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No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency [Paperback]

Alexander Mccall Smith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (305 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sign me up as a fan..... June 29 2003
Format:Paperback
I bought this book because of a review I read in a magazine...can't remember which one.
Now, I have all the books in Alexander McCall's Smith's series about Precious Ramotswe, proud owner of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana.
Unlike some reviews here, I can find no fault with the books. I agree they are not complex who-done-it thrillers, but Precious Ramotswe does not lead a thrilling life. She lives at a slower pace, more in tune with nature and her intuition than those of us in western civilization. The mysteries she solves are not that difficult, but she takes great pride in her professionalism and treats each client with great care and compassion.
I particularly like the way I feel when I read about the daily happenings in Mma Ramotswe's life. I like reading about her house on Zebra Drive; her bright secretary (who scored 97% at the Botswana Secretarial College); her companion Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni; her life growing up as the beloved daughter of a devoted father who left his life's work to her so she could open her own business; her disastrous marriage; and the variety of people who seek out her professional assistance.
Some reviewers have compared Mma Ramotswe to Miss Marple. I guess the comparison fits, but it seems to me that Mma Ramotswe would prefer to belong in a category by herself....the first female private investigator in Botswana.
If you like the Jan Karon series about Father Tim and his beloved village of Mitford, then you might want to give The No 1. Ladies' Detective Series a try.
Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual location -- delightful characters Sept. 9 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Morality for Beautiful Girls is third in a series about Precious Ramotswe, a lady detective in Botswana, Africa. For this Midwestern reader the landscape, weather, and daily life in Botswana were fascinating and clearly depicted.
This is not your typical mystery--there is no murder to be solved. Ramotswe and her assistant detective cleverly handle a couple of cases for clients, but her personal life is just as interesting: moving the office, caring for two foster children, and handling the auto repair shop belonging to her fiance who has suddenly begun acting strangely. Ramotswe deals with both the problems of her clients and her personal life in a thorough and straight-forward manner.
I had to buy the first two books in the series (The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, and Tears of the Giraffe) from Amazon.UK, so I was very happy to find this third book on Amazon.com.
For something just a little different--highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another Installment of Joy May 18 2004
Format:Paperback
After reading Alexander McCall Smith's first book in this series "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency" I felt I had to read the following books as well because they are so enjoyable.
"The Tears of the Giraffe" reads almost like a fable allowing us to determine whether or not lying for good or bad reasons can be wrong. It is an interesting delimma. I absolutely enjoy the way that Smith writes his characers. Precious Ramotswe, her secretary/assistant Mma Makutsi and her fiance Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni are immediately likable and often shyly funny in the way that they interact with one another. This book brings two orphan children into Mma Ramotswe's life and leaves a door open for the next installment.
The ending of the book is left with a wonderful fable-like suggestion about baskets being woven from the tears of a giraffe because that is all they have to give us. We can all give something no matter how small or insignificant it may seem and Alexander McCall Smith has given us a true treasure here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another side of Mma Ramotswe June 19 2004
By rannoon
Format:Paperback
I am so happy she finally decided to get married and chose a well known person for his integrity and kindness. She made it clear though that she accepted his proposal not because she is a woman who needs a man to protect her nor to be his servant NO she was satisfied with her life and her job and hurt from her experience with one failed marriage that was still so fresh in her memory..
I love the series because of Mma's character. She wants to change and wants to learn about the modern world and life in the new century but doesn't shun her past .. on the contrary she is proud of her heritage and of her country and what makes it special. Through her investigations, Smith tackles various issues, he states Mma's point of view as the opinion of the learned people and leaders of her country and shows how a foreigner would percieve it... true and simple. He uses simple language, affirms the traditions of the country, draws the difference in behavior between past and present... Africa and the west.
It's a funny sad book, clash of culture and modernization. Enjoy reading as Mma unfolds the mysteries of life!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable second installment April 15 2004
Format:Paperback
Smith's first book in the series, _No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency_, was enjoyable and easy to read. I found the second installment in the series, _Tears of the Giraffe_ even more enjoyable than the first. The characters continue to develop nicely and the stories held my attention better than the initial book. I particularly liked the introduction of the children from the orphan farm, and look forward to the parts they will play in the following books.
The writing style and the stories are simple in nature, with morals that transcend the book. The books are in fact a wonderful advertisement for the country of Botswana, and Africa itself. Great emphasis is placed upon morality, respect and love.
I look forward to the other books about Mma Ramotswe and the rest of the ensemble.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
A fast flowing story set, Tears of the Giraffe is one of the best books I have read. With good values expressed through characters that are lively, this book showed a beautiful... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Ladies Detective Agency
I watched the tv version and liked the book very much. Light reading and very easy to put down and pick up again.
Published 7 months ago by Sherilyn Fleischhacker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for a true, funny and inspiring book.
It was very funny, real and authentic in the way the people in Botswana would think. I truly enjoy it immensely.
Published 9 months ago by Upset
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Series
This book takes me to another place. I feel part of the people of Botswana and find myself at times laughing out loud at the simple goodness of it.
Published 11 months ago by Peshagolda
3.0 out of 5 stars So so
Very amusing you have to like this style of writing ver witty and humorous. Nice short read easy to finish.
Published 20 months ago by Eky Ternamian
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Different style of writing. Once you read a few you begin to enjoy. Again the numbers of the series are not well marked. You end up reading out of order very annoying.
Published 20 months ago by Eky Ternamian
5.0 out of 5 stars Mma Rmotswe Rocks !!
I was in a mood to read some light, funny, uplifting books and I decided to read this book. Let me tell you, this is one of the AMAZING books that I've read so far. Read more
Published on April 3 2012 by Pratz
5.0 out of 5 stars The ladies number one detectivs agency
A very nice light read. The story is set in Botswana so you learn a lot about that country and the manners and customs of the people.
Published on March 29 2011 by R. Montague
5.0 out of 5 stars what a treat!
I can't believe it's taken me till now to read this book, what with the buzz around its first publication & subsequent sequels. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2008 by B. A. Scharf
4.0 out of 5 stars African Wisdom
Written by a man, The No1 Ladies' Detective Agency has enough of a feminist persepctive for me to feel I was reading something actually written for me, rather than feeling as I... Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2007 by Jeane FREER
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