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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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McCall Smith, Alexander: Tears of the Giraffe

  Amazon  

5 stars

Tears of the Giraffe is the second book in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. In this outing Mma Ramotswe is principally concerned with two cases. An American woman seeks her help in finding out what happened to her son, who disappeared ten years earlier while working on a farm in Botswana. Mma Ramotswe's assistant Mma Makutsi, newly promoted to the position of assistant detective, acts as the lead investigator in the second case that crosses their desks: a man hires them to find out where his wife has found the money to send their son to an expensive private school. At the same time big changes are sweeping Mma Ramotswe's private life. She's agreed to marry Mr. J.L.B. Maketoni of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors--a decision neither of them regrets the morning after the decision is made--so there is an engagement ring to think of. Her fiancé, meanwhile, kind man that he is, finds himself agreeing to do something he fears may threaten the impending nuptials.

As usual, McCall Smith's writing in this book is simple and perfect and very readable, the story sweet and moving. His characters are real people, if I suppose idealized, seen as if through a gauze that softens the rough edges. This is not to say that everyone in the series is good, by any means. McCall Smith alludes to the evils of men, both large and small, and Mma Ramotswe sometimes comes up against true wickedness. Certainly she regularly confronts very real heartbreak. But somehow her approach to life and to other people keeps despair in check. Tears of the Giraffe, at any rate, is a beautiful little book. A delicious read.

Comments

1.

This entire series is very heart-warming and enjoyable. Though it centers around a detective agency, the stories are mainly about human nature, rather than mysteries. McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series is also a fun read, but I find Precious Ramotswe a much more relatable main character.

-Holly
www.inthestax.com

2.

I haven't read the Isabel Dalhousie series yet. I have read the three Portuguese Irregular Verbs novellas, which are funny and great reads in their own very different way.

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