Botswana's "foremost solver of problems" - that's Precious Ramotswe to you - returns in her ninth No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency 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.