Wednesday, the 21st of October, and time again for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what it’s about, why you want to read it, when you got it and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today, the book I’ve picked to feature is actually one of the newer additions to my shelf–The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith. First published in 2003, this is the fifth of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, which has 21 books so far, the latest one out only last month. The series is among one of the many series, short stories, and children’s books by the author. The Ladies Detective agency books are centred around Mma Precious Ramotswe, who at 34 opens a detective agency from the inheritance she receives from her father and uses her knowledge of people to solve the mysteries that come before her. Alongside we also follow the story of her life and the people around her. The books are set in Botswana.

In this one we find Mma Ramotswe engaged to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, who is reluctant to set a date for the wedding. Mma Potakwani, manager of an orphan farm, on the other hand, convinces Mr Matekoni to undertake a parachute jump for charity. Alongside, we have Mme Ramotswe’s cases of which in this one there is Mma Halonga, a rich businesswoman who is set to get married and wants Mma Ramotswe to determine which of the four suitors she’s shortlisted is not merely after her money!

I read the first of this series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency many years ago and found it to be a lovely read with Precious Ramotswe solving all sorts of little cases from a missing boy to a conman, while also learning about Precious and her life so far. But somehow, even though I enjoyed the book so much, I never got around to getting or reading any more of the series. Then when a friend mentioned rereading her collection recently, I remembered that I hadn’t picked any others up. I ended up ordering this one since it was on sale last week. Though I realise these should be read in order, I felt I’d enjoy this one all the same (since the main characters I think are all familiar ones from the first book). I’m sure this will turn out as charming as the first one. I’ve also seen a bit of the TV series based on these books and thought it quite good fun as well.

Book info from Goodreads (here) and wikipedia (here); cover image from goodreads though not the edition I got.

Have you read this one or any other books in the series? Which one/s and how did you find it/them? Any other similar series or books on the same lines that you’ve read? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!


7 thoughts on “Shelf Control #110: The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

  1. It’s odd. I’ve tried AMcS a couple of times — Portuguese Irregular Verbs and 44 Scotland Street (the latter when we were actually in Edinburgh, and walked down the street) — but got somehow really bogged down despite the humour and the fine writing; I’ve finished neither and gave the first one away. I’m clearly deficient in some way.


    1. Haven’t tried those two so far–just the first of the Ramotswe books which was quite delightful–more culture and life in Botswana–even the mysteries are daily-life problems rather than mysteries proper.

      Liked by 1 person

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