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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Audiobook

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

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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

4.0 (3332 )
5 star
 (1419)
4 star
 (947)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (1791 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (77)
Story
4.3 (1784 )
5 star
 (1040)
4 star
 (430)
3 star
 (193)
2 star
 (61)
1 star
 (60)
Performance
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  •  
    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
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    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
    209
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    365
    93
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    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
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    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
    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
    7
    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
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    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
    871
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    435
    428
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    48
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    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

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