At first I didn't know what to think of this. I love his books about the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I tried his other series, The Sunday Philosophy Club, about the woman in Scotland, and didn't like that at all. I was afraid maybe he was a one-hit (or one-series) wonder.
So this series was a big question mark for me. But it's wonderful; very dry, very droll. I think McCall Smith's strength is in his gentle sense of humor. The Sunday Philosophy Club wasn't funny, and clearly wasn't meant to be. This series is really kind of outrageous in the way it pokes fun at a certain type of German academic. It's a quick read, and very enjoyable.
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