The Full Cupboard of Life
|Author||Alexander McCall Smith|
|Series||The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series|
|Genre||Detective, Mystery novel|
|Publisher||Polygon (2003); Abacus (2004)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback), Audio (Cassette & CD)|
|Preceded by||The Kalahari Typing School for Men (2002)|
|Followed by||In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (2004)|
The Full Cupboard of Life is the fifth in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels by Alexander McCall Smith, set in Gaborone, Botswana, and featuring the Motswana protagonist Precious Ramotswe.
Mma Ramotswe is now engaged to the mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, but he seems reluctant to set a wedding date, which makes her a little unhappy. She takes on an interesting investigation: Mma Holonga, a rich businesswoman, is seeking a husband, and asks Mma Ramotswe to check the men on her shortlist of four, to eliminate those who only want her for her money. Meanwhile Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe's assistant, moves to better rooms thanks to her promotion and extra income, but is mourning the loss of her brother.
Mma Potokwani, the formidable matron of the orphan farm, manoeuvres Mr J.L.B. Matekoni into agreeing to do a sponsored parachute jump to benefit the orphans. The gentle and timid mechanic is terrified at the prospect, Mma Ramotswe solves the parachute problem by persuading the garage apprentice Charlie to do it instead, convincing him that it will make him attractive to girls. Mma Potokwani offers to sort out the matter of the wedding by arranging it all herself, and presenting it to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni as a fait accompli – Mma Ramotswe agrees, although Mma Makutsi is horrified.
Everyone assembles at the orphan farm to watch Charlie's parachute jump, which is successful. Mma Potokwani surprises everyone by announcing that she has made all the preparations for the wedding and, with the help of a priest who is present, Mma Ramotswe and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni are married there and then.
- A Great Sadness among the Cars of Botswana
- How to Run an Orphan Farm
- Mma Ramotswe Visits her Cousin in Mochudi, and Thinks
- A Woman Who Knows About Hair
- Mr J.L.B. Matekoni has Cause to Reflect
- Mr Mopedi Bobologo
- Early Morning at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors
- Tea is Always the Solution
- How to Handle Young Men through the Application of Psychology
- Mr J.L.B Matekoni's Dream
- Meeting Mr Bobologo
- Mr Bobologo Talks on the Subject of Loose Women
- Mr J.L.B Matekoni Receives the Butcher's Car; the Apprentices Receive an Anonymous Letter
- Inside the House of Hope
- Bad Men are Just Little Boys, Underneath
- Mma Potokwani and Mma Ramotswe Discuss Marriage
- Mr Spokes Spokesi, the Airwave Rider
- The Parachute Jump, and a Universal Truth about the Giving and Taking of Advice
- A Very Rich Cake is Served
Awards and nominations
- "BBC News: report of Saga prize award". 23 September 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- ""Precious little happenings": Review in The Guardian by Marcel Berlins, 19 July 2003". London. 19 July 2003. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- ""Botswana's lady detective takes on suitors": Review in The San Francisco Chronicle by Clea Simon, 25 April 2004". 1 September 2010.
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