First of all, for the sake of prelude, let me bring you along with
me to some of the journeys (read; chapters) of the two private detective ladies in Botswana. Here are some out of their many pleasant and hilarious journeys.
1. Honesty, Tea, and Things in the Kitchen
2. Trousers and Pumpkins
3. Further Thought of Pumpkins
4. Tea Issues
5. An Encounter with A Bicycle
6. Further Details
7. A Tea Disaster and Worse
In the Company of Cheerful LadiesPlot summary
Mma Ramotswe and her new husband settle down to married life with their foster-children, but problems are piling up. At Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s own house, the tenant is running an illegal drinking den. Then Charlie, the apprentice, gets entangled with a wealthy married woman and quits his job after a row with Mma Makutsi. Help arrives in the person of Mr Polopetsi, whom Mma Ramotswe accidentally knocks off his bicycle with her van. He has been unemployed following a spell in prison after what appears to have been a miscarriage of justice, and Mma Ramotswe persudes her husband to employ him out of guilt and sympathy, but he proves an asset to the garage. He has tracking skills too, and when Mma Ramotswe’s van is stolen after a breakdown, he finds it for her.
Mma Ramotswe’s violent ex-husband Note Mokote reappears. She is frightened, having never obtained a divorce from him before marrying again. Note tries to blackmail her, but Mma Ramotswe discovers that he actually married her bigamously, so their marriage was invalid and she is legally married to Mr J.L.B Matekoni after all. Surrounded by her husband and friends at the garage, she finds the courage to dismiss Note and forgive him.
Mma Makutsi’s love prospects improve when she starts dancing lessons and is partnered with another student, Mr Radiphuti. At first she tries to avoid him, as he is awkward and stammers, but he turns out to be a kind and gentle man with a good job in his father’s business, and a romance begins. She removes some of Mma Ramotswe’s burden of worry by solving an important fraud investigation on her own, and manoeuvring Charlie back to work. Mr Radiphuti’s father enlists the help of Mma Ramotswe to put a proposal of marriage from his shy son to Mma Makutsi, and the two become engaged.
Series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series
Genre(s) Detective, Mystery novel
Publication date 2004
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback), Audio (Cassette & CD)
Pages 231 pp (1st edition hardback)
Preceded by The Full Cupboard of Life (2004)
Followed by Blue Shoes and Happiness (2006)
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies is the sixth in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series of novels by Alexander McCall Smith, set in Gaborone, Botswana, and featuring the Motswana protagonist Precious Ramotswe.
I don’t think you will lose the thread if you haven’t read the previous series yet; ya maybe a little bit, but that won’t affect to the joy of following the journey of “In the Company of Cheerful Ladies” It’s only a matter of being curious about certain things as they have been mentioned once in a blue moon.
How would you feel being in the company of cheerful ladies? How would you define “cheerful ladies”? what characters of ladies should have to be called as cheerful ladies? These were all just my inner monologue came up soon after I read the title. Then having read it my inner feelings about what cheerful ladies came up, and finally I gave my own judgment about them. My own judgment, which will undoubtedly be different from yours.
The story’s started simple, I already giggled only by reading the first chapter whilst imagining a vivid description of the comedy happen in a real life. A story of two private detective ladies who encounter quite many bewildered, funny, and sometimes silly circumstances that later lead them to some solved and remain unsolved issues ( At the end of the chapter- I am still left confused by certain things, which I prefer not to spoil here, though I get the suspicious suspects, yet it is a kind of open-ending, and Mr. Smith wisely decided to leave the answer of who the suspects are to me; the confused reader. After all, it’s a mystery – some are just too difficult to understand. In this case Mr. Smith is being secretive. Well done Mr. Smith; you hang me by a thread!)
The plot’s flowing easily as this is also supported by the strong characters; funny, resilient, childish, mean, silly ( too boring to list all- you’ve got to find this out, then perhaps you’ll help me add this.), so strong characters that the simple plot may give the effect of more than just a simple flat plot.
Perhaps this is the brilliant side of the story; you can retell precisely about each of the character in the story. The presence of Mr. Stammer –or that so I called, manages to en…en.. enlighten the sto… sto..story. His pre… pre.. pre.. presence may be less important, but I’d say he closes the ending ni…ni..nicely, and I close the book with a big smile on my face, and remember the quote I like from the book ( for the sake of my own enjoyment)”
“Always keep your distance with your client; hugs and kisses never solved any cases, and never paid any bills.”
Cultural information ( or anyone can help?)
I soon began to realize that “Mma” followed by name, is term addressing women, while “Rra” followed by name, is term addressing men in Bostwana, tell me if I am wrong.
The similarities between my own culture is ;
we also use different terms to address older women, older men, those we know dearly, casually, or just people whom we don’t know.
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