The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe By Alexander McCall Smith

Published 2015 Abacus paperback.
Another gentle pleasant book in the series. I thought that perhaps this was a trifle more lightweight than previous books, but the sheer charm of the characters always carries me into finishing and adding the book to my shelves. And in this story there are genuine problems to solve. At Speedy Motors there has been a slow townturn in business and they can no longer afford to have two assistants there, so Charlie as the one who has still not gained his mechanic qualifications must be fired. Precious Ramotswe promptly hires him to work in the detective agency, but how will she pay him and can she find enough work to keep herself and Mma Makutsi going? And even if she can manage those things, how much use will Charlie really be? And while she is resolving those questions she is also coping with her assistant who has opened The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe with dubious staff, and with the return of Violet Septhotho who has become a restaurant cric and is delighted to have the opportunity to criticize anything at all in which Mma Makutsi is involved. The story takes the scenic route through all these events and after I closed the book I decided that all in all it had been interesting. I’d enjoyed the tale, the characters and the events, and the book has joined the rest of the series on my shelf. Lightweight? Yes, a little, but it is still a ‘keeper’ to be re-read and re-read in future, and really, you can’t say better than that.

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