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In the Company of Cheerful Ladies Audio CD – Apr 19 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Recorded Books (April 19 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419311743
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419311741
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.6 x 14.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #996,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this sixth entry in McCall Smith's consistently delightful series, Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built—and newly married—owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is saddled with a surfeit of challenging cases and personal crises. There has been an intruder in her home (he managed to escape, but left a telltale pair of trousers in his wake). And the levelheaded sleuth is flustered by an encounter with a man from her past. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's husband, master mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is neck-deep in work after the resignation of one of his apprentices, who has become romantically entangled with a married woman (Mma Ramotswe and assistant detective Grace Makutsi slyly gather the scurrilous details). Scotsman McCall Smith, who was born in what is now Zimbabwe, renders colorful characters with names that trip off the tongue. Among the new arrivals: Mma Makutsi's new suitor and dance partner, Phuti Radiphuti, a stuttering furniture salesman with two left feet; and Mr. Polopetsi, a wrongfully imprisoned pharmacist Mma Ramotswe deems worthy of a second chance. As always, when troubles are brewing, nothing puts things in perspective like time spent on the verandah with a cup of bush tea. Amid the hilarious scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue skies. The prolific McCall Smith dispenses tales from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency at a rate of one per year (he's also author of a second detective series featuring Scottish-American moral philosopher Isabel Dalhousie). That's good news for loyal fans, who eagerly await new adventures with Precious Ramotswe.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–This sixth entry in the series does not disappoint. But this time, Mma Ramotswe, proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gaborone, Botswana, and now married to Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, is filled with worry over personal problems. At the same time, her assistant, Mma Makutsi, is preoccupied with finding a husband, and it appears that Charlie, the apprentice at the auto shop, has run off with an older woman. Large cups of bush tea remain the main source of relief for thirst and for solving mysteries. Among the new characters is Mr. Polopetsi, hired to work at Tlokweng Road after Mma Ramotswe knocks him off his bicycle with her tiny white van. Although the agency takes on some criminal cases, most of the plot revolves around the everyday dilemmas of life. For Mma Ramotswe, the right course of action is always the moral one, usually reached with much reflection and humor. Good reading, sound reasoning, cheerful and faithful friends, and descriptions of the much-loved landscape of Botswana make this an appealing novel.–Sheila Janega, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies continues the saga of Precious Ramotswe after her marriage to J.L.B. Matekoni at the end of The Full Cupboard of Life. Although nothing could have pleased her more than to finally become the wife of that good man, she finds many unexpected challenges in this book.

As the story opens, Precious is frustrated by the changes in Botswana from the good values of its past. She is discouraged to find out how hard it is to do the right thing when others don't. A woman scrapes another's car and drives off before Precious can write down her license plate number. Observing a theft in progress, she takes off in pursuit . . . only to be accosted by her waitress for attempted theft of her meal. The waitress then tries to extort money from Precious in exchange for not calling the police. You get the idea. It's been a tough afternoon.

Arriving home, Precious is puzzled. Things seem to have been moved. And whenever she lies down to rest, there's a strange sound. What could it be? Before long, that puzzle turns into an unexpected pair of trousers and a pumpkin. Whatever could be going on?

At the garage, J.L.B. Matekoni is overwhelmed with work. Charlie is acting up, and taking too much interest in an older woman who drives a Mercedes. What can they do about it?

While tailing Charlie and his lady friend in her white van, Precious is startled to see the two turn into J.L.B. Matekoni's house. In the process, she runs a cyclist off the road and his bicycle is broken. In this way, we are introduced to Mr Polopetsi who seems to be on his way to becoming a major figure in the series who initially divides his time between garage tidying and detective activities.
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Format: Paperback
I don't read much fiction -- and mysteries, not at all-- so I had ignored earlier volumes in this series about Lady Detective Mme Ramotswe. Then I found "The Full Cupboard of Life" on a half-price sale & decided, since it was set in Africa, to give the author a try.

I'm so glad I did! What a delightful read for a hot summer day under a tree in the back yard. It also brought back happy memories of my travels in Africa. Since the focus is more on character & setting than on plot or mystery, it was especially enjoyable to me.

Now that I have made the acquaintance of Mme Ramotswe so late in the game, I am determined to get her life story straight by getting all the other books in the series and reading them in the correct order.

So much one hears of Africa is doom and gloom, hopelessness, poverty & war; it is a nice change to read about its people having what we westerners would consider a normal life.
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Format: Paperback
This latest edition to the series is definitely worth the read. The travails of Mma Ramotswe are funny and charming and crazy. I love reading about the virtues of "traditionally built" women.
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Format: Audio Cassette
I don't know how anyone could fail to love the Mma Ramotswe novels of Alexander McCall Smith. Mma Ramotswe and her fiancé, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, are such lovable people and Smith's writing is so fluid and beautiful that the books in this series really transcend the mystery genre. Of course, unlike most conventional mysteries, the Mma Ramotswe series concentrates more on character than it does on mystery and therein, I think, lies its enormous success.
In THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE, Mma Ramotswe really only has one case: she's hired by a wealthy woman, who, like Mma Ramotswe, was blessed with girth rather than height, to investigate her five suitors, which Mma Ramotswe does in her typically humorous and no nonsense fashion. But that's just the spine of the story. Much more happens in the book and it's every bit as interesting as Mma Ramotswe's detective work.
If anyone has stayed away from this series of books because they're set in Botswana, they're making a huge mistake. These books portray the universality of human behavior, not their differences. And, they're filled with so much warmth and gentle humor it would, I think, take a cold-hearted person not to fall in love with the characters and want more.
Smith lavishes as much love and care on his secondary characters as he does on his primary ones, all to the book's credit. Mma Makutsi plays an enlarged role in this book, experiencing one heartbreaking event as well as one dream come true. Mma Potokwane is also featured as she contemplates writing a book and attempts to sort out the marriage plans of Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni.
THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE is a warm, wise, witty book told with, above all, plenty of heart.
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Format: Audio Cassette
I give this novel a weak 4 stars. As an avid Precious Ramotswe fan this book was like a fast food version of the series I've grown to love. There were parts that made me laugh but I feel that the character development was a bit overdone this time around if there is such a thing. Precious didn't seem to be at the center of the book. The book felt rushed. I just knew that the something I was missing would come and it never did. Nice ending but it didn't make up for other things I was missing. I love Precious for her outlook on life as a woman and as a black African. That Mr. McCall Smith is able to capture this is nothing short of amazing. However, this time around I felt Precious' words and those around her were forced. The beauty of the previous books has been on solving mysteries with compassion, common sense, and a deep love for the surrounding country of Botswana. I didn't get a feel for the mystery part of the equation this time around. There was only one mystery that seemed thrown in for good measure and then not even really solved. I know it's hard for an outhor to constantly live up to making each book better than the last but I have a favor to ask of Mr. McCall Smith. Please let Precious and all of her supporting cast do what they do best--be themselves. Many of us feel like we know this woman and all those that surround her so please bring her back to her natural element---being the No. 1 Ladies Detective that Botswana has to offer. I don't consider this a bad book but would only recommend it if you've already enjoyed the previous books, then you can overlook this tiny stumble. I'm very hopeful for the next book in this series.
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