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Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander…

Morality for Beautiful Girls (2001)

by Alexander McCall Smith

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4,707861,002 (3.85)136



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This is the third of Alexander McCall Smith’s Botswana-based stories. Alexander McCall Smith has continued Mma Ramotswe’s path solving crimes, although crimes a bit of a misnomer, in this series. Each crime, or investigation, is told in a group of short stories.

Mma Ramotswe is not only solving other people’s problems in this read. She has found herself in the same plight of many new businesses : financial strain. Her fiancé, Mr. Matekoni is also suffering from financial strain, as well as health related issues. Instead of firing her only staff , Mma Makutsi, she promotes her and passes on more responsibilty. Mma Makutsi performs a few of her own investigations as well as running Mr. Matekoni's car business while he is away.

The investigative activities continue to be unreal, but in a comical, humorous and delightful way. For example, Mma Ramotswe is conducting her surveillance in a single white van, that more than likely would not be hard to spot in light traffic. Need I add, the use of a single vehicle in heavy traffic and stop lights you would more than likely loose the vehicle you are following.

Morality for Beautiful Girls is a quick and pleasant read. However, there are a couple of subplots, for example, the strange boy found in the wilderness, Mma Makutsi’s ill brother, and Mma Makutsi’s own mysterious past, that were not solved. I am hoping the fourth book in this series will shed more light on the subplots.

I received this book from TripFiction in exchange for an honest review.
  WanderRoxyBooks | Sep 1, 2016 |
3.5 Stars, A good light read. Preferred books 1 and 2. Not much interaction between Precious Ramotswe and Mr. J L B Matekoni, and I felt this was a big miss. I would also have liked more about cases she was identified. The ones in the book were quite light. Having said that it was another good read, and I was pleased to see the development of Mma Makutsi. i wil leagerly await the reading of the fourth one, and want to try the other series by Alexander McCall Smith. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
Lisette Lecat
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
This third book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series finds Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only female private investigator, with a lot on her plate, including a change in business arrangements, an unwell fiancé, a possible poisoning, and the discovery of a feral child in the bush.

Despite all of that, as in the first two books, the actual plot in this one is low-key almost to the point of being incidental, while the real focus is on the characters and their gentle ruminations on life, love, tradition, and morality in modern Botswana. I have ten more books in this series still sitting unread on my shelves, and I can imagine getting tired of this before I reach the end of them. But I haven't yet, and I still found this one charming and, in the end, satisfying. And I am delighted by the development that Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe's secretary/assistant gets in this one. She's shaping up to be just as formidable a character as her employer, and I hope to see lots more of her in future volumes. ( )
  bragan | Feb 16, 2016 |
After reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency a couple of years ago, I accumulated a few of these, and went through 6 in less than a month. They're very quick reads - I read 2 and part-of-a-third in one day.

They're very entertaining, charming, and compulsively readable. Although marketed as mysteries; they're not, really. Rather they follow Mma Ramotswe and those around her through their daily lives - it's almost besides-the-point that the business she runs is a detective agency. The stories are suffused with McCall-Smith's obvious sincere love of Africa (where he grew up), and the reader feels that a genuine window has opened up into the lives and mindsets of ordinary Africans. I don't agree with many aspects of Precious Ramotswe's view on the world, and I probably wouldn't get along with her in real life - but these books made me feel like I might understand people like her more than before.

However... there's also a weird aspect to the books. They're so relentlessly cozy. It's not that McCall-Smith ignores the poverty, the devastation of AIDS, the lack of education, etc... these things are acknowledged, but then almost swept to the side. On the one hand, it's a celebration of the spirit of the people of Botswana and their love of their homeland... but on the other hand, it sometimes feels like a minimization of these things. It's not just larger social issues: there's domestic abuse, adultery, etc... all the normal foibles of humanity (although all reference to sex of any kind are totally non-existent)- but all the unpleasant things somehow get almost drowned out in the cozy, feel-good atmosphere of the books. Maybe it's just that I usually read darker, grittier material [especially in mysteries {McCall-Smith is no Stieg Larsson!}] but it felt a bit strange to me. I can't decide if it's a detriment or a positive asset to the books.

In 'Morality for Beautiful Girls,' Mma Ramotswe moves the offices of her detective agency into the premises of her fiance's business, Tlowkwong Road Speedy Motors. It's a bit odd to have a private detective's office in the midst of cars being fixed, but the ove makes financial sense. In addition to being Assistant Detective, Mma Makutsi also becomes Assistant Manager of the garage, using the skills she learned at the Botswana Secretarial College to get the bookkeeping in order. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe investigates a case of suspected poisoning, considers the mystery of a child possibly raised by lions, and investigates the good (or not-so-stellar) character of girls competing in a beauty pageant. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Mma Ramotswe, the daughter of the late Obed Ramotswe of Mochudi, near Gaborone, Botswana, Africa, was the announced fiance of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, son of the late Pumphamilitse Matekoni, of Tlokweng, peasant farmer and latterly chief caretaker of the Railway Head Office.
"Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then more generously sized people would just have to sit on them. Yes, that would teach them! Hah!"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0349117004, Paperback)

THE NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY published in 1998, introduced the world to the one and only Precious Ramotswe, the engaging and sassy owner of Botswana's only detective agency. TEARS OF THE GIRAFFE took us further into this world, and now, continuing the adventures of Mma Ramotswe, MORALITY FOR BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, finds her expanding her business to take in the world of car repair and a beauty pageant. Alexander McCall Smith's sense of humour and gentle charm have created a substantial cult following. MORALITY FOR BEAUTIFUL GIRLS will win him yet more fans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:10 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In Morality for Beautiful Girls, Precious Ramotswe, founder and owner of the only detective agency for the concerns of both ladies and others, investigates the alleged poisoning of the brother of an important "Government Man," and the moral character of the four finalists of the Miss Beauty and Integrity Contest, the winner of which will almost certainly be a contestant for the title of Miss Botswana. Yet her business is having money problems, and when other difficulties arise at her fiance's Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, she discovers the reliable Mr J.L.B. Matekoni is more complicated than he seems. -- back cover.… (more)

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