Unusual requests are commonplace at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but so are very ordinary ones, such as a plea for money: when a distant cousin calls on Mma Ramotswe to ask for help with another relative's hip operation, tricky questions arise in regard to family responsibility. Mma Makutsi and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni are far from convinced of the merits of the request, but it is hard for Mma Ramotswe, with a heart her size, to turn people away. Meanwhile, Charlie has become involved in a mysterious transaction that involves an attractive but rather large animal. If it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise a baby elephant?