The Double Comfort Safari Club (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)

by Alexander McCall Smith

Hardcover, 2010

Call number




Pantheon (2010), Edition: First Edition, 224 pages


Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi travel to the north of Botswana, to the stunning Okavango Delta, to visit a safari lodge where there have been several unexplained and troubling events--including the demise of one of the guests.

User reviews

LibraryThing member sarah-e
Kindness is the central principle to Mma Ramotswe's philosophy, and to this story. This book had a calming effect on me. It can be so much fun to read a whole book in a day, and I couldn't put this one down - at the same time, I didn't want it to end. It's like vacation, to get to see the Okavango Delta with Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi; to see how we all can benefit from reminders to be kind and feel blessed with simple pleasures. I saved this book for a time when I thought I might need it, and when the time came I enjoyed it as much as the first in the series. It is very well known that people can make friends with books. By now this series and I are old friends.… (more)
LibraryThing member mamzel
I don't know if I was in a lousy mood when I read this book or not, but it did not give me the enjoyment that the rest of the series has. I hope that Smith has not thinned himself out by writing for too many series. Maybe Mma Ramotswe has reached the end of the road. I still found it fun to read, I just didn't get the feeling, like from previous books, that I was slowly lowering myself in a warm bath to catch up with the events of old friends.… (more)
LibraryThing member isabelx
Mma Ramotswe herself smiled at the recollection. “I went in at the shallow end,” she said. “It was not very deep, and I found that I could stand. But then I made a very interesting discovery.”
“That you could swim?”
Mma Ramotswe shook her head. “No, I did not find that I could swim. I found, though, that I could float. I very slowly took the weight off my legs, and do you know, Mma, I floated. It was very pleasant. I did not have to move my arms-I just floated.”
Mma Makutsi clapped her hands. “That is very good, Mma! Well done! Perhaps it is something to do with being so traditionally built. A thin person would sink. You floated.”
“Possibly,” said Mma Ramotswe. “But it was good to discover that I could do a sport after all.”
Mma Makutsi was not certain that floating could be called a sport. Was there a Botswana floating team? She thought not. What would such a team do? Would they have to float gently from one point to another, with the winner being the one who arrived first? Surely not.

Mma Makutsi's fiancee Phuti ends up in hospital after being injured in an accident, and she is thwarted in her attempts to care for him by his over-protective aunt tries to keep her at arm's length. On the other hand, it was nice to see a very different part of Botswana when Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi travelled to a safari camp in the Okavango Delta in search of a beneficiary to a will. But overall this isn't one of my favourite books in this series.… (more)
LibraryThing member JanetinLondon
I have been a big fan of this series from the beginning. I like the characters. I like the setting. I like the whimsical, almost incidental nature of the stories. But I’m very sorry to say that this one is not up to the standard of the earlier ones. It feels very rushed and unloved, as if the publisher said “Alex, we need something quick, to keep the series in the public eye”. (He is writing a lot of books in multiple series at the moment, so it probably was written quickly.) The stories are even slighter than usual, and less engaging, and there seems absolutely no depth to any of the characters, with some of the most interesting “regulars” appearing only in passing, just long enough to display their “trademark” characteristics, but adding nothing to the story. Frankly, I was bored. So, I might be at the end of my love affair with Precious Ramotswe and her world. It was nice while it lasted, though.… (more)
LibraryThing member MarthaHuntley
Looking at the other readers' reviews of this book, I saw they all seemed to be written by people familiar with and fond of the series of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana. Reading the reviews, some people seem to be feeling a little jaded with the series, and said they did not enjoy this one as much as some of the others. I think that may be something that is within the reader. I always save Alexander McCall Smith's books to read for a time when I have read several serious, often dark, stories, mysteries, non fiction books. Then Precious Ramotswe and her family and friends, their mild adventures and their wisdom, come as a breath of fresh, cleansing air, delightful and almost purifying. I'm so grateful for this writer and his outlook on life and character(s)!… (more)
LibraryThing member Aspenhugger
"In this story, Precious Ramotswe deals with issues of mistaken identity and great fortune against the backdrop of Botswana's remote ans striking Okavanga 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 fiance, 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 indepently approach Mma Ramotswe with concerns of infidelity, creating a rather unusual and sticky 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."
~~front flap

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I have some of the others. The plot seemed weak and wandering, and the characters not quite so true to life as in the earlier books.
… (more)
LibraryThing member repb
An excellent read - as always. I'm never disappointed by this versatile author and especially love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Wonderful characters, wonderful plots; wonderful lessons in proper human behavior.
LibraryThing member joanneblack
These books are so sweet. Great for these troubled times.
LibraryThing member smik
Following a pattern established in the previous titles in the series, THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB is really a number of stories connected by the main characters Mma Precious Ramotswe, chief detective of the agency, her assistant Mma Grace Makutse, and Mma Ramotswe's husband Mr J.L.B. Matekoni.

In the first of the 17 connected stories Mr J.L.B Matekoni drives out of Gaborone to assist a female customer whose car has "died". Another car arrives at the breakdown at the same time as he does, and he notices that the man driving the car and the woman whose car has broken down appear to be well acquainted. This story crops up throughout others when Mma Ramotswe is asked by a friend to investigate whether her husband is having an affair.

In another story Mma Makutse's fiance Mr Phute Radiphute suffers a dreadful accident at work and again the ramifications of this story extend throughout the book. In another story we learn of a man who has been duped out of his house by Mma Makutse's arch rival Violet Sepotho. The final story that is really a thread throughout the book is Mma Ramotswe's search for a Safari park guide who has been left a legacy by a wealthy American tourist.

The stories are woven together with a good dose of Precious Ramotswe's home spun Botswanan philosophy. There's a good dose of humour too. The particular episode that made me laugh occurs when our two "traditionally built" ladies are travelling by canoe to the Safari Club. They notice that the edge of the canoe is incredibly close to the water. The boatman decides to explain to them what could happen if they move and the boat swamps - what awaits them in the water - hippos, crocodiles, snakes and the like, and then he begins to discuss which would be the best death: being bitten in half by a hippo, or drowned in a roll by a crocodile.

As I've said in other reviews, these are gentle books, easy reads, at the cosy end of the mystery spectrum. They are full of regularly recurring characters whose lives advance just a little with each book. They are not filled with horrific crime, blood is rarely spilled, and I'm struggling to think of one book that features a murder. These are the sort of mysteries that could occur in everyday life. They focus on the values that make life worthwhile.

In the final pages of THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB Precious Ramotswe is thinking about the legacy of her father the late Obed Ramotswe and the lessons she learned from him about how to lead a good life.

I think it is the essential goodness we see in Pecious Ramotswe, how she is such a tower of strength, that keeps me reading these stories. Alexander McCall Smith has fallen into a bit of a pattern in writing these books, even recycling some of the back stories and some of the philosphy from book to book, and some may find that dissatisfying.
… (more)
LibraryThing member bearette24
I didn't think this was quite as good as the other books in the series, though the ending was redeeming. Here, Mma Ramotswe investigates a couple where each one accuses the other of cheating, and tries to find a safari guide so he can get his inheritance. Also, Mma Makutsi's fiance has an accident. The plot meandered for a while until the ending, where everything was nicely resolved.… (more)
LibraryThing member BrianEWilliams
This series is getting tired and in need of refreshing.
LibraryThing member rightantler
This series of books has always been a thoroughly enjoyable light read. This volume has a touch more complexity which although very much consistent with earlier volumes has had a very positive effect. The elements of the story are nicely woven together and succeed in entertaining and encouraging investment in the next volume! If you've not read a book using the Kindle Application before, this would be an excellent start!… (more)
LibraryThing member agarrisongirl
Delightful, funny and charming. I adore the reader of the Recorded books audiobook - Lisette Lecat . Right now, wishing I owned a Kindle so I could search for some of the good quotes I hear in car.
LibraryThing member pak6th
Another delightful addition to the series on Mma Ramotswe and her No. I Ladies Detective Agency. Mma Makutsi, the Assistant Detective, finds herself in a difficult situation with her fiance, a midwife thinks her husband is having an affair, a man signs his house over to none other than Violet Sephotho, and an American lawyer needs to find the man who guided a safari. But all is sorted out in ways that may surprise us but are fully in keeping with Botswanan culture.… (more)
LibraryThing member reading_fox
Still more of the same. Charming, as ever. I appear to have missed the last couple in the series, but this hasn't made much difference.

Mma Ramotswe's secretary has a bad few days as her finacee is in hospital following an accident. But even having his foot amputated doesn't seem overwhelmingly hard to cope with. Meanwhiel the detective agency putters on as usual. Some good news to distribute requires a lengthy trip up to the game parks, but no stories of lions or crocodiles will daunt our two traditionally built ladies - even if their canoe is very close to the waterline! The garage doens't feature very much this time around, the children even less so.

Pleasant reading for sunny days, in a country where everybody (even the melon headed ones) still regards the traditional approaches as important.
… (more)
LibraryThing member gsisson
Charming, as always. Wisdom reigns through Precious, and her kindness is once again what wins in the end. Love this series.....
LibraryThing member shazjhb
Enjoyable. Nice to be back with the characters.
LibraryThing member eleanor_eader
It’s been about a year since I read my last No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book, and I’m pleased that I didn’t misremember the attraction of these stories; The Double Comfort Safari Club was exactly as calming and charming as I expected. The plot, as usual, was unremarkable… just functional enough to give the delightful Mma Ramotswe things to consider and solve; a safari guide is granted a bequest from a woman in America who remembered neither his name nor the Safari operator’s, one of Mma Ramotswe’s friends asks her to investigate her husband, and Grace Matsuki’s nemesis, Violet Sepotho tries to steal a man’s house out from under him. Grace’s fiancé also suffers a bad accident and is separated from her by a hostile aunt… bad things sometimes happen in this Botswana, but they happen gently and are soothed by quiet, pragmatic wisdom based on community and shared experience. The point of these books is reflection, and the satisfaction of sorting things out where possible. It all sounds like damning-with-faint-praise, until you realise just how rare – and how refreshing – such notions are in the literary world.… (more)
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
There’s a lot going on in this book: An accident threatens Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti’s relationship, an honest man is bamboozled out of a house by Violet Sephotho, Mma Ramotswe’s friend suspects her husband is cheating on her and the husband suspects she is cheating on him, and Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi take a journey to the Okavango Delta to search for an unnamed safari tour guide who has been named in an American woman’s will. As usual, Mma Ramotswe’s kindness, good judgment, and a little bit of luck rights everything. This book was particularly delightful for the descriptions of the landscape, flora, and fauna of the Okavango Delta. One thing that is still lost on me is the significance of the long story told (but never quite concluded) by Mma Ramotswe about the girl who had a spell put on her. It had no bearing on any part of the book and just seemed very random (more so than other parts of the book, like the private musings of various characters). Overall, this is an enjoyable, light read with gentle humor, but I find the series does not quite have the same hold on me as it did in the past.… (more)
LibraryThing member overthemoon
As usual, a heartwarming read; the cases tackled by the detectie agency were rather overshadowed by the problems encountered by Mr Radiphuti and Grace Makutsi, but there is a lot of gentle philosophy and everything is handled to perfection by Mms Ramotswe thanks to her innate wisdom and thoughtfulness. I enjoyed the business trip to Maun and the Okavango delta and all the cosiness of the conversations along the way, and back.… (more)
LibraryThing member devenish
With the eleventh book in the series McCall Smith takes on a somewhat more serious issue than usual when the fiancee of Mma Makutsi is involved in a serious accident. Apart from this the tale evolves in the usual way with various minor cases being investigated and solved by Mma Ramotswe.
Very much the usual mix in fact,until the final very funny visit by our two lady detectives to the jungle area of Botswana,which is unknown to them and their encounters with the wild animals there.
My feeling after reading this is that the books are becoming rather similar to each other and that now might be a good time for the author to wind the series up.
… (more)
LibraryThing member frisbeesage
If you have enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in the past, The Double Comfort Safari will not disappoint. The usual cast of characters make appearances and its like catching up with old friends. Trouble comes for Mme Makutsi in the form of a rude and overbearing aunt, and an adventure is in store when the agency must go on safari to find a lucky guide set to inherit a windfall. Still, with the proper shoes and a dose of Mme Ramotswe's practical sense all problems can solved.

Yes, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency features unlikely mysteries, fortuitous coincidence, and neatly wrapped up endings. But you don't read them for the mystery, rather you read them for the comfort and solace of decent people doing the right thing, for the gentle humor, and the entertainment. Double Comfort Safari has all this in abundance with a safari adventure thrown in! I really enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed all of Mme Ramotswe's stories.
… (more)
LibraryThing member etxgardener
This is the 11th book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective series and once again, Precious Ramotswe is dealing with several of life's little mysteries and perplexities with her usual blend of humor, warmth and wisdom. This time she's looking for a safari guide who is due a legacy, pondering the marital relationship of a friend and her husband, trying to restore property to a man who has been swindled by the perfidious Violet Sephoto and finally helping Mma Makutsi deal with the very serious accident of her fiance Phuti Radiphuti.

I love this series of books. Nothing very exciting happens, but the essential goodness of the characters shines from the pages and just makes me happy to have them in my library.
… (more)
LibraryThing member turtlesleap
Perhaps not quite up to the high standards established in this series, but still charming and a pleasure to read.
LibraryThing member hailelib
Another short, easy, but entertaining tale featuring The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. While the 'mysteries' are not particularly difficult for Mma Ramotswe to solve there are developments in the lives of Phuti and Mma Makutsi. We do get to visit a different part of Botswana, the Okavango Delta, and there are Precious Ramotswe's observations on her fellow humans to delight us as always.… (more)




0375424504 / 9780375424502
Page: 0.4123 seconds