In To the Land of Long Lost Friends, the 20th novel in the widely beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Precious Ramotswe takes on a case for a childhood acquaintance but her inquiries will require an even more delicate touch than usual.
As Botswana waits for rain to nourish the land, Precious Ramotswe’s thoughts turn to love and friendship as vital nourishment for the soul. Times are changing, she realises. These days, more and more women are not content just to be a man’s wife. The men, however, are suspicious of the notion of vegetarianism, let alone gender equality . . .
At a local wedding Mme Ramotswe bumps into a long-lost friend, Calviniah, who confesses that her only daughter Nametso has inexplicably turned away from her. Not only that, an old acquaintance has simultaneously lost all her money and found solace in a charismatic ex-mechanic turned reverend, who seems to have cast a spell over several ladies in the region. With little work on at the agency, Precious and her colleague Mme Makutsi see no harm in investigating these curious situations. Meanwhile, part-time detective Charlie is anxious. He has few prospects and little money, so how can he convince his beloved Queenie-Queenie’s father to approve of their marriage?
As Precious and Mme Makutsi dig deeper into the stories of Nametso and the mysterious reverend, Precious once again ponders the human condition. She chooses to believe in goodness, that if our hearts are open, true equality can be found with one another. But in this world can that assumption be justified? It will take all her ingenuity and great moral sense to get to the heart of the matter.