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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 (3225 )
5 star
 (1354)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (1694 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (1686 )
5 star
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4 star
 (409)
3 star
 (187)
2 star
 (58)
1 star
 (58)
Performance
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  •  
    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
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    23
    4
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    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
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    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
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    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
    6
    5
    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
    REVIEWS
    31
    28
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    FOLLOWING
    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
  •  
    redfox 12-18-14
    redfox 12-18-14

    too many periodicals

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    29
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Cleary a first book, but series promising"
    Would you listen to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency again? Why?

    No -- I like the character and the sorts of "mysteries" she solves, but there are long preachy stretches to this that almost made me put it aside.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Felt like it could have ended there or anywhere else, as we're just going along the road...


    Have you listened to any of Lisette Lecat’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This Lady Detective puts up with no nonsense!


    Any additional comments?

    I feel like the author had some things she wanted or felt like she had to say, and they were shoe-horned into the middle of a story that didn't need them. That is, we meet the main character, her place, and her business, and then suddenly there are two chapters in which we explore the Horrors of Mining and Oppression of the Poor (through a confusing first-person narration by her deceased father) and the Horrors of Bad Marriage in a Patriarchal Society (through a flash-back chapter about the protagonist's earlier life). Then we're back to the regular stuff, which shows us plenty about the society without our needing to be hit over the head with it like that. Maybe those will be informative to those with no experience of the topics, but I felt a bit slighted as a reader . . .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 11-11-14
    Ruth Bain 11-11-14

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    699
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    383
    376
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    42
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    Story
    "Delightful !"

    I was pleasantly surprised at how charming and entertaining this story is ! Excellent narration, engaging characters, unique locale. Not much "mystery", but this is really a character story, not a crime-solving narrative. Think of Miss Marple as a plus-size Black lady in Botswana. Delightful !

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 11-03-14
    Diana 11-03-14 Member Since 2013

    Practicing Idealist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    732
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    330
    230
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    78
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Smart and simple pleasure to experience"

    Sometimes the world feels like a dirty and cruel place. A place where people are making self-centered choices.

    So, a book like this, where the main character makes good choices while navigating through the same world can brighten the view of humanity. There's hope.

    The author writes so simply yet the scenes are set vividly. The narrator is wonderful.

    The tone of this book just exudes peace and balance, even though the stories are not of gentle stuff. The world is still dirty and cruel, but because we are gracefully navigated by the author and the narrator's voice, and humanity overcomes evil, the experience is simple, joyful, and heartfelt.

    I love this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Faye An Walnut, CA United States 10-30-14
    Faye An Walnut, CA United States 10-30-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not even close to being "compelling""
    What disappointed you about The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency?

    Contrary to what most other reviewers say, I found this book incredibly boring. The cases were nothing close to "interesting". I had to fight to stay focused and I kept listening only because I didn't want to dismiss it too early. But then I realized that the book was over, and I was left feeling, "that was it?"


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Lambdin Altadena, CA United States 10-19-14
    Liz Lambdin Altadena, CA United States 10-19-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sweet, well-written story, but found it monotonous"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Sweet, well-written story, but found it monotonous


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Sweet, well-written story, but found it monotonous


    What didn’t you like about Lisette Lecat’s performance?

    Sweet, well-written story, but found it monotonous


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Sweet, well-written story, but found it monotonous


    Any additional comments?

    Sweet, well-written story, but found it monotonous

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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