Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe (2014) by Alexander McCall Smith is the 15th book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I love these books, even though they quickly became much less about the mystery and much more about the characters' lives and relationships. These really must be read in series order, as the characters develop and their relationships change in meaningful ways almost with the passing of every book.

from the back of the book:
Precious Ramotswe's gentle touch and deep insight have helped her recover many lost things over the years -but never before has she been asked to help a woman find herself. When a kindhearted brother and sister take in a nameless woman with no memory of her own history or how she came to Botswana, it falls to Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi to discover the woman's identity. Meanwhile. motherhood seems to be no obstacle to Mma Makutsi's professional success, as she deftly balances her duties at the agency with her new role as owner of the Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, a restaurant for Gaborone's most fashionable diners. And Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is contemplating big changes at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors which will alter life at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as well.

With sympathy and indefatigable good humor, Mma Ramotswe and her friends see one another through these major changes and discover along the way what true friendship really means.
This series was adapted for TV. Although it sadly only lasted a single season, it's well worth seeking out. It's a wonderful adaptation, and as much as I love the books I also love the TV show. Sometimes you can find edited/shortened versions on Youtube, but we bought the DVDs and never regretted it. Perfectly cast and perfectly presented.

I've read these others from this series:

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Blue Shoes and Happiness
The Good Husband from Zebra Drive
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The Miracle at Speedy Motors
The Double Comfort Safari Club
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon


  1. I read the first book, then got hooked on the TV series. It's too bad the TV series didn't catch on, because I loved it, too. I've never found any more of the books since the first one. Of course, I don't go to book stores like I should, either. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    1. I see them available used a lot, but it's a popular series here. I can't imagine why the show didn't take off. It was so _perfect_!

  2. I loved the series and was sad that it only lasted one season! I will definitely write these down on my liberary list!!

    1. If you haven't read them yet I hope you think the characters were as well-cast as I do. I don't know how that tv series didn't do well :(

  3. I remember reading one or maybe two of the books and wasn't hooked. I'm sure I just read randomly in the series so that may well be the problem. Thanks for the list. Maybe I will give them a second try and begin at the beginning.

    1. My son read the first 3? I think, but as the mystery became less a part of the plot he got less interested. He just wasn't as interested in the characters themselves as I was.