This book continues the story of the Number One Ladies Detective Agency and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe. The title is derived from a scheme hatched by her assistant detective, Mma Makutsi, to earn some extra money. She starts her very own typing school for men. In the meantime, the agency must deal with competition from a new detective in town and Mma Ramotswe and her fiancé creep slowly closer to setting a wedding date.
The Main Body:
When Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi discover that the Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency has opened in their city, they naturally want to learn more about their competition. It doesn’t take long before an ad appears in the paper that states, “Don’t entrust your inquiries to a woman! Hire a man.” The new detective also brags about his experience as a police officer and his training in New York City.
While Mma Ramotswe is more than willing to accept a legitimate business competitor, one with such an arrogant and sexist attitude must be dealt with severely. When she and her assistant visit the new agency and introduce themselves, sparks fly, and the listener experiences a humorous treat.
Mma Makutsi is enjoying some success with her typing school, and she meets a man there who becomes a romantic interest for her. Mma Ramotswe uses her investigative prowess to check into the man’s background, however, and must find a way to break it to her friend gently when he turns out to be something different from what he claims.
In other developments, the two orphans that Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni are caring for go through some growing pains, and the two apprentice mechanics at Mr. Matekoni’s garage continue to give him frustration. The detective agency acquires a client who was not satisfied with an investigation done by the Satisfaction Guaranteed Company, and Mma Ramotswe feels better about the chances that her business will be able to weather the storm.
As is the case with all the books in this series, a suspenseful or thrilling plot is not the driving force in The Kalahari Typing School for Men. Instead, the finely drawn characters, their interactions with one another, and the vivid descriptions of the land and people of Botswana keep the listener engaged and entertained. The gentle story provides a total escape from the fast-paced lives that most Westerners endure.
Lisette Lecat is the best narrator I have heard during at least two decades as a fan of audio books. Her ability to evoke another time and place, as well as bring life to many varied characters is unmatched. This book is a joy to hear and will appeal to listeners of all ages