In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (Series in September)

Book: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

Series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Book Order: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency* (1), Tears of the Giraffe* (2), Morality for Beautiful Girls* (3), The Kalahari Typing School for Men* (4), The Full Cupboard of Life* (5), In the Company of Cheerful Ladies* (6), Blue Shoes and Happiness (7), The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (8), The Miracle at Speedy Motors (9), Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (10), The Double Comfort Safari Club (11), The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (12)  

* indicates a book I have read

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is the sixth book in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and since it's difficult to review this book without mentioning previous events in the series, let me just say that this may have been my favorite book yet. 

In terms of more general information, the series is set in Botswana and the main character is an entirely endearing female detective named Precious Ramotswe.  Backing her up in the stories are Grace Makutsi, who scored the record ninety seven percent at her secretarial college, and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, proprietor and master mechanic at Tlokweng Speedy Motors.  Each character in the series is fully developed and Alexander McCall Smith brings Botswana alive.  These are books with a true sense of place, and the culture of the country shines through in the pages. 

The mysteries are never overly complex but remain entertaining in their simplicity, akin to the traditions of classic writers such as Agatha Christie.  Each book tells a full and unique story, but as the series continues the characters grow and develop and it is the thread of these maturing relationships that drives each book to be even more engaging than the previous ones (which were excellent in their own right).  

I think this series is overall wonderful and I find myself recommending it a lot.  For anyone looking for a charming mystery or anyone looking for a great book set in Africa, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a great place to start.  For now, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is my favorite of the series, but that could easily change when I read on and discover the next books in line. 

1 Response to "In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (Series in September)"

  1. Tracy says:
    September 23, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    The titles alone are enough to get me to give it a try.

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