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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency | [Alexander McCall Smith]

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 (2846 )
5 star
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4.0 (1354 )
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4.2 (1350 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. HOPPER 01-10-05
    J. HOPPER 01-10-05 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    33
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    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Overall
    "Very nicely done"

    I thought the narration was very well done. The story started off a little differently from what I expected, but overall I enjoyed the book quite a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy 01-07-05
    Timothy 01-07-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    6
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    0
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    "Great stories and narration"

    Highly enjoyable and beautifully narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra 12-20-04
    Alexandra 12-20-04 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    16
    11
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    0
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    "Wonderful to Hear!"

    Mma Rawsotwe is a clever, independent woman, who loves her native Botswana. This story has interesting characters, a colorful setting, and a delightful narrator. It is such a pleasure to hear the story spoken with a native accent. One of my top three favorite audible books - ever!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele 11-21-04
    Michele 11-21-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    361
    21
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    "The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"

    Great story - the reader Lisette Lucat brings the richness of the story alive with her voice. A full 5 star rating - have already ordered ALL of the other books by Alexander McCall Smith based soley on his skills in telling the story of Mma Ramotwse

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I. San Francisco, CA, USA 11-10-04
    I. San Francisco, CA, USA 11-10-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    REVIEWS
    205
    8
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    0
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    "Wonderful story & narrator"

    I've heard this one and Tears of the Giraffe -- first of all, the narrator is perfect. I'm so glad I got these from Audible, because the accents and pronounciations add so much to the story. They are about Botswana as much as anything, so the voices are very important. Other than that -- great stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer A Keeler 10-13-04 Listener Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
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    0
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    "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Unabridged)"

    Delightful book. It was very unusual and refreshing. I'm amazed that this wasn't written by a women. Great read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lenny S USA 09-30-04
    Lenny S USA 09-30-04 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "One of the best listens ever"

    A wonderful story beautifully read. That's as good as it gets. I just downloaded the next book and plan to listen to them all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brianna Portland, OR, USA 09-11-04
    Brianna Portland, OR, USA 09-11-04 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    230
    2
    Overall
    "A delight"

    A pure and simple delight. You can't go wrong with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH PITTSBURGH, PA United States 08-18-04
    CYNTHIA L SPANNUTH PITTSBURGH, PA United States 08-18-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
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    430
    26
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    3
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    "A Book To Quiet Anyone's Beast"

    A gentle story about a gentle woman. A woman who does not make personal judgments but understands human faults and sometimes overlooks but most often forgives. This is not a narration but a painting. The descriptions of the characters and Botswana are so vivid you swear you met these people and been to these places. Very nice read. Sweet ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Scottsdale, AZ, USA 07-02-04
    George Scottsdale, AZ, USA 07-02-04 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    18
    6
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    "Wonderful Story"

    I normally read non-fiction; but I really enjoyed this. I highly recommend it. I'll probably listen to others in this series (after I tackle some more history!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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