Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith

I received the audio version of this latest in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series from the Early Reviewer program on When I began the series years ago, I had a difficult time with the unusual language patterns and unfamiliar names. Then I discovered the audio books narrated by Lisette Lecat. Her amazing ability to provide different voices and accents gave me an appreciation for the lyrical rhythm of the language, and caused me to fall in love with the whole series, the colorful the country of Botswana, and several of the colorful characters McCall Smith has so carefully crafted.

In this episode (the 14th), Mma Precious Ramatswe is working two different cases: one involving a questionable inheritance and heir, the other a case of trying to find out who is maligning the newly opened business "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon."   While she quietly and ploddingly works on these two cases, she is also helping Mma Makutse, her ertswhile side-kick and "associate detective" who is having a baby, and having to deal with the overbearing aunt of her husband Mr. Phuti Radiphuti.  In the meantime, Mma Ramatswe's husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, enrolls himself in the "How to be a modern husband" night course at the local university.  The results are not what he expects.  The whole story is very focused on the personal lives of Mma Makutse, Mma Ramatswe, their husbands, and their friends.  We see quite a bit more of the husbands and their musings about marriage.

While classified as detective stories, these books are so much more.  The mysteries are generally the skeleton on which McCall Smith hangs gentle, beautiful and affirming stories of Botswana and its way of life.  Precious Ramatswe is a woman wise beyond her years, but with a wisdom that recognizes there are always lessons to be learned from others, from life, and from the unfortunate happenings that befall all of us.  No matter what happens, she manages to dispense gems of beauty that keep us reading and wanting more.

If you've tried others in print and decided they weren't for you, please give them a try in audio.  The difference is incredible.  These are fun, relaxing, inspiring and vastly educational all at once.  They just keep getting better with each new installment.

Title:The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC (November 5, 2013), 9 hr, 45 min.
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Subject: Botswana customs, male-female relationships
Setting: Gabarone, Botswana
Series: No.1 Ladies Detective Agency
Source: Publisher via the EarlyReviewers program of
Why did I read this book now?  I received the book in exchange for an honest review and I love the series.


  1. Lovely review. This series is one of my all-time favorites. Such a kindly feeling in each book, and I love getting to know the characters better and better.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.