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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Audiobook

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.
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Publisher's Summary

This remarkably fresh and charming best seller took the world by storm upon its publication. It has since earned two Booker Judges' Special Recommendations and was voted one of the "International Books of the Year and the Millennium" by the Times Literary Supplement.

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.

Chosen as a Top Ten Mystery by the Organization of Independent Booksellers, U.S.A., The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is that rare novel that imparts a sage wisdom while inspiring hearty laughter and lasting smiles.

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

©1998 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Paperback, 2003
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner, Best First Novel by an American Author, 1998

"One of the most entrancing literary treats of many a year...A tapestry of extraordinary nuance and richness." (Wall Street Journal)
"An artful, pleasing novel...General audiences will welcome this little gem of a book just as much if not more than mystery readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"Smart and sassy...Precious' progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once." (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (3136 )
5 star
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 (522)
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 (233)
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Overall
4.0 (1611 )
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (1602 )
5 star
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 (186)
2 star
 (57)
1 star
 (57)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Herve Bronnimann 06-25-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    340
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    145
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Pleasant and well-done social commentary of Africa"

    This is the story of a woman who takes up her own life and decides to do what she always liked to do: find out about people and help them learn the truth about themselves. The author clearly loves Africa and the book was like a window on a different world. The social commentary especially was very well done, I thought. It's a piece of "light" literature that is not only very pleasant to listen to, but nicely sectioned into a few inside stories. It was an easy book to put aside and return to, if you can choose the breaks. (I couln't always in the subway and it took a little while to get back into the current story, however.) It didn't leave a lasting impression like other books, which is also nice in a way, not to be haunted. And yet, it was very pleasant to read and I'll read another book by Alexander McCall Smith as soon as I have another credit free.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudene Henderson, NV, USA 01-20-04
    Claudene Henderson, NV, USA 01-20-04
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "A great read...listen?"

    This is one of the best novels I have listened to in the 2 years of my membership. I would most definitely recommend this for all the armchair travellers that will never see the country, land and people in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Boston, MA, USA 11-16-08
    Dianne Boston, MA, USA 11-16-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Guilty listening does not equal guilty pleasure"

    I feel quite awful to admit to this, but I could not even finish listening. There did not seem to be any sort of continuity between the chapters. I feel the author gave little for the listener/reader to make the main character someone we felt compelled to follow. I found myself listening only to hope it would get better, when it didn't i began to listen out of determination to complete the journey. When I began to see this was not a journey but more a disjointed collection of stories I started to listen by guilt very shortly after which I needed to give up. Maybe it's a better read than listen.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K VANCOUVER, WA, United States 07-08-08
    K VANCOUVER, WA, United States 07-08-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Yawn!"

    I listened to this book based on the good reviews, but now have to wonder what book the others listened to!

    What little story there was was broken up into little almost vignettes that were ridiculously simplistic and seemingly child composed. But before you could even get to these little stories, you had to get past the amazingly annoying accents (although the general non-character narration voice was superb) and something like 90 minutes of backstory and nothingness.
    And what, exactly, was the story? I never really found it. Lady opens detective agency. Lady gets cases. That's it. The one mystery that I assume was the "through story", the major case, doesn't even get going until the last hour of the reading.

    This was a waste of a purchase credit, and I will NOT be purchasing any more from this series. One star is all I can muter for this borefest.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary j aboughadareh 06-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    202
    ratings
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    363
    93
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    12
    0
    Overall
    "Not engaging"

    I was hoping for a good series, but this one isn't going to do it for me. It was like a book of short stories. The "cases" she had were not intriging or mysterious. There wasn't much to do about the culture or history of the region. It was just boring.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louann Staten Island, NY, United States 12-04-07
    Louann Staten Island, NY, United States 12-04-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "child like"

    This story seems to have been written by a child. One of the first cases involved a woman and "the daddy" meaning her supposed father. All characters are referred to by name or title at all times-no he, she, etc. even if it were in the same sentence. Each woman character was Mma with a different last name-very confusing. I turned it off after the first 10 minutes or so, and only put it back on when I was on a road trip and had nothing else to listen to. It did not get any better.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaaz 03-01-15
    Jaaz 03-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    2
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    Story
    "Simply Wonderful"

    I have heard the story many times now and I love it more each time. The characters feel like old friends.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    onenamilliongirl 01-29-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly warm and well told story"

    A great story, humorous with twists and unexpected turns. A walk through Africa's terrain and every day life was very well portrayed. Nice ending that wrapped everything up nicely! The narrator was fabulous. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy House San Bernardino, CA United States 01-27-15
    Happy House San Bernardino, CA United States 01-27-15 Member Since 2014

    loves reading

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprise after surprise."

    This series was recommended by a friend who knows my taste in reading material. It was fun, it was at times suspenseful. I had read the book already when I bought the audio version. It took a bit of time to get used to the readers accent, but then I found listening enjoyable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sy Ann Guth 01-25-15
    Sy Ann Guth 01-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    31
    28
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    0
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    Story
    "Delightful series"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency to be better than the print version?

    Enjoyed listening to this audiobook rather than reading it. I had both, but the accent and pronunciation of the native African names made it more enjoyable to listen to the book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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