The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith

The Colors of All the Cattle

Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramotswe decides to run for a seat on the city council, but she will have to call upon her good humor and generosity of spirit to help the community navigate thorny issues.

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In this latest installment of the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe finds herself running for office—much to her dismay.
When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the Gaborone City Council, Mma Ramotswe is at first reluctant. But when she learns that developers plan to build the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded. Her opponent is none other than Mma Makutsi’s old nemesis, Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. Although Violet is intent on using every trick in the book to secure her election, Mma Ramotswe refuses to guarantee anything beyond what she can deliver; hence her slogan: “I can’t promise anything—but I shall do my best.”
Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has acquired a new client: one of her late father’s old friends, who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Charlie volunteers to be the lead investigator in the case to prove he’s ready to be more than an apprentice, as well as to impress a new girlfriend. With Charlie’s inquiries landing him in hot water and Election Day fast approaching, Mma Ramotswe will have to call upon her good humor and gen­erosity of spirit to help the community navigate these thorny issues, and to prove that honesty and compassion will always carry the day.

Advance Galley Reviews

Thank you to First to Read for an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have read every one of the books in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and eagerly looked forward to reading this latest novel. This was another warm and gentle read visiting with Precious Romatswe and the other cast of characters in Botswana.

I was very happy to read this book, as The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is a favorite series. As always, the story brought me back to the lives of the characters and their latest challenges and the joy Precious feels for her family, friends and her beloved Botswana. She was pushed beyond her boundaries to run for councilor to stop a greedy, disrespectful developer from building a Hotel next to a cemetery. Reluctantly following through with the election process, she pushed through while upholding the principles her father taught her. Charlie in show cased in a more mature light in this installment. Enjoyable and entertaining as always. Definitely recommend.

I am a fan of Alexander McCall Smith! Although his stories revolve around his characters, he seems to have his characters reflect in some way the ills, difficulties, dilemmas societies encounter, communities encounter, and individuals encounter often. For example, in this book, The Colors of all the Cattle, Smith reviews the different sides about voting, public responsibility and the importance of candidates honesty. The people of Gabarone took the city council vote seriously--and Mma Ramotswe worried about doing the right/Botswana thing. Of course, everyone won in this particular city council vote. However, Elections today, everywhere it seems, are NOT what McCall Smith called for in The Colors of all the Cattle, yet, it seems that he and I wish that honesty and a clearing of council members were possible in elections. Look in all of his books, and he has a profound, calming way of saying what many people and/or communities are fired up about. He is also terrific at ferreting out individual strengths, weaknesses, and change. Thank YOU to First to Read for this galley copy, and thank you to Alexander McCall Smith for your insights.

The series of The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is very familiar to me. This installment,”The Colors of All The Cattle” is another chance to catch up with old friends. .So what’s not to like. The characters are true human beings who try to be kind, courageous and loving. When you finish an installment of this series, you can,’t help but feel calmer and a little smarter about human nature.Always a good read! Thanks for ARC.

Another excellent edition to the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. This is such a warm series. These are characters that I know well. I enjoy watching them adapt to the changes in their and their friends lives while staying true to themselves. I am particularly happy to have spent more time getting to know Charlie better. I had grown to like this character in the last few books. I was happy to see the changes in him. The mystery, as always, takes a back seat to life and friends and, this time politics. Just the way I expected. I confess to reading this book with a cup of (not red bush) tea and enjoying every moment of the time I got to spend with Mmm Ramostwe, her family and her friends. It will be hard to wait for our next visit.

If you are a fan of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency this book will not disappoint you. The last several books concentrated more on Grace as the secondary character and this book concentrates more on Charlie, who has always been the least of the characters. He is shown to be growing up and maturing and he benefits from Precious' thoughts and her help. There is a story about an election that is fun, with a familiar adversary. It is a gentle, feel-good book. It will leave you with a smile.

Reading this series of books is like curling up with a warm blanket and, of course, a cup of tea. The stories are seemingly simple yet profound. Readers can always expect a good solution to any problems presented. This one was especially good because we get to learn more about Charlie as he develops into a young man with what looks to be a promising future. Most important, we are reminded of the importance of kindness.

I am a long time fan of this series each one has been a delightful read a mystery that the detective agency has to solve.The best part is revisiting the people the characters the town.Already looking foward to the next o e,

I was very pleased to receive a copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for a review. This is a delightful series of books and this one does not disappoint. Again, the ladies are supportive and gentle with their situations in helping each other and others. All the characters are interesting and the plots have twists and turns. Their logic in taking care of dilemmas is inspiring. ' As they say, they take care of business, while Life just happens. Kindness is most important.

I have been a long-time reader and fan of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and this latest installment is another must-read! Just like most of the other books in the series, nothing much really happens (although Mma Ramotswe does investigate a hit and run, and there is an interesting plot about her running for city council). However, the beauty of this book is the glimpse in offers us into ordinary people's lives. Even the most marginal character is well-drawn and interesting, and brings so much to the story. I look forward to joining these wonderful characters again soon.

Alexander McCall Smith gives us another absolute gem of a book. At this point in the series, the characters are as familiar and comfortable to the reader as a beloved old sweater. And yet, by having them experience personal growth and showing us new facets of their personalities, and of course providing new mysteries, McCall Smith keeps the book feeling fresh. As in prior books, the plot shifts between characters, sometimes bringing side players to the front. This time, it is Charlie, the half-mechanic/half-detective who we learn more about. It is always interesting to get inside of the head of a character we have only "seen" in prior books. Since the characters in the books age, McCall Smith shows us how Charlie has gone from a teenager who acts more like a boy to a grown man -- albeit one with some maturing still to go. The best thing about this series is getting to spend time with Mma Ramotswe, her family and friends, and The Colors of All Cattle did not disappoint in this respect. What a delight it is to read about a group of intelligent, kind characters who are flawed like all of us, but each one trying in the end just to be their best self.


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