This book was interesting entertaining, and insightful as always. I can't pinpoint why it wasn't one of the two or three all-time favorites in the Mme Rmatwse saga, perhaps only that two or three al-time favorites can't extend to all. it was a good read, well-worth the time put into listening and learning.
Used to read classic lit for pleasure of well-written prose. Now, with MS, it's thrillers, courtroom/police dramas, and adventure to escape!
I have read every book in this series, in order, and I really struggled to get through this one. There were several times that I contemplated just shelving it (so to speak.) It seems that the more recent titles in this series of Alexander McCall Smith have not lived up to his earlier work. This series, early on, was one of my most beloved series. I could not wait for the next book to come out. In the last few books, it is almost as if McCall Smith is continuing writing the books just to... well... continue the series. There is no heart. There are no interesting cases to be solved. He has made Mma Makutsi into a very silly and unlikeable character, instead of simply being quirky (as she was in the early books.) Mme Ramotswe even comes across as being "tired" or disinterested, compared to her early passion for her agency, its work, and life in her beloved Botswana. Her basic character traits are still there, but in a watered-down version. Even the outstanding narrator, Lisette Lecat comes across as rather lackadaisical.
I can't suggest to an avid fan of this series to not listen to this book as they all have some significant event in them that carries over to the next books, but I will say that I was extremely disappointed in this one, and if McCall Smith is getting bored with writing these books he should either find his earlier spunk to put back into them, or stop the series before he writes these wonderful characters altogether into the ground.
I listen to books all the time, When I am driving, cleaning, cooking or doing anything quiet. I am AUDOBSESSED!
Another great relaxing story of the Batswana people, and daily life of the #1 Ladies detective agency. I especially enjoy the regular characters, and how they handle their everyday problems, as well as the solving of a great mystery. HBO has produced a few episodes of this series as well..
I have been a fan of this series for many years and realized from the beginning that hearing these stories was a bigger treat than reading them. I'm American; I don't automatically know how to pronounce even the simple African words like Mma. Stumbling on that, even in my mind, reduces my pleasure in the story. McCall-Smith's idiosyncracies of language, carrying from book to book, are like old friends. For example, Mma Makutsi will never comfortably be Grace to us, or even Mma Rhadaputi now that she's married. I was also happy the 'tiny white van' made a reappearance in this story. This book was very much about the interpersonal relationships of the main characters and the obligations therein than most of these stories. Even the detectives' main case was very much about honoring personal commitments and responsibilities. As always, reading a #1 Ladies Detective Agency story is more about philosophy that it is about mystery.
One can only hope that we have heard the last of this sappy storyline. I know it is symbolic, but it is also a way for the author to fill up space without the bother of thinking of up an original plot. I was hoping that Mma Ramotswe, as wise as she is, would eventually realize that things are just things and one needs to let go at some point.
Another minor gripe is that the artifice of Mma Makotswe talking shoes is being overused.
However, the author did come up with a new case that Mma Ramotswe actually helps resolve in a fashion. Overall, this book is another enjoyable entry in this series.
If you have enjoyed any of the series The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency and its sensitively-delineated voicings of Mma Ramotswe, Makutsi, Potokwane - not to mention the characters of Charlie and that evil vixen, Violet Seppoto - prepare to enjoy again! Alexander McCall Smith has skilfully woven together several plots and liberally embellished them with the personalities we have come to know and love from prior books in the series. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, brief of words but long on automotive wisdom, shy Fanwell, who uncomplainingly supports his family, and a character you may have thought consigned to the scrap heap, also appear in important roles.
97% of the time (sorry, couldn't resist), my favourite character would be Precious Ramotswe, whose ability to read people, ardent love for her country Botswana, and self-control at holding her tongue have impressed me through eleven books. Mma Potokwane, I have decided, is a force of nature disguised as the matron what must be the best-run orphanage in the universe.
Ms Lecat, thank goodness, has been the narrator for this entire series. I hope Recorded Books does not, for any reason, replace her. She is the best of all of the narrators I have heard while listening to Audible and other books. She speaks clearly, conveys the personality of each of the characters whose voices she presents, and has an amazing vocal range - she can "be" a child, an eager saleswoman, the slinky Violet, the self-impressed Grace Makutsi - all of the characters of this series.
Without revealing any of the plot, when Grace makes a decision I *knew* would not turn out well, when a character involved with Charlie reveals her true nature, and the description of the wedding itself (as the title suggests yes, it does happen!) I consecutively cringed, nodded knowingly, and felt like I was an invitee at the nuptials.
There was one thread left hanging by the author (not going to reveal it; such would be a spoiler). I'm hoping he picks it up in the next or subsequent books.
Lisette Lecat reads with sensitive understanding of the text, and an obvious respect for, and appreciation of, these wonderful tales. Her enunciation is clear and crisp, and she uses pauses to great advantage. The irony and subtle humor of these stories is conveyed as the author surely intended, and is never overdone.
I can't think of a more delightful way to experience this wonderful series.
Thank you, Lisette Lecat, for your masterful rendition of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which has brought much pleasure to so many.
We will find a way or make one
I loved everything about this audio book. The narration was perfect. I highly recommend this audio book to anyone looking for an exotic, beautiful mental escape!