Book Review: The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #11)

TheDoubleComfortSafariClubCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: In this story, Precious Ramotswe deals with issues of mistaken identity and great fortune against the beautiful backdrop of Botswana’s remote and striking Okavango Delta.

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi head to a safari camp to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest who has left one of the guides a large sum of money. But once they find their man, Precious begins to sense that something is not right. To make matters worse, shortly before their departure Mma Makutsi’s fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti, suffers a debilitating accident, and when his aunt moves in to take care of him, she also pushes Mma Makutsi out of the picture. Could she be trying to break up the relationship? Finally, a local priest and his wife independently approach Mma Ramotswe with concerns of infidelity, creating a rather unusual and tricky situation. Nevertheless, Precious is confident that with a little patience, kindness and good sense things will work out for the best, something that will delight her many fans.


Genre: Mystery
Setting: Modern day Gabarone and Maun, Botswana
My Copy Came From: I purchased a used hardcover version from a local library book sale.

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 Review: Sweet and fun! The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith is the eleventh book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency mystery series set in Botswana. Our main character is Precious Ramotswe, a traditionally built woman who runs a detective agency. Her assistant is Grace Makutsi, who earned a previously unheard of 97 percent at the Botswana Secretarial College when she graduated. The series focuses on their personal lives and also as they solve various mysteries. Some mysteries are more serious than others, but throughout the series there is a joy of life and a love of Botswana that shines through the pages.

Do not cry, Mma, she began to whisper, but changed her words even as she uttered them, and said quietly, Yes, you can cry, Mma. We should not tell people not to weep—we do it because of our sympathy for them—but we should really tell them that their tears are justified and entirely right.

In this entry, we have Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi headed to the Okavongo Delta as Mma Ramotswe searches for a guide who has been left some money. Mma Makutsi is also dealing with her fiancé’s, Phuti Radiphuti, injury and his overbearing aunt. Not only does Mma Makutsi have to deal with the injury and the aunt, but she also has to deal with her nemesis, Violet Sephotho, who appears in one of the cases that Mma Ramotswe investigates.

It would be a simple, open-and-shut case, except for one thing, and she thought of it now as she prepared to leave the office and begin her inquiry. That thing was this: very few matters were simple—if they involved human beings, that is—and nothing, in her experience, was open-and-shut.

This series is a lot of fun, and it always makes me smile. There’s an easy quietude about these books, and this one was no exception! It was fun to read about Mma Makutsi’s attempts at getting Mma Ramotswe to purchase new safari boots, and it was also fun to read of their journey on the river with an unsuspecting tour guide who enjoys telling them all the scary stories they have no desire to hear.

And Mma Ramotswe did not see herself in khaki, either. Not only was that not a colour for ladies, but it did not achieve the objective of disguising the wearer from wild animals. Lions and the like, she thought, were not so stupid as to think that people wearing khaki were not there; such creatures knew full well that people in khaki were just people dressed in brown, and therefore every bit as dangerous to the wild animals as people in blue or red or some other bright colour. And if one wanted to be camouflaged, then the best garb, surely, would be something in green, which might make one look like a tree, if one was a tall person, or a shrub if one was not so tall.

While many of the side plots and mysteries are easily solved and forgettable, others are a bit more hard-hitting and memorable. This is a series to read while relaxing and drinking a cup of red bush tea. I’m a bit behind on this series, as book twenty, To the Land of Long Lost Friends, was released in October. Maybe some day I’ll get caught up!

Bottom Line: Sweet and relaxing.

LINKS ***the Amazon link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase***

Amazon (Affiliate Link!)
Goodreads
Author Website

Have you read any of the books in this series?


8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #11)

  1. I particularly loved the ladies’ trip by mokoro, the “canoe” of Africa, with the guide standing in the back to pole the mokoro forward in the water. I could relax in a mokoro ride every day! You are down at water level, the ride is smooth and silent as you slowly go through the reeds. I am happy to say that I do not bring the mokoro down so far that the water is only an inch or two from the top of the sides – yikes! (I just finished #20).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh – I hope that series still has continued to have the joy that the earlier books have!
      I thought that boat ride was so funny – with the guide telling all of the scary stories about the animals, and Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi sitting there silently in terror waiting for a hippo to eat them. I would’ve been scared along with them! And I especially loved reading about their shopping trip 🙂 They are such fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone recommended the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series to me when I started my quest to find fat-positive fiction, but Mr. Smith is a male author, so I didn’t add him. I wasn’t aware the series is set in Africa. The name of the book sounds so straight-up England to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a fun series! Yes, Precious Ramotswe is a “traditionally built” woman, which is a point that is mentioned/referred to again and again in a humourous, kind way. This series is one of the first I think of when thinking of a fat main character, as being traditionally built is a part of Mma Ramotswe, but it isn’t solely what the book is about. Some of the scenes are quite funny! There’s a relaxing ease to this series and the books always put a smile on my face.

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      1. I don’t like the phrase “traditionally built,” because it doesn’t mean anything to mean. It’s almost like that phrase “real women have curves.” Erm, no, that’s also body shaming. However, the author’s got something going on that sounds like a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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