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The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
Cover of The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 16

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

Precious Ramotswe, the esteemed proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, now faces her greatest challenge yet: a vacation! 

Business is slow at the agency—so slow in fact that, for the first time in her distinguished career, Mma Ramotswe has reluctantly agreed to take a holiday. The week of uninterrupted peace is cut short, however, when she meets Samuel, a wayward young boy with a troubled past. Moreover, Mma Ramotswe can’t help but wonder how the agency is faring in her absence. Her worries grow when she discovers that Mma Makutsi is handling a rather delicate case.

Ultimately, the situation will require Mma Ramotswe to draw upon her kindness, generosity, and good sense, and will serve to remind them all that ordinary human failings should be treated with a large helping of charity and compassion.

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

Precious Ramotswe, the esteemed proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, now faces her greatest challenge yet: a vacation! 

Business is slow at the agency—so slow in fact that, for the first time in her distinguished career, Mma Ramotswe has reluctantly agreed to take a holiday. The week of uninterrupted peace is cut short, however, when she meets Samuel, a wayward young boy with a troubled past. Moreover, Mma Ramotswe can’t help but wonder how the agency is faring in her absence. Her worries grow when she discovers that Mma Makutsi is handling a rather delicate case.

Ultimately, the situation will require Mma Ramotswe to draw upon her kindness, generosity, and good sense, and will serve to remind them all that ordinary human failings should be treated with a large helping of charity and compassion.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book It Is Important for Children to Learn About Electricity

    Mma Ramotswe remembered exactly how it was that the subject of taking a holiday arose. It was Mma Makutsi who started the discussion, with one of her inconsequential observations—those remarks she made à propos of nothing—remarks that had little to do with what had gone before. She often said such things, quite suddenly making a pronouncement that seemed to come from nowhere, her words dropping into the stillness of the afternoon air like stones tossed into a pool.
     
    It was mid-afternoon in the offices of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Gaborone, in late October, one of the hottest months in what was proving to be one of the warmest years in living memory.
     
    “It is very hot, Mma Ramotswe,” observed Mma Makutsi, as she leaned back in her chair, fanning herself with a wilting copy of the Botswana Daily News. “When it is this hot, it is very difficult to work.”
     
    From her side of the room, where, if anything, it was slightly hotter because of the pool of sunlight that penetrated the window and fell directly across her desk, the begetter and owner of Botswana’s only detective agency cast a glance in the direction of her erstwhile secretary, later assistant, and now, by dint of the latter’s sheer tenacity and perseverance, her colleague. In normal circumstances, if a member of staff said that it was too hot to work, an employer would interpret this as a strong hint that it was time to close the office and go home. When it came to Mma Makutsi’s utterances, though, one could quite easily be wrong, and so Mma Ramotswe merely said, “Yes, it is very hot, Mma—very hot indeed.”
     
    She knew that there was no reason for Mma Makutsi to stay at work if she felt inclined to go home. Following her marriage to Mr. Phuti Radiphuti, proprietor of the Double Comfort Furniture Store and owner of a substantial herd of cattle, Mma Makutsi had no need of the modest salary Mma Ramotswe paid her; indeed, had that salary stopped for whatever reason, she probably would not even have noticed it. Nor was she technically obliged to keep certain hours: her contract of employment with the agency was a very informal one—so informal, in fact, that there was even some doubt as to whether it existed at all.
     
    “People who trust one another do not need to put things in writing,” Mma Ramotswe had once said. “It is enough that they should have given their word.”
     
    Mma Makutsi had been quick to agree. “That is very true, Mma,” she said. But then, as she began to think about the proposition, she started to discern the problems that might come from a failure to reduce understandings to writing, no matter how well understood they might have been. “Except sometimes,” she added cautiously. “You can rely on somebody’s word in many cases, but not in all. That is why it is safer to have everything in writing.”
     
    “I’m not so sure . . . ,” began Mma Ramotswe.
     
    But Mma Makutsi was just getting into her stride. “No, you must almost always put things in writing. This is because people forget what they said and then they start to rewrite history and end up blaming you for not doing something they think you said you’d do, but haven’t done. They never accept that they may be remembering things incorrectly.” She looked at Mma Ramotswe reproachfully, as if the other woman were widely known to be one of the very worst offenders in this...
About the Author-
  • ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 31, 2015
    Precious Ramotswe goes on vacation in Smith’s enchanting 16th No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel (after 2014’s The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café). Her second in command, the prickly Grace Makutsi, is glad to take charge in her absence. Mma Ramotswe, who’s basically staying home on Zebra Drive in Gaborone, can’t help worrying about how things are going at the office. Her concern grows when Mr. Polopetsi, a part-time chemistry teacher who also helps out at the agency, confides that Mma Makutsi has failed to make progress on a new case involving a late government official. With Mr. Polopetsi’s blessing, Mma Ramotswe discreetly investigates. Meanwhile, she comes to the assistance of Samuel, an abused boy she encounters on the street, and discovers that scheming Violet Sephotho, Mma Makutsi’s rival from the Botswana Secretarial College, has started the No. 1 Ladies’ College of Secretarial and Business Studies. As usual, Smith’s blend of gentle humor and insights into human nature is irresistible. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from October 1, 2015
    The sixteenth installment of the internationally best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series again showcases the boundless compassion, humor, and occasional wiliness of the agency's founder, the traditionally built Mma Precious Ramotswe. The agency, located under an acacia tree in Gaborone, Botswana, and sharing premises with the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, now accommodates (besides Mma Ramotswe) Charlie, a failed Speedy Motors mechanic taken on out of charity, and a great comic character, the often-exasperating Mma Makutsi, who, after a great deal of maneuvering, is now co-director. This episode begins with Mma Makutsi campaigning for Mma Ramotswe to take a holiday. Is Makutsi only wanting Precious to have a break, or is something else behind the suggestion? Precious agrees but can only do nothing for about half a day before she feels she has to know, even secondhand, what's going on in her absence. Makutsi has given a volunteer worker an exceptionally delicate case, involving a famous Botswanan politician whose past may come back to bite him like a mamba. Secrets and consequences abound, and Precious has to navigate at a remove. The title comes from Precious' reflection that she, blessed by the love of her husband, the proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, walks in sunshine. Readers of this and the whole series will feel similarly blessed.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2015

    Even as Mma Ramotswe prepares for a much-deserved vacation, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency opens its doors to a young woman upset that her father's reputation as a hero of Botswana is being challenged, and Mma Makutsi insists that she and Charley can handle the case--never mind that Charley's obsessed with his spunky new dog. This 16th in the New York Times best-selling series will get a boost from a ten-city tour here.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publishers Weekly "Enchanting. . . . As usual, Smith's blend of gentle humor and insights into human nature is irresistible."
  • Booklist (starred review) "The sixteenth installment of the internationally bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series again showcases the boundless compassion, humor, and occasional wiliness of the agency's founder, the 'traditionally built' Mma Precious Ramotswe. . . . The title comes from Precious's reflection that she, blessed by the love of her husband, the proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, walks in sunshine. Readers of this and the whole series will feel similarly blessed."
  • USA Today "Calling Precious Ramotswe, owner and chief investigator of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana, a detective doesn't do her justice. 'Problem solver extraordinaire' would be much better. Mma Ramotswe . . . treats a whole range of human difficulties as they come her way, finding good solutions through her wisdom, kindness, and tact." --Booklist "McCall Smith's plots offer wit, charm, and intrigue in equal doses." --Richmond Times-Dispatch "Enchanting . . . An inspiration to us all . . . The sweet, chuckling voice of Precious Ramotswe falls gentle on the ear." --The New York Times Book Review "A vivid observer and an elegant writer." --The Plain Dealer "An oasis . . . Full of wit, nuance, and caring." --Chicago Sun-Times "The pleasure of these sweet books lies in the clarity and gravity with which the characters reason through everyday dilemmas." --Entertainment Weekly "Enthralling . . . Mma Ramotswe is someone readers can't help but love."
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The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 16
Alexander McCall Smith
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