The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Abacus 40th Anniversary)

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9780349138855: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Abacus 40th Anniversary)

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency:
Mma “Precious” Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.

Tears of the Giraffe:
The clever proprietor of the only detective agency in all of Botswana, Mma Ramotswe is now engaged to Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the kind owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. This new development provokes a hostile reaction from Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s unscrupulous maid, who quickly begins plotting the disintegration of the engagement. Despite all this, duty calls, and Mma Ramotswe is asked to help find an American woman’s son, who has been missing in Africa for ten years.

Morality for Beautiful Girls:
Between intriguing new cases and troubling personal developments, Precious’ hands are full. She personally investigates the claim of an important government worker, who suspects his brother is being poisoned. Meanwhile, assistant detective Mma Makutsi explores the moral fiber of four beauty pageant contestants. On top of all this, Precious’ reliable fiancé finally shows a crack in his armor. Life is more difficult than ever at The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but it’s nothing a little clear thinking and a few mugs of bush tea can’t handle.

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Review:

Penzler Pick, July 2001: Working in a mystery tradition that will cause genre aficionados to think of such classic sleuths as Melville Davisson Post's Uncle Abner or Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee, Alexander McCall Smith creates an African detective, Precious Ramotswe, who's their full-fledged heir.

It's the detective as folk hero, solving crimes through an innate, self-possessed wisdom that, combined with an understanding of human nature, invariably penetrates into the heart of a puzzle. If Miss Marple were fat and jolly and lived in Botswana--and decided to go against any conventional notion of what an unmarried woman should do, spending the money she got from selling her late father's cattle to set up a Ladies' Detective Agency--then you have an idea of how Precious sets herself up as her country's first female detective. Once the clients start showing up on her doorstep, Precious enjoys a pleasingly successful series of cases.

But the edge of the Kalahari is not St. Mary Mead, and the sign Precious orders, painted in brilliant colors, is anything but discreet. Pointing in the direction of the small building she had purchased to house her new business, it reads "THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. FOR ALL CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS AND ENQUIRIES. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED FOR ALL PARTIES. UNDER PERSONAL MANAGEMENT."

The solutions she comes up with, whether in the case of the clinic doctor with two quite different personalities (depending on the day of the week), or the man who had joined a Christian sect and seemingly vanished, or the kidnapped boy whose bones may or may not be those in a witch doctor's magic kit, are all sensible, logical, and satisfying. Smith's gently ironic tone is full of good humor towards his lively, intelligent heroine and towards her fellow Africans, who live their lives with dignity and with cautious acceptance of the confusions to which the world submits them. Precious Ramotswe is a remarkable creation, and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency well deserves the praise it received from London's Times Literary Supplement. I look forward with great eagerness to the upcoming books featuring the memorable Miss Ramotswe, Tears of the Giraffe and Morality for Beautiful Girls, soon to be available in the U.S. --Otto Penzler

From the Inside Flap:

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith?s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to ?help people with problems in their lives.? Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

The No. 1 Ladies? Detective Agency received two Booker Judges? Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.

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Smith Alexander McCall
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ISBN 10: 0349138850 ISBN 13: 9780349138855
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Book Description Little, Brown and Company. Book Condition: New. pp. 256. Bookseller Inventory # 58045552

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Book Description 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botsw.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 256 pages. 0.200. Bookseller Inventory # 9780349138855

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