With this latest in the Number One Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Alexander McCall Smith has done it again.
He's tackled human failings from the small and irritating to the large and serious, and still left his readers feeling uplifted. Mma Ramotswe experiences self-doubt and has a good cry, Mr. JLB Matekoni decides to become more a more modern husband, and Grace and Phuti have a son.
On the agency front, the women find that the damage caused by rumours can be offset when two former enemies faces the reality of their part in a quarrel and are willing to forgive each other. In this novel, by a judicious choice not to act, it is even possible to curtail damage already caused by shame and secrecy.
Meanwhile, grateful for each other and for their own richly satisfying lives, detectives Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi deepen their friendship and come to a new professional arrangement.
Grace Makutski, her heart stretched open by motherhood, even allows the immature but besotted Charlie to hold her baby. There is hope for him yet, and for once, Mma Makutsi refrains from criticizing. Beyond insisting he wash the grease off his hands before handling the baby, of course.