Morality for Beautiful Girls is the third book in The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.
Things are all-change for Mma Ramotswe. First, she has decided to move her detective agency into the office of her fiance’s garage, but something’s not right with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. As she tries to work out what is wrong with him, as well as care for the two orphans they have decided to foster, she must also find a way to ensure that both of their businesses keep ticking over.
Then an important client who works for the government sends her on a case out of Gaboronne, leaving Mma Makutsi to not only run the detective agency, but step in as Acting Manager for Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. While Precious Ramotswe is investigating a possible case of poisoning, Grace Makutsi must help the organiser and chief judge of the Miss Glamorous Botswana beauty competition seek out the most deserving of the finalists. If she can do that, she will earn the detective agency a generous fee. The problem is, she only has three days in which to do it…
What was too big, anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be?
It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, or rather, re-read, but it has been a few years since I have read from this series. A point worth noting is that these books are always as good as I remember them and never fail to entertain. They are nicely paced and easy to read, thanks to the writing style of the author.
It’s very easy to connect to the characters in these books, and as the characters themselves are concerned about the welfare of others, (indeed a theme of the book is that Africa can teach the world how to care for other people), when they are going through a rough patch, as a reader I feel concerned for them. There is so much colour and vibrancy to the story, and the descriptions of Botswana, especially the descriptions of how the people feel connected to their land, is engaging and uplifting to read.
Grace Makutsi really comes into her own in this instalment, as she takes on the role of Acting Manager for Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors as well as trying to fulfil her job as assistant detective.
The next book in the series is The Kalahari Typing School for Men. And I can’t wait to reread it, so I’ve added it to next month’s reading list. I highly recommend this book series for those who enjoy a gentle ramble through a heartwarming cosy mystery alongside some wonderful characters.