new to the series, I recommend you start with the first book, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency". ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Jan 20, 2021 |
Several mysteries converge on this collection, and the agency must work to juggle them all. Add in personal drama, and you have a compelling, cozy book. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Just as agreeable and quietly moving as the others in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series ( )
  oatleyr | Aug 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
This will be familiar territory for fans of the series. Cases are cracked thanks to her traditional common sense and the consumption of vast quantities of tea, while the main concern of the novel is the pursuit of that most elusive state of being: happiness.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kern, ÉlisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for
Bernard Ditau in Botswana
and Kenneth and Pravina King in Scotland
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When you are just the right age, as Mma Ramotswe was, and when you have seen a lot of life, as Mma Ramotswe certainly had, then there are some things that you just know.
Quotations
"We are all human beings," Mma Ramotswe had once observed to Mma Makutsi, "and human beings can't really help themselves. Have you noticed that, Mma? We can't really help ourselves from doing things that land us in all sorts of trouble."
One day, when he retired, they would move out to a village, perhaps to Mochudi, and find land to plough and cattle to tend. Then at last there would be time to sit outside on the stoep with Mma Ramotswe and watch the life of the village unfold before them. That would be a good way of spending such days as remained to one; in peace, happy, among the people and cattle of home. It would be good to die among one's cattle, he thought, with their sweet breath on one's face and their dark, gentle eyes watching right up to the end of one's journey, right up to the edge of the river.
And where would we be in a world without the old Botswana morality? It would not work, in Mma Ramotswe's view, because it would mean that people could do as they wished without regard for what others thought. That would be a recipe for selfishness, a recipe as clear as if it were written out in a cookery book: Take one country, with all that the country means, with its kind people, and their smiles, and their habit of helping one another; ignore all this; shake about; add modern ideas; bake until ruined.
All about them there were well-dressed crowds, people with money in their pockets, people buying for homes that were slowly beginning to reflect Botswana's prosperity. It had all been earned, every single pula of it, in a world in which it is hard enough to make something of one's country, in a world of selfish and distant people who took one's crops at rock-bottom prices and wrote the rules to suit themselves. There were plenty of fine words, of course—and lots of these came from Africa itself—but at the end of the day the poor, the people who lived in Africa, so often had nothing to show for their labours, nothing. And that was not because they did not work hard—they did, they did—but because of something that was wrong which made it so difficult to get anywhere, no matter how hard they tried.
One should not hold a grudge against another, [the old Botswana morality] said, because to harbor grudges was to disturb the social peace, the bond between people.
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There is considerable excitement at The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. A cobra has been found in Precious Ramotswe's office. Then a nurse from a local clinic reveals that faulty blood-pressure readings are being recorded. And Botswana has a new advice columnist, Aunty Emang, whose advice is rather curt for Mma Ramotswe's taste. All this means a lot of work for our heroine and her assistant, Grace Makutsi. But there's trouble brewing in Mma Makutsi's own life. When Phuti Radiphuti misses their customary dinner date, she begins to wonder if he is having second thoughts about their engagement. And while Mma Makutsi may be able to buy that fashionably narrow (and uncomfortable) pair of blue shoes, it may not buy her the happiness that Mma Ramotswe promises her she'll find in the simpler things--in contentment with the world and enough tea to smooth over the occasional bumps in the road.--From publisher description.

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