In this 10th book in the series, Mma Ramotswe - owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Gabarone, Botswana - has a vexing problem. Her beloved tiny white van is making ominous noises. And Mma Ramotswe's afraid her husband, the dedicated mechanic Mr. JLB Matekonii, will scrap the old van if she tells him.
Mma Ramotswe's car problems prey on her mind as she looks into the case of the losing football (soccer) team. Rra Molofololo, the team owner, is convinced a traitorous player is throwing games. Mma Ramotswe - out of her depth since she knows nothing about football - nevertheless agrees to try to unearth the culprit. Thus the detective goes to a football game, talks to the team members, listens to players blame each other, and so on - all the time pondering the hold sports have on 'boys' of all ages.
Meanwhile, assistant detective Mma Makutsi is worried about losing her fiancé, Phuti Rhadiputi - owner of many cattle and The Double Comfort Furniture Store. The problem: glamorous vamp Violet Sephotho has wangled a job at the furniture shop and Mma Makutsi thinks Violet will try to get her claws into Phuti. And sneaky Violet plans to do exactly that.
The usual recurring characters make an appearance in the story, including Mma Potokwane, manager of the orphan farm and baker of delicious fruit cakes; and apprenctice mechanics Charlie and Fanwell. In fact, Fanwell is especially helpful to Mma Ramotswe in this book, and the detective visits Fanwell's tiny house and meets the array of relatives he supports with his small salary.
As always in this charming series many cups of bush tea are drunk, the ladies engage in entertaining conversations, and Mma Makutsi boldly expresses her strong, amusing (and often wrongheaded) opinions about everything. Moreover, the reader gets a peek at the gentle culture of Botswana, which seems like a very nice place to live.
I'd highly recommend this book to fans of quiet cozy mysteries.