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The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith Review

Title: The Full Cupboard of Life

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

First published January 1, 2003

198 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9781400031818 (ISBN10: 1400031818)

Rating: 4.03


Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni are still engaged, but the wedding day is yet to be named. Mma Ramotswe is keeping her cool and not putting pressure on her fiancé, who is dealing with a frightening request from Mma Potokwani, the pushy matron of the Orphan Farm.

Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has been approached by a wealthy woman who owns successful hair-braiding salons. She needs Mma Ramotswe to investigate several suitors to find out if they are only after her money.

While it may not be an easy task, Mma Ramotswe is known for her intuition and problem-solving skills.

About the Author

Meet Alexander McCall Smith – the brilliant mind behind multiple bestselling book series, including The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Isabel Dalhousie, Portuguese Irregular Verbs, and 44 Scotland Street. Not only is he a prolific writer, he’s also a retired professor of medical law from the University of Edinburgh and has been involved with numerous organizations focused on bioethics.

Originally from Zimbabwe, he spent time teaching law at the University of Botswana before settling in Scotland. Connect with him on his website, social media channels, and more!

Editoral Review

Alexander McCall Smith’s The Full Cupboard of Life is the fifth installment in the beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. First published in 2003, the book follows the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, a private investigator in Botswana, as she takes on new cases and navigates the ups and downs of her personal life.

McCall Smith is a prolific author who has written over 100 books in a variety of genres, including mystery, romance, and children’s literature. He is known for his ability to craft compelling and endearing characters, and The Full Cupboard of Life is no exception.

Set against the backdrop of Botswana’s vibrant landscape and rich cultural heritage, the novel explores themes of love, loss, and the search for meaning and purpose in life. Precious Ramotswe, the book’s central character, is a wise and compassionate detective who is always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.

The Full Cupboard of Life opens with Precious preparing for her wedding to the kind and thoughtful Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the owner of the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors garage. But before the couple can exchange vows, they must navigate a series of unexpected obstacles, including a meddling ex-fianc and a group of traditional ladies who believe that Precious is not a suitable match for Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni.

As Precious juggles wedding planning with her private detective work, she takes on a number of intriguing cases, including a missing person’s investigation and a mysterious poisoning. Along the way, she is aided by her sharp-witted assistant, Grace Makutsi, and her loyal friends and family.

McCall Smith’s writing is richly descriptive and imbued with warmth, humor, and sensitivity. His characters are fully realized and deeply human, and readers will find themselves rooting for Precious and her friends as they face the challenges and joys of life in Botswana.

While The Full Cupboard of Life is a work of fiction, it offers a nuanced and empathetic portrayal of Botswana’s culture and history. McCall Smith’s commitment to accuracy and cultural sensitivity is evident on every page, and readers will come away with a greater appreciation for this remarkable country and its people.

Overall, The Full Cupboard of Life is a beautifully crafted novel that will delight fans of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and newcomers to McCall Smith’s work alike. With its engaging characters, evocative setting, and poignant themes, this book is a must-read for anyone who loves great storytelling.