Saturday, June 26, 2004

The Full Cupboard of Life: More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni are still engaged, but with no immediate plans to get married. Mma Ramotswe wonders when a wedding date will be named, but she is anxious to avoid putting pressure on her fiancé. For indeed he has other things on his mind -- particularly a frightening request (involving a parachute jump) made by Mma Potokwani, the persuasive matron of the orphan farm.

This is yet another in the charming No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories. Very hard to describe - they aren't mysteries, at least in the sense of murder and intrigue like we expect in the traditional murder mystery. But Smith delves into the mysteries of love, disappointment, hopes and dreams - the real mysteries of life that truly matter. Through the charming "detectives" he gives a glimpse into the richness of life, and how full one's cupboard may be.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Laurie R. King

Young Mary Russell (A Monstrous Regiment of Women, St. Martin's, 1995) drops everything to join husband Sherlock Holmes in Devonshire, where the pair investigate an ancient family curse near the scene of The Hound of the Baskervilles published some 20 years earlier. The forbidding moor nearby provides them both danger and inspiration.

This one was slower going - I'm not sure why. Another excellent story, and fun historical details. Not as strong as the others. I'll take a break before reading the next - which will be a jump back in time anyway...