Cover Image: The Joy and Light Bus Company

The Joy and Light Bus Company

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Member Reviews

Alexander McCall Smith's Ladies' Detective Agency books are truly a joy to read and review!  The latest book in the series (#22!) follows several interesting cases. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni attends a course on expanding your business and this makes him think about how the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors shop is doing and whether it's living up to its potential. Mma Ramotse and Mma Makutsi wonder what is bothering him and how they can help steer him in the right direction. And the ladies also investigate a case of a son who wants to find out why his father is planning to leave his house to his nurse instead of his children.  Of course, Mma Potokwane from the orphan farm, a cup of red bush tea and Mma Makutsi's talking shoes are there to help.  All of these issues are investigated with so much love, humour and humility that they warm my heart and also make me laugh out loud.  McCall Smith's writing style is gentle and witty and his characters are so lovable that they draw me back to this series again and again!

Thank you very much to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada, Knopf Canada for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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The Joy and Light Bus Company is the name of this book, and joy and light are the feelings it gives you.  It is the 22nd book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.  Often, if a series has that many installments, it can start to feel forced, the plots can feel rehashed, the character development nonexistent or excessive. But I enjoy each successive book in this series as much as the last, the author always manages to tell another entertaining story.

As always, the threads of the story are gentle, it is definitely in the cozy mystery genre – Precious has to deal with a man who doesn’t like the way his father’s will has been made up, and with a potentially disastrous business venture Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni wishes to make.

I love how this book makes you feel like you are in Botswana.  I love the author’s discerning insights into human nature.  And one thing I want more of?  More scenes with the characters Motholeli and Puso.

Note: I received an advance copy of this book through Netgalley.
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A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my views. There is something soothing about Alexander McCall Smith's writing, and this, the 22nd installment, does not disappoint. They are written with the characteristic wit and wisdom that fans have come to expect from this and all of McCall Smith's books. If you have not had the pleasure of reading this series, I urge you to start. The books do not necessarily need to be read in order as the author fills in many details, and the characterization is top-notch. You will fall in love with the characters and this gentle writing style.
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The Joy and Light Bus Company by Alexander McCall Smith is the latest addition to the wonderful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.  Once again, we are transported to Botswana where Mma Ramotswe is peacefully going about her business of bringing justice to those in her community.  This time around, Precious and Mma Makutsi follow up on a complaint from a son who is concerned that his father is planning to leave a large inheritance to the woman who has cared for him for the past decade.  While the team investigate the complaint, Precious must also deal with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's plans to pursue a new business venture with an old friend.

As always, there is lots happening in the small community, but Mma Ramotswe can unfailingly be relied upon to be the voice of reason and patience in an increasingly chaotic world.  I must say that I enjoy these characters immensely, and twenty-two books in they feel like old and treasured friends.  These stories bring light and joy, and are simply a delightful escape that I will indulge in at any given opportunity.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an ARC.
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Set in Botswana, this is the 22nd book in one of my most beloved series of all time.  Simply and sweetly written, these heartwarming books are chock full of charm, fascinating traditions in Botswana and a beautiful range of characters.  As with all the author's other books (I've read each at least twice), I giggled out loud a few times at the wittiness.  Mma Makutski's ninety seven percent, self promotion and quirky personality are funny and refreshing.  Traditionally built Mma Ramotswe is dear, fair and fiercely loyal to her country and people.  She would be an amazing friend to have bush tea with.  Her husband, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni is quiet, unassuming and usually takes things quite literally.  As owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors he attends a seminar, after which a speaker approaches him with a business proposition.  He thinks it's a brilliant idea but not everyone agrees.

Meanwhile, No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is asked to investigate a case of an elderly man planning to leave his family home to his young nurse.  Precious and Grace make a visit which goes differently than expected.  Precious and her closest friend Mma Potokwane also witness and become involved in a peculiar incident. 

Bits of the characters' backgrounds come into play such as Mma Ramotswe's love for her late father and loyalty to her little white van and Mma Makutski's secretarial training.  The writing is simple but clever and Alexander McCall Smith has an incredible insight into human nature.  For me these books feel like home.

The books are about kindness and love with gentle mysteries, incredibly soothing and escapist.  If you are seeking an incredible series, please do not miss this one!  Very special indeed.  Pure joy.

My sincere thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this absolutely wonderful and tender book.  It is as good as the previous ones in the series.
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I wish to express my sincere thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada. I was delighted to receive this ARC in return for an honest review. It is astounding that this is the 22nd book in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, and they always remain fresh and enjoyable and provide food for thought.

 Alexander McCall Smith writes with wit, wisdom, and a quiet philosophy of life and friendship. Set in present-day Botswana, MMA. Precious Ramotswe still runs the detective agency along with her good friend Mma. Makutsi. Grace Makutsi was originally hired as a secretary, but she keeps promoting herself under new impressive titles over the years. She now refers to herself as 'Senior co-Managing Director.'

 The detective agency hasn't handled any vicious crimes. Rather, clients come to them with aggravating personal problems. Precious Ramotswe handles these with common sense, patience, kindness, and tact. She often has input from her trusted friends, Grace and Mma Patokwane, who runs an orphanage. They have painfully learned that forgiveness and kindness may fail to improve a person's character during an encounter with the wicked Violet. 

 Their client is a wealthy man who has discovered that his elderly father has left his house in a will to a younger woman who has been his nurse for 10 years. He is dismayed that the evil woman has unduly influenced his father to do so and wants her investigated.

  In the meantime, Precious has become very worried about her husband, who runs a car repair business. He attended a business conference where one of the speakers was an old school friend who has become very successful. Her husband started to fret that he was in a dead-end business. Persuaded by his friend, he now dreams of running a bus company in partnership with this old friend. Precious abhors the idea of putting up the garage (that includes her detective office) as security for a bank loan.

 On visiting her friend at the orphanage, Precious learns about two orphaned children, cruelly treated and working as unpaid slaves for a wealthy woman. How she handles this amounts to sheer genius. 

 When this thought-provoking and the compelling book concludes, I am already awaiting the next book in the series. Reading about these charming characters is like visiting old friends.
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