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A Review of the book Morality for Beautiful Girls

Updated on June 17, 2012

A mystery that will charm you

This is a review of the book Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith. This book is number three in the series of books for The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. There are currently thirteen books in the series. The great thing about the books is that you don’t have to read them in order. Alexander McCall Smith will usually begin the book by reminding you who the characters are and he will ease you into the plot.

The book Morality for Beautiful Girls takes us into the slow paced country of Botswana in Africa. The people move a little slower maybe it is the climate there by the equator .You have no choice, but to take it easy. All the characters we have come to love in the first two books are here to delight us once more. I love the names of the places in the book. Who wouldn’t like to live on Zebra Drive or take their car to Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors.

Precious Ramotswe the main character of the book is back running her Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency with her keen observations on human nature. Precious is really put to the test this time when she must handle multiple problems and cases at the same time. Will she have the time to sip her bush tea and breathe the air of her beloved Botswana? I love the way Alexander McCall Smith takes his time in developing the story. It is as if we are walking beside Mma Ramotswe and we feel everything she has to go through. Precious will not disappoint the reader with her sensitivity, intelligence, and love she has for those that are special to her. Her relationship to her fiancé is very formal and almost Victorian. It is wonderful to see how she looks up to him and is proud of his accomplishments. When she realizes he needs her she is there to do whatever it takes to get him back to his old self again.

In this book we will learn even more about how talented Mma Ramotswe’s assistant, Grace Makutsi really is. She is more than just a secretary. In this book the reader will discover not only can she type, but she has managerial skills, and the ability to be a detective herself. We get to see Grace in this book as more than an assistant to Precious. The story lines have Grace very busy handling more than she thought possible. She rises to the occasion with all the lessons she has learned not only from the Botswana Secretarial College, but from life itself. The reader will see her ambitions, her insecurities and her humor in this book more than ever before. She is a delight.

In the book Morality for Beautiful Girls, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni the most successful person in life, and in business seems to be human after all. Precious’ fiance is having problems. Precious is there to help him find answers in her quaint style. The reader is left with no easy answers as to what is troubling Matekoni and future books in the series will probably provide answers.

Most mysteries involve murder, but in this story it doesn’t happen. It is reassuring to know that mystery book can catch the reader’s interest without always having a murder in the mix. The reader will still want to know what happens as Mma Ramotswe goes undercover to find out answers.


If you enjoyed The Andy Griffith show for its folksy charm you will enjoy this book. You may not be in Mayberry, but people are people all over the world. Morality for Beautiful Girls allows the reader to slow down and enjoy all that is around us. In one part of the book Mma Ramotswe needs to check on someone she has been hired to find out about. She goes to his workplace and waits at the place that he takes his lunch. The place he goes to is under a tree. The tree is a large acaia giving a lot of shade. Mma Ramotswe makes herself comfortable by sitting under the tree and drinking a cup of tea and eating a sandwich. This book will have you looking for your own tree to sit under with a cup of tea and book in hand. You will not regret spending a little time with Precious, Grace, and J.L.B.


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    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 5 years ago from Conway, SC

      Hi ksinll you should give the book a try. Once you read one of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books you will want to read them all.

    • profile image

      ksinll 5 years ago

      This sounds like a really interesting book. I want to read it now.