The Full Cupboard of Life

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The Full Cupboard of Life
First edition
Author Alexander McCall Smith
Country Scotland
Language English
Series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series
Genre Detective, Mystery novel
Publisher Polygon (2003); Abacus (2004)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback), Audio (Cassette & CD)
ISBN 0-349-11725-X
OCLC 59259530
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.

Plot summary[edit]

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.


  1. A Great Sadness among the Cars of Botswana
  2. How to Run an Orphan Farm
  3. Mma Ramotswe Visits her Cousin in Mochudi, and Thinks
  4. A Woman Who Knows About Hair
  5. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni has Cause to Reflect
  6. Mr Mopedi Bobologo
  7. Early Morning at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors
  8. Tea is Always the Solution
  9. How to Handle Young Men through the Application of Psychology
  10. Mr J.L.B Matekoni's Dream
  11. Meeting Mr Bobologo
  12. Mr Bobologo Talks on the Subject of Loose Women
  13. Mr J.L.B Matekoni Receives the Butcher's Car; the Apprentices Receive an Anonymous Letter
  14. Inside the House of Hope
  15. Bad Men are Just Little Boys, Underneath
  16. Mma Potokwani and Mma Ramotswe Discuss Marriage
  17. Mr Spokes Spokesi, the Airwave Rider
  18. The Parachute Jump, and a Universal Truth about the Giving and Taking of Advice
  19. A Very Rich Cake is Served



2003: Winner of the first ever Saga Award for Wit.[1]


  1. ^ "BBC News: report of Saga prize award". 23 September 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 

External links[edit]