I have read the 52nd book for the book challenge. It was The Kalahari Typing School For Men: A No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Novel by Alexander McCall Smith.
Mma Precious Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has a number of problems and mysteries to resolve in this adventure. Two are concerned with her foster children. Her foster daughter is being bullied at school and is sad. This problem is quickly handled by talking to the girl. The problem with the boy, Puso, is not so quickly resolved. He has killed a hoopoe with a catapult. He says that he hates Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. Mma Ramotswe talks with the orphan director Mma Potokwani who advises that Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni should do more things with Puso. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni takes him for rides in the truck and does other things with him. These things seem to affect a change in the boy’s behavior. The problem is resolved.
Then a new detective agency opens in Garabone. It is run by a man called Mr. Buthelezi, a Zulu who has worked in Johannesburg and has been to New York. He advertises that it is an agency that is run by men. It is direct competition for Mma Ramotswe’s agency, but Mma Ramotswe knows her agency will always find a place in people’s hearts.
Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni go to the orphan home. Mma Potokwani has called them there to see if Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni can fix the old pump yet again. But he discovers that the old pump is just too broken. There is no way he can fix it this time. Mma Potokwani will have to ask benefactors to donate a new pump.
At the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Mr. Molefelo arrives. He wants to right the wrongs he did many years ago. He was a border in a home in Garabone where he was a student. He was dating a woman who was studying to be a nurse. She became pregnant. She needed money to get rid of the baby. He took a radio from the house where he was a border and made it look like the family was robbed. Now many years later he wants to correct these wrongs. He wants Mma Ramotswe’s help in locating the people involved. He will make restitution to them. Mma Ramotswe finds the woman whose home Mr. Molefelo lived in living in a village. She is caring for a grandchild with AIDS. She will meet with Mr. Molefelo and he will send checks to her to help support this child and her medical care. Then Mma Ramotswe finds the woman who had to get rid of her baby. She never finished her nursing school but went back to her village and married and had four children. Her eldest daughter is going to nursing school. Mr. Molefelo will pay the fees for this daughter to attend nursing school.
Then Mma Ramotswe takes a case that Mr. Buthelezi’s agency had not handled well. Mrs. Bernard Selelipeng comes to her for help. She lives in Mochudi but her husband lives in Gabarone and she thinks her husband is cheating. She wants Mma Ramotswe to find out.
Mma Makutsi has opened The Kalahari Typing School For Men in the church basement for ten men on week nights. She collects the fees from the men and the type on used typewriters from the Botswana Secretarial School that they no longer wanted. The school is a success. One of the students has told her that he is in love with her. They have gone out to dinner and to the movies. He is Mr. Bernard Selelipeng. Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni see Mma Makutsi and Mr. Selelipeng one night at the diner. Mma Ramotswe is upset about what she must do.
Mma Ramotswe goes to the home of Mr. Selelipeng and tells him she has been hired by his wife and that she knows he has been seeing Mma Makutsi. She wants him to find an excuse to go back to Mochudi and to not hurt Mma Makutsi. He will say he must go back to care for a sick relative.
Mma Makutsi comes into the office and says she is glad that Mr. Selelipeng went back to Mochudi. She was getting sick of him. But he gave her a nice necklace. Mma Ramotswe is glad everything worked out well.
I love these No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books. They are really sweet stories told in the sweet language of Africa. Mma Ramotswe is a lovely woman that you fall in love with and wish for your best friend. And you, too, wish that Mma Makutsi’s heart will not be broken. All I can say is that this is a sweet, sweet book.