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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 (3575 )
5 star
 (1572)
4 star
 (1003)
3 star
 (564)
2 star
 (243)
1 star
 (193)
Overall
4.1 (2003 )
5 star
 (944)
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 (1997 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (204)
2 star
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1 star
 (62)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Robert cypress, TX, USA 08-14-06
    Robert cypress, TX, USA 08-14-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    17
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Too simple"

    The case work by the detective was just too simple to find interesting.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Chicago, IL, USA 05-10-06
    Laura Chicago, IL, USA 05-10-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    4
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "I know I'm in a minority"

    I actually did not enjoy the narration. I found it, at times, slow and a little over drawn-out. The book itself was entertaining enough but I found that I did not really like Mme. Ramotswe (I apologize for my spelling as I never saw the name in print). I found her presumptuous, arrogant, prejudice and ...well, a little insufferable. This, honestly, is more of a review of the character than the writing or story - both of which are enjoyable. I just did not enjoy it quite as much as I expected.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Leesburg, FL, USA 04-11-06
    Cindy Leesburg, FL, USA 04-11-06 Member Since 2003

    I am on the young side of being older, but nonetheless - wiser.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    404
    17
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Wonderful Surprise!"

    This book was not at all what I expected, but I couldn't put it down! It was delightful, colorful and full of wonderful characters. The writing was lovely and the narrator did such I good job I could have listened forever! I really liked her down-to-earth approach to solving mysteries; sometimes surprising in their simplicity. Don't miss this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 03-07-06
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 03-07-06 Member Since 2010

    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
    438
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    663
    171
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    49
    3
    Overall
    "Loved this book"

    This was a wonderful listen. The narrator is simply charming and adds so much to the story and the characters. One of the best I have heard! The story is engaging and by the end of the book I couldn't help but like the characters and want to read book two!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liv2Write 03-03-06
    Liv2Write 03-03-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    21
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    1
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    Overall
    "A Wonderful Story"

    Though not the "traditional" detective story, I loved this novel. The characters, setting, and plots are rich and engrossing. The narrator is skilled in every accent she performs.

    I highly recommend downloading this onto your mp3 player, and letting it take you away during the mundane work hours. You will be all the better for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Kansas City, MO, USA 06-25-05
    Sandra Kansas City, MO, USA 06-25-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    346
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "A wonderful book"

    Don't expect a suspensful page turner but this book is a pleasure just the same. The characters and the descriptions of Africa are wonderful. The main character is smart and likeable. I will listen to more of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aascott 05-28-05
    aascott 05-28-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    313
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Very sweet story with a nice ending"

    I totally enjoyed the narrator's voice, the story, and the surprise ending.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 02-13-05
    Diane 02-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    8
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    Overall
    "Delighful Common Sence"

    Not what I had expected at first, this little book draws you in. The culture was refreshingly new, and made me search for other books covering life in Africa which are hard to find. The challenges Mma Ramotswe faces as she begins her new life are not that different than other women, those of love found and lost, career, and aloneness. But I was left with a sense of accomplished and determination that all things are possible if you will only persevere and belief. I would consider this more fictional biography than mystery and as such, a great essay into common sense and fairness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Ashland, VA, USA 01-25-05
    Nancy Ashland, VA, USA 01-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "A Pleasant Listening Experience"

    This book was pleasant to listen to. It's not deep or complicated, so it's OK to stop & start listening. The little mystery vignettes are somewhat disconnected, but there is the common thread of the main character's simple but interesting life that ties them together. It was nice to get a flavor of what life is like in Botswana.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. HOPPER 01-10-05
    J. HOPPER 01-10-05 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    192
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    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

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