Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Miracle at Speedy Motors

Some may recognize this as the title of the latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I fell in love with this gentle series when it began. Precious Ramotswe, a traditionally-built lady, runs the only ladies' detective agency in her beloved Botswana. Her (low-key) adventures are punctuated by drinking copious amounts of bush tea, and involve relationships with memorable characters - such as her mechanic husband Mr J. L. B. Matekoni and her large-spectacled assistant Mma Makutsi. And always her goodness shines through.

As you can tell, I love the pace and color of these simple tales, told simply (but what an art to write like that!) This latest book title builds suspense that one particular miracle might happen. The ending is not what I hoped for, yet it still resonates with sheer goodness.

As a preacher, of course, I yearn for such good character to be explicitly grounded in Christian experience. (I am always on the hunt for great Christian testimonies in fiction as well as in non-fiction - I guess that could really irritate a non-Christian author!) Occasionally Precious attends the Anglican church and ruminates on ethical issues with great insight. But when, for example, I see her forgiving reaction to a poison pen letter writer (page 202-3), I jump for joy at its Christian ethic. The picture the author paints seems too good to be true yet, in the light of my last posting, I believe it is possible by God's grace.

Yes, another positive read. Thank you Alexander McCall Smith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My wife loves these books also.