Picks and Pans Review: Botswana's Best Sleuth Is Back

UPDATED 04/28/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/28/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT

THE MIRACLE AT SPEEDY MOTORS
by Alexander McCall Smith | [

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REVIEWED BY JOSH EMMONS
People
PICK

FICTION

The ninth entry in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is, like its "traditionally built" heroine, full of the quiet humor and ingratiating charm we've come to expect from Botswana's beloved fictional sleuth. Since Precious Ramotswe first set up shop, she's taken on prickly assistant Grace Makutsi, married master mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and solved more crimes than Philip Marlowe—while displaying far more heart. As good-natured and deliberately paced as its predecessors, Miracle begins as a typical mystery, with a woman hoping to discover her lost family, before subtly morphing into a study of how people make mistakes and then make amends. With the simple power of The Tao of Pooh, Smith's latest might have you believing in miracles.

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