Thursday, May 31, 2007

64. The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN 0-676-9780-8 - Random House, 2003

von Igelfeld's rivalry with fellow academic Unterholzer & his friendship with colleague Prinzel are heightened in this second book of the trilogy.
He lectures on a Mediterranean cruise and travels to Arkansas, Siena & Rome where he encounters the Duke of Johannesburg, the Patriarch of Alexandria and the Pope .

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

63. Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN 0-676-97679-4 - Random House, 2003

Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, is an exceptionally tall German professor of philology (an older term for linguistics, and especially for the branch of linguistic study devoted to comparative and historical research into the development of languages).
In this first novel of the trilogy, The 2½ Pillars Of Wisdom von Igelfeld, a cross between Frasier Crane & Inspector Clouseau, travels to Ireland, Goa and Venice.

Monday, May 28, 2007

62. Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh

ISBN 0-00-616465-X - William Collins & Sons, 1964

When Wally Trehern's warts are "miraculously" cured by the cascading waters of a natural spring, hundreds of visitors flock to the Cornish village of Portcarrow seeking similar results.
Agatha Christie is the undeniable queen of the classic whodunit, complex plots being her forte. In Ngaio Marsh's Roderick Alleyn mysteries, characters and the foibles of human behaviour take centre stage. Spinster shop owner Elspeth Cost and fresh-faced teacher Jenny Williams, visiting from New Zealand, are immediately recognizable and sympathetic.

61. Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

Rediscovered and illustrated by Edward Gorey
ISBN 0-15-100715-2 - Harcourt Inc., 2002

Whimsical yet macabre rhymes that urge the reader to heed the warnings and obey the rules given by one's elders or else face dire consequences. Charmingly illustrated with Gorey's classic line drawings.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

60. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN 0-349-11742-x - Abacus, 2004
While following the silver Mercedes driven by apprentice Charlie's woman friend, Precious Ramotswe knocks a man off his bicycle with her tiny white van. The injured party eventually becomes quite an asset to both the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. Mma Makutsi attends dancing class in the hopes of finding companionship.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

59. The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN 0-9544075-0-4 - Polygon, 2003
Mma Potokwani, matron of the orphan farm, plays a prominent role in this fifth book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Detective Precious Ramotswe takes a case in which she has to find out whether a wealthy woman's four suitors are after her money or genuinely wish to marry her because they are in love. Mma Ramotswe finds out that people will ultimately make up their own minds whether or not to take the advice they have asked for.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

58. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN 0 349 11704 7 - Abacus, 2005

Mma Makutsi, assistant detective, becomes an entrepreneur when she opens the Kalahari Typing School for men. The No 1 Ladies' Detective agency faces competition when Cephas Buthelezi sets up shop in Gabarone. 'Ex-CID. Ex-New York. Ex-cellent' reads the sign outside the Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency. A man attacked by ostrich rustlers reviews his life and asks Mma Ramotswe to help him right the wrongs he committed as a young man.

57. Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN-10: 0349117004 - Abacus, 2003
Cases include: a strange boy that seems to have been raised by lions, a government man who believes his sister-in-law is trying to poison his brother and a beauty pageant organizer who questions the morality of his contestants.

Monday, May 07, 2007

56.Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN 0-349-11665-2 - Abacus, 2000

Mma Ramwotse solves many cases for her diverse clientel. She also becomes engaged to Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, Botswana's No. 1 mechanic.
Her secretary, Mma Makutsi gets promoted to assistant detective and takes on a case of her own.

Friday, May 04, 2007

55. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Precious Ramotswe who lives in Gaborone, a small town in Botswana, describes herself as, "a traditionally-built African woman". When her father passes away he leaves her, his only child, enough money to buy a house and start up a business. Instead of opening a shop, Mma Ramotswe decides to start a detective agency. She's got all the qualities of an excellent detective: resourcefulness, wisdom, courage, compassion and above all she's nosey.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

54. The White Witch of Rosehall by Herbert G. de Lisser

ISBN 0 519-19904-6 - Ernest Benn Limited, 1929

Annie Palmer is petite, enchantingly beautiful, wealthy woman. She is also a cruel slave master of the Rosehall and Palmyra planations and rumour has it she is responsible for the untimely deaths of her three husbands. Legend says she has evil, supernatural powers practices Obeah and/or Voodoo.
While Rosehall and Palmyra certainly do exist there is little evidence that Annie Palmer did. The book, however, provides interesting insights into the social structure of Jamaica both in 1831, when the novel is set and in 1929 when it was written. Historically, de Lisser's account of the The Baptist War also known as the Christmas Uprising and the Great Jamaican Slave Revolt of 1831.