The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, by Alexander McCall Smith. I’ve loved these books from the beginning – they are cozy mysteries, yet entirely unique. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is owned by Precious Ramotswe, a “traditionally built” (I LOVE that phrase!) lady in Botswana. She employs Grace Makutsi, who has risen from secretary to partner. In this book, Mma Makutsi has decided to open a restaurant, the Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe, which will cater to the elite of their town. Naturally she runs into difficulties. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe is dealing with the mystery of the book – a woman has turned up in town claiming to have amnesia, and the agency has been hired to uncover her identity.
The mystery in this one is pretty thin, but that’s okay. These books are entirely driven by the characters, and my enjoyment of them is based on the fact that I care about these folks and want to see what happens next in their lives. If you like cozy mysteries and are tired of the cats-in-bookstores trope, you should try these books.