Mma Ramotswe is not impressed with Mr. J.L.B Matekoni’s maid, who has been sleeping in his bed with other men and not feeding him properly. The maid, sensing that the forthcoming marriage will involve her dismissal, attempts to plant a gun on Mma Ramotswe in order to have her jailed, but the maid’s plan is foiled and it is she who ends up behind bars.
Mma Ramotswe also investigates a butcher’s wife who is suspected of an affair, and discovers that the woman’s son has – unknown to her husband – been fathered by another man who is paying for his private education. The resolution of this case highlights differences between the methods and moralities of Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi. Mma Makutsi has expressed her yearning to do detective rather than administrative work, and Mma Ramotswe promotes her to assistant detective (although also retaining her secretarial role). The solution of the paternity case proves to be the first test of Mma Makutsi’s detective and diplomatic skills.
Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is maneuvered into offering a home to Motholeli and Puso, two orphaned children with a tragic past. He worries that this may affect his engagement to Mma Ramotswe, but she accepts the children. Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni both see potential in the children, particularly in the girl, Motholeli, who uses a wheelchair but displays a real aptitude for, and interest in, the work of the garage. A family unit begins to emerge.