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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive Audio Cassette – Apr 2007


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Audio Cassette, Apr 2007

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette: 6 pages
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1428125108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402562006
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 6.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Lisette Lecat doesn't simply portray the characters in McCall Smith's series about Botswana's No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the Speedy Motors car repair service that improbably share a building in the nation's capitol city: she is Mma Ramotswe, that robust, throaty and ever-so-kind detective. Lecat is also Ramotswe's husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, whose rumbling pronouncements sound as if they originate in one of the beaten-down Mercedes he tenderly mends. Ramotswe's assistant, Mma Makutsi, makes her caustic comments in a pencil-sharp voice. Even Makutsi's shoes, which offer advice to their wearer from time to time, have a down-to-earth tone to them. Each volume of this series offers Lecat a few new characters to inhabit. She does especially well with a rude, shrill client who thinks her husband is cheating on her. Even though the series is becoming a bit repetitious, Lecat brings so much love and skill to her rendition of the characters that this will charm both old fans and newcomers alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Scotsman McCall Smith's best-selling novels featuring "traditionally built" Botswana sleuth Precious Ramotswe continue to resonate with poignancy, wisdom, and wit. Fans of the series will appreciate the deeper characterizations in this eighth entry, particularly that of Mma Ramotswe's bespectacled assistant, Mma Makutsi, whose professional priorities seem to shift after her engagement to a wealthy man. McCall Smith (whose vast opus includes the Isabel Dalhousie, 44 Scotland Street, and Portuguese Irregular Verb series) serves up a compelling mystery, too, involving a series of patients who have died at the same time of the week in the same hospital bed. This time around, Mma Ramotswe's devoted husband (and first-class mechanic) J. L. B. Matekoni also tries his hand at the detective business, catering to a rude client who suspects her husband of infidelity. The case prompts Mr. Matekoni to wonder whether he's exciting enough for his cherished wife. Of course, no matter what dramas the day brings, Mma Ramotswe always has time to enjoy a cup of red bush tea and revel in the beauty of her native land. Peace and prosperity prevail in Botswana, where McCall Smith, who was born in Zimbabwe, spent time as a professor of law. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is his love letter to a country whose salubrious climate is matched by the warmth and humanity of its people. Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 27 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you haven't read any other books in the series, don't start with this one! Why? Most of the plot's impact relies on long-standing character and relationship developments developed in the prior seven books. Alexander McCall Smith does a fine job of referencing those histories, but the impact won't be the same without having read about those events in the earlier books. This is particularly important to the extreme sense of fun that the book can bring to you.

The theme of this book could be summarized in the humorous Joel Osteen aphorism, "The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed." Precious Ramotswe's world is turned upside down when many of those closest to her decide that they want changes in their lives. Her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, wants to take a turn at being a detective. Mma. Makutsi, her able assistant, is increasingly restive as she looks forward to marriage to the wealthy Phutti Radiphutti and doesn't see herself in the assistant role any more. In fact, she decides she wants a new job! The woman-chasing Charlie decides to drop out of his apprenticeship with Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and start his own taxi business. Never has Precious faced so many changes in those who are closest to her since her father, Obed Ramotswe, died.

Talk about a great set-up for a book. Wow!

Obviously, life isn't as easy to change as that. You have to know how to work with clients and detect in order to be a detective. The easy-going Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is easily cowed by his client, the very rude Mma. Botumile. In fact, he just follows her direction.

Mma. Makutsi has forgotten that most offices in Botswana want to hire help for their appearance rather than for their skill.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 27 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you haven't read any other books in the series, don't start with this one! Why? Most of the plot's impact relies on long-standing character and relationship developments developed in the prior seven books. Alexander McCall Smith does a fine job of referencing those histories, but the impact won't be the same without having read about those events in the earlier books. This is particularly important to the extreme sense of fun that the book can bring to you.

The theme of this book could be summarized in the humorous Joel Osteen aphorism, "The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed." Precious Ramotswe's world is turned upside down when many of those closest to her decide that they want changes in their lives. Her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, wants to take a turn at being a detective. Mma. Makutsi, her able assistant, is increasingly restive as she looks forward to marriage to the wealthy Phutti Radiphutti and doesn't see herself in the assistant role any more. In fact, she decides she wants a new job! The woman-chasing Charlie decides to drop out of his apprenticeship with Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and start his own taxi business. Never has Precious faced so many changes in those who are closest to her since her father, Obed Ramotswe, died.

Talk about a great set-up for a book. Wow!

Obviously, life isn't as easy to change as that. You have to know how to work with clients and detect in order to be a detective. The easy-going Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is easily cowed by his client, the very rude Mma. Botumile. In fact, he just follows her direction.

Mma. Makutsi has forgotten that most offices in Botswana want to hire help for their appearance rather than for their skill.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 19 2008
Format: Paperback
If you have yet to meet Precious Ramotswe - treat yourself. As I said of her in a review of the first novel in Smith's series, she is "Of traditional build and generous heart, she's the indefatigable, irresistible proprietress of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency."

For this reader it was love at first page of Smith's initial offering and my enthusiasm for this endearing, surprising character hasn't wavered. Her story is as fresh and new with this, the eighth in the series, as it was in the first. By now many have become familiar with the characters and eagerly look forward to their latest adventures. I count myself among those readers.

With The Good Husband of Zebra Drive several of our favorites find themselves facing momentous decisions just as Precious is presented with a confounding mystery by a doctor who has seen patients die in the same bed at the same time of day at Mochudi's hospital. Mma Makutsi may leave the Agency (Heaven forbid as I'll always remember her undulations of pleasure to say nothing of her perfect typing). And, there is a straying husband.

As always Precious's life is filled with conundrums and challenges which she faces with wit and wisdom. Pages of The Good Husband of Zebra Drive flew by far too rapidly and I eagerly await a return visit to beautiful Botswana.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Hardcover
In this latest installment of the #1 Ladies Detective Series, we find Mma Ramotswe finding challenges in the most unexpected places: the resignation of Mma Makutsi, holder of the 97 percent degree from Botswana Secretarial College; the desire of husband Mr. J L B Matekoni to take on an investigative case in the belief that life as a detective is more exciting than his work as a mechanic; the case of the late patients of a local hospital overseen by her cousin.

Throughout the book we find ourselves drawn in to the slower pace of the Botswana life, where people stop to watch the birds in the trees and contemplate life. A perfect respite from our own fast-paced world. But the faster pace of life outside Botswana seems to be making inroads in this book. The types of cases being investigated have begun to change, causing Mma Ramotswe to look to her compatriots for their input and finding that if one but takes the time to sit back, think things through, and open their eyes to the things around them answers to life's questions can be found.

Easy to read, this work packs a lot of information and entertainment in its short span of 210 pages. But really, how long does a work need to be if the message can be delivered succinctly?

Once again, McCall Smith has given me a good solid read and I look forward to the next chapter in this series.

Also recommended: The first 7 books in this series.
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