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MIRACLE AT SPEEDY MOTORS Hardcover – 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pantheon (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375424482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375424489
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.4 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #256,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 8 2008
Format: Hardcover
We're all familiar with the big miracles: the little child as sole survivor of an airplane crash or the earthquake victim pulled alive from rubble a week after the event. Precious Ramotswe, however, is sensitive to the other kind, the little miracles with long-term meaning for family affairs. Founder of The Number One Ladies Detective Agency of Gabarone, Botswana, Precious has been rather miraculous in her own right. She solves others' problems, counsels her colleague, Grace Makutsi. Precious has also has an ongoing miracle with her husband, Mr JLB Matekoni, owner of Speedy Motors on the Tlokweng Road. But all that good fortune, and the notoriety gained thereby, seems to have produced an enemy, who is sending her threatening letters.

McCall Smith's many volumes in this series has allowed him to fill and strengthen his regular characters, while introducing drop-ins who never fail to leave an impact. Charlie, Mr JLB Matekoni's shop apprentice is a fine example. Appearing regularly in a minor role, Charlie seems readily predictable: brash, self-centred and arrogant, he seems destined never to mature. Is he a candidate for things miraculous? McCall Smith's portrayals are the foundations around which these fine stories are constructed. This may well be the peak effort, a finely written and gripping tale of mystery and resolution.

Precious' skills as a detective are on full display here, as is her humanity. She faces a serious challenge from the letters. Tracking down their originator will be a daunting task. Is she up to facing a serious enemy? Woven into this story is a shift in Mr JLB Matekoni's relations with Precious. A sudden act of independence might lead to tragedy for the family and his workshop.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 1 2008
Format: Hardcover
My favorite books in this series are filled with authentic stories of Africa and her people. As the series has developed, it's often reading more like people anywhere rather than Africans.

The Miracle at Speedy Motors examines the themes of marital love, parental responsibility, honesty, jealousy, commitment, bonding, handling mistakes, and friendship. In keeping with the detective focus of the series, there are cases to be solved. A woman wants to find an unidentified person. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi receive threatening letters. A landlord wants to get rid of a tenant.

The focus of the book, however, is on the relationships among the continuing characters, especially Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and Mma Ramotswe, Mr. Phuti Radiphuti and Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe and Mr. Polopetsi, and Mma Makutsi and Charlie in the garage. You also get to read more about Mma Potokwane and Motholeli than in most of the other books.

What made the book special to me were the heart-felt commitments that some of the characters made towards doing the right thing, no matter what. Alexander McCall Smith loves people and when he expresses that love through his characters it feels great just to be alive.

I found Mma Makutsi more annoying than usual in this book, and not nearly as funny in her foolish scenes. Otherwise, I would have graded the book at five stars. I hope that the next book will focus more on Precious and her family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 13 2008
Format: Hardcover
The ninth book in the series brings both woes and wisdom for the ladies of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. This time there are only two clients with cases to solve, but the domestic affairs of Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi take centre stage.

Mma Makutsi and her splendidly named fiancé Phuti Radiphuti are closer than ever to setting a date for the wedding, but when she picks out a snazzy new bed with red hearts on the headboard, she gets more heartache than she bargained for.

Mma Ramotswe is concerned over the growing outspokenness and self-confidence of Mma Makutsi, who after all, is soon to be married to the owner of a thriving furniture store, but she can't stop to dwell on the situation, because her own husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has been talked into spending a fortune on a miracle cure for their daughter.

As far as the cases go, Mma Ramotswe has to find the family of a client who doesn't know her own real name, her birthday, or even if she has any family at all. Mma Makutsi's case is to find out whether a tenant is pulling a fast one on his landlord. At the same time, both ladies are trying to solve the mystery of the menacing letters.

After lots of awkward moments due to wrong conclusions, mistaken beliefs, incorrect information and erroneous assumptions, the ladies realize that the best road to happiness is to be true to yourself, honest to others, and to recognize the everyday miracles that we often take for granted.

For those now starting the series, the titles so far are:

The No.
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By Darlene Foster on July 18 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful addition to my No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency collection. I never tire of them. Every time I open these books, I am immediately transferred to Botswana. I feel I am actually there; I can smell the dust in the air and feel the heat on my skin. I am in the little white van with Mma Ramotswe. (I am saddened that the little white van may be coming to an end) I am having red bush tea with her as she contemplates the day. And I share with her the feelings of respect and love of her late father. Her character is one many of us can relate to, no matter where we live. I look forward to the next book (and the next and the next....)
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