Today my friend and I went to campus security to have our laptops "marked" -- a gel and sticker were applied to the exterior so that if stolen, they can be easily identified as property of the LSE -- when I noticed a book sitting face down on a nearby table. I turned it over, and it was "Blue Shoes and Happiness," part of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which follows Botswana's "leading, and only, female private detective."

It was a serendipitous find: My old laptop was stolen, and by default a good chunk of my work, over the summer in Botswana, after spending 10 months living in Gaborone and just two weeks before I planned to leave. I'm still weathering the loss. So to find an amusing book about solving crimes in Botswana, when I'm trying to safeguard my new laptop from the previous one's demise, was pretty special.

"I told you it was waiting for you," said my classmate.

A sticker inside the book reads:

Howdy! Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag!

I'm a very special book. You see, I'm traveling around the world making new friends. I hope I've met another friend in you. Please go to and enter my BCID number (shown below). You'll discover where I've been and who has read me, and can let them know I'm safe here in your hands. Then…READ and RELEASE me!

It appears I'm either the book's second reader, or the second person to register it. The first "journaler" writes that "Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Botswana, gets married, investigates a blackmail, witchcraft, and ponders whether one should gain satisfaction from new shoes or watching sunsets."

I can't wait to finish it, leave it for somebody else, and see where it goes.