THE SECOND BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one where Precious gains a new family . . . Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is hoping to set up home with Mr J.L.B. Maketoni. But first she must deal with his scheming, misbehaving maid. She also has to confront the most difficult case of her career so far: that of an American who went missing ten years ago, and about whom all leads have long since dried up. Then there are not one, but two sudden additions to Mma's family . . .
THE THIRD BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one with the boy who might have been raised by lions . . . Facing financial trouble, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is obliged to move into the same premises as Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And on top of her domestic complications with her fiance Mr J. L. B. Matekoni and his adopted children, Motholeli and Puso, Mma Ramotswe faces several challenging cases. These include some unattractive behaviour among the contestants in a beauty pageant, and the perplexing discovery of a boy running wild, who smells of lion . . . 'Unalloyed pleasure' Sunday Telegraph
THE FOURTH BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one with the rival detective . . . Mma Ramotswe faces the unexpected and unwelcome appearance in town of a new private detective, Mr Cephas Buthelezi. To ensure she does not lose clients to him, she takes on several cases at once, including those of an errant husband and of a man targeted by ostrich rustlers. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi has decided to set up a typing school to teach men some useful skills - but Mma Ramotswe fears her secretary is falling under the spell of a man who does not have her best interests at heart . . .
THE FIFTH BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one where J. L. B. Matekoni takes a great leap . . . Once again, Mma Ramotswe is asked to look into the love lives of fellow Botswanans: a rich woman has a number of suitors and wants her to investigate their motives. But to tell the truth, it is her own love life about which Precious wants answers. She has been engaged to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni for so long that she is starting to wonder if they will ever marry. His mind, though, is elsewhere - Mma Potokwani has persuaded him to perform a parachute jump for charity, and he is not happy about it at all . . .
Despite threatening to wind-up this Botswana crime series as he develops an equally intriguing Scottish heroine, Isabel Dalhousie, Precious Ramotswe is still his most endearing character and I personally love the African lore and setting that surrounds her and her astute wisdom. This is the sixth in the series and the only one in 2005, but fans rejoice, I understand he has been persuaded to write another for next year. If you don’t know the series, then do start at the beginning with The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but as each tale is self-contained, you don’t have to. I would recommend him to everyone. He is different, utterly engaging, gentle and life affirming. Comparisons: none, but if you like Agatha Christie, Laurie Lee, Simon Brett.Similar this month: Gervase Phinn, Kate Long.
Fans of the The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency will revel in the tricky new challenges the traditionally built Mma Ramotswe faces with her unique combination of common sense and kindness. Those who are yet to discover McCall Smith's witty and delightful writing will find that Botswana provides an evocative background for all the great problems of the world: justice, respect, whistle-blowing, feminism, forgiveness, friendship - and, of course, how to deal with an angry ostrich. Oh, and does money buy you happiness? Yes, if you use it to buy Blue Shoes (but perhaps not if you are Mma Makutsi, assistant to, though less traditionally built than, Mma Ramotswe herself). Why can't all the world be like this?
THE EIGHTH BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one where Mma Ramotswe's husband plays detective . . . At the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency there are many new cases for Precious Ramotswe to attend to, including the grave matter of three suspicious deaths at the hospital. But her attention is distracted by domestic problems - for the engagement of Mma Makutsi to Phuti Radiphuti is threatening their friendship. And, unkown to them both, the good husband of Zebra Drive, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, has been tempted into some detective work of his own, with disastrous results . . .
Another wonderful chapter (the 9th in the series) in the colourful lives of these down-to-earth people and their moralistic way of life. There are crimes to solve, a lady’s relatives to find but the real charm of this series is the continuing relationship of the main characters. In this one we learn a lot more about the fostered children, Motholeli and Puso. It’s another lovely mix of gentle philosophy and life-affirming commentary. A joy to read.
Alexander McCall Smith is shortlisted for the Specsavers ITV3 Crime Thriller Bestseller Dagger 2009. The tenth in Mma Ramotswe’s No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, her fans will know just what to expect but at the same time remain delightfully enthralled by a new set of Precious adventures. McCall Smith is consistent and reliable in his witty observations of day-to-day life. However, can Mma Ramotswe equally rely on her trusty white van? Perhaps if she walked more, then she would be healthier and her van would last longer. Or would it? Despite being a series of ‘Detective’ novels, if you are a reader who prefers kindness and comfort to killing and cruelty, then these are the books for you and you will discover why they have been a phenomenal success around the world.
The 11th in the No1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series sees sleuth Precious Ramotswe and her assistant Grace Makutsi on the trail of a mystery safari guide who has been named in the will of a generous benefactor. McCall Smith’s Botswana adventures have sold more than 13 million copies world wide and this is another warm, funny and engaging instalment. Expect gentle humour, eccentric, loveable characters and pearls of homespun wisdom from one of our favourite storytellers.
While investigating unpleasant occurrences on a southern cattle-post, Mma Ramotswe, always on the side of the weak against the strong, has reason to reflect on Rule No.3 of The Principles of Private Detection: never lie to the client. Apprentice mechanic Charlie seems to be avoiding certain important responsibilities. And as Mma Makutsi's big day approaches, her nemesis Violet Sephotho is casting her net wider: by standing for election which could spell trouble for the entire nation. But as friends and family gather under starry African night skies, it turns out that even the most perplexing of apparitions - and the most shocking of crimes - may yield to rational explanation. And, of course, to Mma Ramotswe's inimitable way with love, intuition and redbush tea.
THE THIRTEENTH BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one where Mma Ramotswe meets her hero . . . Mma Ramotswe, normally a peaceful sleeper, finds her slumbers disturbed by dreams of a tall stranger - but she is not quite ready to learn what this vision portends. Soon even Mma Makutsi has to admit that untoward things are occurring around the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: at Speedy motors, Fanwell finds himself in trouble with the law, and the indomitable Mma Potokwani disappears from the orphan farm. Armed with courage, kindness and an instinct for the truth, Mma Ramotswe sets out to restore order . . .
Not only is Mr J. L. B. Matekoni attempting to reform himself into a modern husband, but after her marriage to Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Ramotswe's challenging but irreplaceable associate Mma Makutsi has joyful news. With the arrival of an heir to the Double Comfort furniture empire and Mma Makutsi busy with motherhood, cobras and a senior aunt, Mma Ramotswe must grapple alone with tea-making, detective work and a new uncertainty. Disturbing developments over the will of a local dignitary, Edgar Molapo, point to fraud and a shocking family secret, while tracing the source of a smear campaign against the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, in which notorious troublemaker Violet Sephotho may or not have a hand, proves to require a keen eye and an open mind. But the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is resilient and adaptable, and change brings salutary lessons: that our enemies are not always obvious, that a snake under the bed may be an ally, and that a mother's love conquers all.
Even the arrival of her baby can't hold Mma Makutsi back from success in the workplace, and so no sooner than she becomes a full partner in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - in spite of Mma Ramotswe's belated claims that she is only 'an assistant full partner' - she also launches a new enterprise of her own: the Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe. Grace Makutsi is a lady with a business plan, but who could predict temperamental chefs, drunken waiters and more? Luckily, help is at hand, from the only person in Gaborone more gently determined than Mma Makutsi ...Mma Ramotswe, of course.
Precious and Grace is a book steeped with addictive charm, wit and intelligent sleuthing. In the heat of summer in Botswana, co-directors of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi, find their friendship tested to the limit by a curious case. Packed with intrigue, this heartfelt tale of friendship reveals how coming to terms with the past may be the only way to face the future.
THE EIGHTEENTH BOOK IN THE BELOVED NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES The one with the other Mma Ramotswe . . . The dismissal of an employee at a thriving local business leads to an investigation by Precious Ramotswe and self-appointed Principal Investigating Officer Grace Makutsi. But Mma Ramotswe also has to contend with the re-appearance of her ex-husband, and the arrival of a long-lost relation: another Mma Ramotswe. Can Precious draw on her strength, compassion and powers of detection to manage these surprises from the past? 'A delight' Daily Telegraph
If you are new to the series you really should start here to get the full background. After that you can appreciate the others in any order you like but they do follow through as Precious Ramotswe’s love/office/family and friendships develop. They are uplifting, warm and strangely compelling, a must-read for all. Books in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series: 1. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency 2. Tears of the Giraffe 3. Morality of Beautiful Girls 4. The Kalahari Typing School for Men 5. The Full Cupboard of Life 6. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies 7. Blue Shoes and Happiness 8. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive 9. The Miracle at Speedy Motors 10. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built 11. The Double Comfort Safari Club 12. The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party 13. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection 14. The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon 15. The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café 16. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine 17. Precious and Grace 18. The House of Unexpected Sisters 19. The Colours of All the Cattle 20. To the Land of Long Lost Friends 21. How to Raise An Elephant 22. The Joy and Light Bus Company Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.
So beautifully written you can just slip into this gentle wander through Botswana alongside the kind and astute investigations of Mma Ramotswe. During a quiet patch at the agency, Precious has friends in need and Charlie is placed in a difficult position. If you haven’t read any of this much loved series, do start at the beginning with the aptly named The No:1 Ladies Detective Agency. We are now at the twentieth novel and the absolute charm of these books is in getting to know the characters (Mma Makutsi is a personal favourite). Alexander McCall Smith excels in creating a light yet warm atmosphere where he quietly looks at complex issues. Human nature in all its wonder is examined with mellow observations and compassionate wit sitting alongside the vivid heat of Botswana as it waits for rain. To The Land Of Long Lost Friends is a lovely, affectionate read and a fine addition to this celebrated series. Find out more about Alexander McCall Smith in our Book Chat blog post.
The latest instalment from the beloved THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY series Mma Ramotswe knows she is very lucky indeed. She has a loving family, good friends and a thriving business doing what she enjoys most: helping people. But the latest mystery she is called upon to solve is distinctly trickier than it initially appears, and, of course, there's plenty to handle in her personal life between Charlie and his new bride and Mma Makutsi and her talking shoes. In the end, Mma Ramotswe's patience and common-sense will win out, and, without a doubt, all will be the better for it.
The latest instalment from the beloved THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY series Catch up on the latest from Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi and other favourites in this new instalment of Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. As the temperature rises in Gaborone, Precious Ramotswe, founder of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, wonders whether the heat could be the reason that business is particularly slow. Luckily, a slower pace in life is her natural preference, unlike her colleague Mma Makutsi, who is alert to every passing observation and inclined to making snap decisions. With fewer cases to handle, Precious has time to contemplate her new neighbours, a couple who, by the sounds of it, have a rather volatile relationship . . . But then a distant cousin of Mma Ramotswe's comes to the agency with a plea for help, and the ladies decide to pursue the issue together. Armed with Mma Ramotswe's circumspection and Mma Makutsi's sharp eye, they proceed with confidence and open hearts. What, after all, could be more straightforward than a family matter? Meanwhile, their colleague Charlie is behaving oddly, borrowing Mma Ramotswe's van and returning it in an unusual condition. Digging a little deeper, the explanation is both strange and extraordinary, and takes Charlie, along with Mma Ramotswe's husband, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, on a hair-raising night-time expedition. In the end, Precious is reminded of the need to view a picture from every angle, to accept the imperfections in people and situations, and then find a solution - preferably over a delicious slice of her friend Mma Potokwani's fruit cake.