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Blue Shoes and Happiness: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency | [Alexander McCall Smith]

Blue Shoes and Happiness: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

From internationally best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith comes the seventh novel in the phenomenally popular and endlessly charming series that began with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Once again Botswana's only female detective, Mma Ramotswe, and her invaluable assistant, Mma Makutsi, puzzle out the mysteries of life while finding comfort in steaming mugs of bush tea.
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Publisher's Summary

From internationally best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith comes the seventh novel in the phenomenally popular and endlessly charming series that began with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Once again Botswana's only female detective, Mma Ramotswe, and her invaluable assistant, Mma Makutsi, puzzle out the mysteries of life while finding comfort in steaming mugs of bush tea.

Danger hits close to home when a cobra is found in Mma Ramotswe's office. Of less immediate danger, but greater general interest, are the faulty blood pressure measurements being recorded at the local clinic. But perhaps the biggest mystery is why Mma Makutsi's fiance has missed their usual dinner date. Is he discontented? And if so, will cramming her feet into a pair of fashionable blue shoes help Mma Makutsi find happiness?

Full of subtle wit and charming characters, Blue Shoes and Happiness is another unforgettable gem from McCall Smith.

Listen to the other titles in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

©2006 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is a literary confection of gossamer deliciousness....There is no end to the pleasure that may be extracted from these books." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Scotsman McCall Smith renders brisk, seamless tales that are both wry and profound. Amidst the mayhem (like the cobra that slithers its way into the detective agency's headquarters) are eloquent descriptions of the serene African country that holds a special place in his heart." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (679 )
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4.6 (247 )
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4.8 (250 )
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Performance
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  •  
    05-25-06
    05-25-06 Member Since 2005

    khowaga

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much ado about bush tea"

    Little ever seems to happen in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books that can't be resolved in the time it takes the irrepressable Mma Ramotswe to brew and consume a pot of bush tea. Mysteries are solved, quips exchanged, and long passages recited that may (or may not) be quotes from Sir Seretse Khama.

    On the flip side, there's something refreshing about Mma Ramotswe and crew - these are books to listen to when you're having a bad day. Lisette Lecat breathes life into the series in a way that's almost magical (and you get to find out how to properly pronounce all the Setswana words, too).

    Blue Shoes and Happiness continues in the same vein as the previous books: Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni isn't happy with his apprentices, Mma Makutsi (who has developed the strange ability to hold conversations with shoes) faces her own insecurities and bandages them with her 97% mark from the Botswana Secretarial College, Mma Ramotswe contemplates the appropriateness of her own traditional build, and much bush tea is consumed.

    Parts of this book are downright funny (wait until you meet Aunt Imong), and others are sad and contemplative. By this point, the little office next to Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors is familiar territory, and it's a little bit like coming home ... and Mma Ramotswe has the tea on.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 04-17-10
    bebe South Carolina 04-17-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    87
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    "so good"

    This is one of the books in the Ladies #1 Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. This is a top notch series and I believe that to truly enjoy the series, every book should be read in the order written. The characters and story line develop over time in the series and they are people you really want to get to know. The story lines and characters can be funny, disgraceful or tragic, but they are always interesting. Smith is a keen observer of people and has great talent for drawing characters and telling whopping good stories.
    The reader is the same for each book in the series and she is one of the best I have ever heard. She gives consistly solid performances over the entire series. The characters remain the same from one book to the other. Her accents are extrordinarily good. If I had to choose between reading this series and listening to it read by this reader (Lisette Lecat) I would without hesitation choose the audible version. Purchase them all - they are so very good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Richmond, CA, USA 07-21-06
    Kathryn Richmond, CA, USA 07-21-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    "A Joy to Hear"

    Lisette Lecat has one of those wonderful voices that is a joy to listen to. I look forward to each of the books in this series to have the pleasure of enjoying her reading once more. For that alone, I rate the book highly. But Alexander McCall Smith's characters are warm and human and the events in the various plots and subplots of the book unfold at a leisurely pace--not without drama and mystery. Indeed, there is plenty of intrigue in this book. But as you listen, you know that you can count on Mma Ramostswe's good judgment, and that the occasionally foolish actions of the other characters will lead to a little more wisdom for each of them. The events don't matter quite as much as the characters they happen to.

    It's a slow, rich, rolling kind of book that you can relax and enjoy. If you're looking for fast-paced action, you won't find it here. Listening to this book is a lovely experience certain to leave you satisfied and amused, and looking forward to the characters' next adventures.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Bayside, NY, United States 05-19-06
    Lisa Bayside, NY, United States 05-19-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful"

    This is the best yet. Smith's writing is as spare and simple as the day to day activities of the characters, yet deeply moving, really brings the landscape - and the love Mma Ramotswe feels for it - to life. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have a warm place in my heart. And Lisette LeCat is one of the very best narrators in all of audiobook land! I can't wait for no. 8.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 05-19-06
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 05-19-06 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another great story"

    I absolutly love this series. When I saw there was a new book I immediatly down loaded it and listened to it in 3 days. The characters are like old friends and I am so glad that Alexander McCall Smith is continuing with this enchanting series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bybrandy LA PORTE, TX, United States 05-21-12
    bybrandy LA PORTE, TX, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Solid Ladies Detective book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It isn't the best of the Ladies Detective series. Alexander McCall Smith has so many characters in this series that somebody is always getting short changed. But it is nice to spend a few hours with these characters and their small problems.

    If you love the characters in this series, then you'll enjoy this. But if previous entries in this series have started to bore or frustrate you, this isn't any different.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This series have lovely characters.


    Which character – as performed by Lisette Lecat – was your favorite?

    Lisette Lecat is wonderful. She is an asset for the series. She doesn't do much in the way of character voices but she conveys so vividly the character's genuine affection for their country. She is a joy to listen to.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet holland, MI, United States 03-30-09
    Janet holland, MI, United States 03-30-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lite but Delightful"

    I loved the accent of the narrator, I loved the voice of the author -- the characters are characters and the laughs are gentle and sweet. The colors are vivid and the wit is soft but quite present.
    A lovely way to spend an afternoon in the garden plugged into my i-pod and that far-away place right in my own back yard.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 06-08-06
    J. Broadlands, VA, United States 06-08-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    319
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    "Not as good as the others"

    I'm a huge fan of these books; they're a delightful read. Very relaxing and comforting and the narrator is absolutely wonderful. However, I found this particular book to be less interesting than the past few I've read. It doesn't really go anywhere, and it's mostly filled philosophical thoughts. If you're a new reader to this series, I recommend you do not start with this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 12-08-06
    P. Chavez Huntington Beach, CA USA 12-08-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    I have read all the previous books in this series and have been noticing that I am likig each book less. I loved the 1st one, the next were good. I found this one to be just plain boring...it will be the last one I read in this series.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Meyer Maryland 04-02-12
    Terri Meyer Maryland 04-02-12 Member Since 2003

    Terri

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another great one!"

    I love the simplicity of the characters' lives and yet the rich wisdom they offer is the ultimate prize. The narrator does an excellent job of capturing the Botswana sounds making this series such an enjoyable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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