The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith

Genre: Fiction
Series: #12 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2011
Read by: Lisette Lecat
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Precious Ramotswe and her Associate Detective Grace Makutsi juggle a case involving dead cattle, wedding plans and a possible ghost van.

Why I Read It:
I have enjoyed this series for several years now and it makes light and fun driving around listening.

The Book:
This is the twelfth in the series so it’s hard to say anything without possible spoilers for previous books.

From the publisher:

At a remote cattle post south of Gaborone two cows have been killed, and Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s No. 1 Lady Detective, is asked to investigate by a rather frightened and furtive gentleman. It is an intriguing problem with plenty of suspects—including, surprisingly, her own client.

To complicate matters, Mma Ramotswe is haunted by a vision of her dear old white van, and Grace Makutsi witnesses it as well. Is it the ghost of her old friend, or has it risen from the junkyard? In the meantime, one of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s apprentices may have gotten a girl pregnant and, under pressure to marry her, has run away. Naturally, it is up to Precious to help sort things out. Add to the mix Violet Sephotho’s newly launched run for the Botswana Parliament and a pair of perfect wedding shoes—will wedding bells finally ring for Phuti Radiphuti and Grace Makutsi?.

My Thoughts:
This is a series that I would likely not have continued past the first one or two if I’d read them instead of listening to them. I tend to do most of my audiobook listening in 10 to 15 minute increments as I’m driving to and from work and on errands. These books lend themselves well to that. Perhaps if I listened in more extended chunks of time that would not be the case, but for me it’s the perfect match of book and my listening habits. I have found the audio versions to be just delightful. I enjoy Lisette Lecat’s reading and the way she reads the various characters.

As usual the case the detective agency is hired to investigate is only a small part of the story. The now familiar extended cast of characters continues to provide a mix of humor and troublesome behavior. Mma Ramotswe’s beloved tiny white van seems to have been reborn from the junk heap. Charlie the apprentice seems to have escalated his irresponsible ways. Grace Makutsi manages to find ways to work in her 97% final grade from the Botswana secretarial school into any conversation she can. Her nemesis, Violet Sepoto is still causing trouble, but will any of it cause troubles for the weddind and will Mma Makutsi have just the right shoes?

By this point in the series the ongoing stories wrapped in what amounts to a love letter to Botswana and the traditional ways of life there are the major part of the story. The case of the dead cattle weaves in and out of the narrative and gives Mma Ramotswe a bit of a hard time as she struggles with what really is the right thing to do.

It’s not a series for everyone, but for my audiobook style it’s one I enjoy..

Rating 3/5

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.