Fear and happiness are the themes here, and Mma Ramotswe is kept busy trying to quell the one and ensure the other. Fear takes many forms in this novel: fear of reprisal, fear of lost marriage prospects, superstitious fear, and fear of justice. Ramotswe deals with each in her own gentle way, sometimes in despite of well-intentioned but inept help from her colleagues.
The happiness in the novel, as in life, comes in small doses but is no less enjoyable for that.
Once again McCall Smith delivers a pleasant diversion, and a few small life lessons.