It's always such a pleasure to pick up a new No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel. Spending time in the company of Precious Ramotswe is like being with an especially kind and understanding and positive old friend who may know your faults and weaknesses but who loves you anyway. It is like a refreshing cup of tea at the end of a trying day.
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection is the thirteenth in this series, and, in my opinion, it is one of the very best. The pages slipped by much too fast for me. I was very sorry to bid goodbye (for another year or so anyway until Mr. McCall Smith can crank out another one) to Mma Ramotswe at the end.
As always, the mysteries that beset Precious here are of a commonplace nature. A young man, the best of the apprentices at her husband's Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors garage, is wrongly accused of dealing in stolen goods and is arrested. Mma Ramotswe's old friend, Mma Potokwane, who has devoted her life to caring for the orphans of Botswana, is suddenly and unjustly dismissed from her position. And it appears that her assistant - er, associate - detective Grace Makutsi and her new husband may be being cheated by the contractor who is building their new house.
In the midst of these upsetting events Mma Ramotswe has a dream of a tall man waiting for her under an acacia tree. Then one day, the tall man walks into her life! It is her great hero and role model Clovis Andersen, who wrote the book The Principles of Private Detection, the manual that has inspired and guided Precious' professional life.
Mma Ramotswe can hardly believe her good fortune in having this paragon walk into her life just when she is overwhelmed by problems that need solving. Surely with Mr. Andersen's help she will make short work of the mysteries that confound her. But something is not right. Mr. Anderson seems very depressed and sad. Perhaps he will simply be another problem for Precious to solve.
This story rambles along, frequently in Precious' ancient tiny white van, as she searches for answers to the problems afflicting her friends. We know that, in the end, all will be well and that she will find a way to return order and justice to her world. There really is no mystery here, just the sheer joy of spending time with this good and decent woman.