I’ve so been enjoying my foray into the Mma Ramotswe books, especially since I have never done a re-read with the series, or even finished reading the series. This is going to be a great reading year, I can tell. As always, there is a specific formula to the series, but Alexander McCall Smith knows how to balance the familiar and surprising all at once. And that’s perfectly fine by me.
With The Kalahari Typing School for Men, we find out more about Mma Makutsi. She is doing a terrific job at running the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors bookkeeping and office, being Mma Ramotswe’s assistant detective, and caring for her ailing brother. And yet, she realizes that if she is going to have money for her brother’s care with something left over for her wardrobe, she will have to diversify. So, she starts a typing school for men. Women, she knows, are expected to do clerical and typing work, but men may avoid it out of embarrassment or shame. Out of this class, she meets a charming gentleman and faces a difficult choice. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe is trying to help a man atone for a decades-old wrong that he committed against trusted people and his one-time girlfriend. With Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni on the mend, life can start to stitch itself back together.
Here, we get to see some diverging of paths for the detectives. Mma Makutsi’s story is fascinating and also tragic, and I hope that Smith develops it further. At the same time, I’ll be interested to see how he develops Mma Ramotswe’s relationship to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and building their family.
Cross-posted to my blog.