This book could be subtitled “Three Applications of the Praxis of Moral Philosophy, as Exemplified by the Circle of Mma Ramotswe”. It’s hard to say much about the novel without including spoilers, though it should come as no surprise that the outcomes were all satisfactory. But Ramotswe, Makutsi, and Mr. J.L.B Matekoni each had moral choices to make; choices that posed difficulties and involved certain compromises. I can say no more without giving away the story.

I’m sure there are many readers of this series who find themselves wanting to visit Botswana: the author so often holds it up as an exemplary country, with people who are mostly honest and kind, a government that is not nearly as corrupt as in other places, and with an expansive and austere beauty. But the careful reader will keep one thing in mind: snakes. Lots of snakes, everywhere. In the rafters, under the bed, in the garden, maybe even tangled up on the axle of your small white van. Not garter snakes, either, but large, evil-minded poisonous snakes like mambas and cobras. This alone is enough for me to decide to enjoy Botswana only at a distance, though I’m sure it is a very fine country.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, #2)
  • Author: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Published: 2000
  • ISBN: 0349116652
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars