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Arrive in your tiny white van

Smith Botswana's "foremost solver of problems" - that's Precious Ramotswe to you - returns in her ninth No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Mccallbook_2 adventure, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, but that's only half the story if you live in Miami. Her creator, the absolutely hilarious Alexander McCall Smith, appears at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

If you're a fan of these impossibly charming books, which read more like travelogues of Botswana than actual mysteries, do not, I repeat, DO NOT miss McCall Smith, who appeared a couple of years ago at Miami Book Fair International in a kilt. Still one of the most memorable author appearances I've ever seen, especially when McCall Smith revealed what the J, L and B stand for in Mr. JLB Matekoni's name. (He's Mma Ramotswe's husband.)

In a 2004 Herald interview, McCall Smith, when asked why his No. 1 Ladies books have been so successful, said: "People are being reminded of a world in which people had time to have these exchanges, where the links between people were very strong. That's touching a very strong chord of nostalgic longing in people."

I grew up in South Florida, of course, so this polite, kind interaction seems totally foreign to me.

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Brett Bayne

So what does JLB stand for, you incredible tease?

Connie

John Lumumba Basil (and he's very ashamed of the Basil, McCall Smith said).

Patrice Lumumba, btw, helped win the Congo's independence from Belgium, just in case you were unclear on where that came from.

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