The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith (Book Review)

This is the second of two blog posts about books that I have recently read in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Please check out the previous blog post for my thoughts on the series as a whole. Overall, I highly recommend this series for those wanting a clean, wholesome and entertaining read shrewdly embedded with simple proverbial expressions for self-reflection.

There are two main subplots coinciding in this novel.  Mma Ramotswe is contemplating running for office as a city council member.  This turns out to be a very elaborate contemplative process… very elaborate.  Meanwhile, Charlie, one of the assistants at the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, experiences a coming of age and first real romance which the author uses to make assertions about the meaning of class and unconditional love.  Once again, what seems to be common themes of friendship, family, and trust come into play.  The author also examines the stealthy reach of power and corruption.

I enjoyed reading this book; however, I noticed the decision-making process for Mma Ramotswe seemed to drag out unnecessarily.  I will need to read more books in the series to see if this is typical for her character to be so indecisive and subject to influence from her peers.  I imagine Mma Ramotswe to be quite a strong, astute and wise woman, but perhaps this is a character flaw which is developed more in some of the other novels.  I do see this theme of self-doubt play out in some of the other characters as well.  Mr. Polpetsi “referred to himself as just me or only me, which suggested that he did not see himself as being of the same weight as those around him.”  This is also evident in how Charlie views himself in relation to his love interest.  All of the above characters are quite noble in heart, despite how they view themselves. I am definitely looking forward to reading as many of the books in this series as I can get my hands on.  The twenty-first novel will be published soon, so I have much to look forward to in catching up.

Note: I borrowed this book on loan from my local library. I received no compensation for this review and there are no affiliate links used. This is my honest review and all opinions are my own.

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