Mma Ramotswe’s ever-ready tiny white van has recently developed a rather disturbing noise. Of course, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni – her estimable husband and one of Botswana’s most talented mechanics – is the man to turn to for help. But Precious suspects he might simply condemn the van and replace it with something more modern. And as usual, her suspicions are well-founded: without telling her, he sells the van and saddles his wife with a new, characterless vehicle . . . a situation that must be remedied. And so she sets out to find the van, unaware, for the moment, that it has already been stolen from the man who bought it, making recovery a more complicated process than she had expected.
In the meantime, all is not going smoothly for Mma Makutsi in her engagement to Mr Phuti Radiphuti (to make matters worse, Violet Sephotho, who could not have gotten more than fifty percent on her typing final at the Botswana Secretarial School, is involved). And finally, the proprietor of a local football team has enlisted the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to help explain its dreadful losing streak: Surely someone must be fixing the games, it can’t just be a case of unskilled players.
And as we know, there are few mysteries that can’t be solved and fewer problems that can’t be fixed when Precious Ramotswe puts her mind to it.