• Morality For Beautiful Girls

  • More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,600 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The quick-witted, good-natured detective Mma "Precious" Ramotswe shines in this irresistible best seller. It continues the charming series that began with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, hailed as one of the "International Books of the Year and the Millennium" by the Times Literary Supplement

Between intriguing new cases and troubling personal developments, Precious' hands are full. The four Miss Beauty and Integrity pageant finalists may have questionable moral fiber, and the brother of an important government worker has allegedly been poisoned. On top of all that, Precious' reliable fianci might be hiding something.

Life is more difficult than ever at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but it's nothing a little clear thinking and a few mugs of bush tea can't candle.

Listen to the other titles in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
©2001 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Thoroughly engaging and entertaining." (Los Angeles Times)

What listeners say about Morality For Beautiful Girls

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Refreshing view of life in a small country

Precious Ramotswe, a "traditional" African lady solves the many problems that crowd into her life with grace and intelligence. Although her main mystery is that of an important government worker who fears his brother is being poisoned by an unworthy sister-in-law, Mma Ramotswe finds time to deal with a handicapped foster child, a fiance with health problems, and the needs of her valued assistant. She sails through adversity and washes away the muddles with bush tea and common sense.

The book is beautifully read by Lisette Lecat. Smith's musical prose is enhanced by her talents, and life in Botswana comes alive. It is a wonderful listening experience.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

#3 in the Series . . . I'm Loving Botswana

One of the most soothing and relaxing thing about this series is the narration by Lisette Lecat. I feel like I am there in Botswana, drinking bush tea, and contemplating the the mysteries that need to be solved at No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. The kindness, forethought, and wisdom these two women use in exploring and solving their cases warms the heart. And it gives you insight into the lives of the people of Africa, their customs and beliefs. I am SO enjoying this journey.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfection in a Series

Occasionally I get a bit tired of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, though after a break I soon return. Morality For Beauitful Girls exceeds any caution I may have held. I believe it presents the maturation of McCall Smith's approach in this series at his best: well-timed and well-tuned wit, character self-analysis in just the right balance with the unfolding narrative, and the presentation of all to admire in Botswanan culture and world outlook. This is the one novel I would recommend to a somewhat reluctant newcomer: "Read this one first and you'll revel and wish to emulate surprising characteristics of Mme Ramatswe, her associates, and one nation's realism mingled with hope."

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

a beautiful voice, a fascinating culture

These stories are not so much mysteries as they are windows into faraway cultures. Precious Ramotswe is a real Miss Marple -- she deals with people's problems based on her knowledge of human nature. This engaging book is full of fascinating characters and you'll want to see how Mma Ramotswe handles them all. Listening to these books really heightens the experience as you'll find out how Molepole and Gabarone and all these wonderful names should be pronounced. I love these books in print and I love them on audio.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An entertaining listen

A wonderful continuation of an unusual detective's career. While not quite as good as No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, it is still well worth a listen. Precious continues to display wisdom and insight and you can't finish without wanting to take a trip to Africa. I look forward to more from this author.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A secondary character takes the lead

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No, because if I changed it to my tastes it would not represent Africa and the African people. To change the characters to my way of thinking would be to dimish them and make them into Americans. These characters have a charm and beauty that is truly African.

Would you ever listen to anything by Alexander McCall Smith again?

Yes, Looking forward to the second half of the series.

What does Lisette Lecat bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She can pronounce the names and places properly. I can't roll my tongue like she does or have the right lilt to my voice that makes the characters human.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes, but it probably would be an indie film and shown only on Netflix.

Any additional comments?

Nope.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Weakest story of the series so far!

This book is similar to the others in that it was entertaining and personable, but for the first time I found the storyline unbelievable. The transformation of a 97 score in secretarial school into master mechanic and master manager of young men was a stretch. It was as if the assistant had some kind of magical powers. Plus, the portrayal of the lead detective as someone who accidently promotes the assistant to a special position in her fiance's garage seems foolish, and totally inconsistent with her normal ability to maintain control of conversations to achieve her desired ends. Finally, I found the depression of Mr. JLB Mataconi as a phony, pretend storyline that detracted from the character development in the prior novels because it did not fit. Here we have a man who has just gotten engaged and has accepted responsiblity for two special needs children, and now he suddenly abandons his work, and ignores his wife-to-be and these children, and he can't get up the energy to get out of bed. Now maybe, the engagement and responsibility for children could induce depression, but that was not the story line. Instead, the trigger for his depression is never discussed; nor is any mention that this has been an issue for him previously. I really felt like the author was checking "Depression" off his checklist of things he wanted to cover in the various books, and it did not matter that it did not fit.

The beauty contest was also a little shaky as a story line, but it seemed to fit the story better. Despite these weaknesses, the book was entertaining in its way, and I will be moving on to the next installment.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this series. Lecat is great as narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - I think it's a great listen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Morality For Beautiful Girls?

When Mma Makutse found the right girl for the pageant.

What about Lisette Lecat’s performance did you like?

She's outstanding

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Although this series of books aren't really mysteries, they are all enjoyable reads. This book is weaker than some of the others, and I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series with "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency", but if you liked the other books by this author, you will likely enjoy this one as well. The narration is first-rate (an important quality, in my opinion--a bad narrator can ruin a good book), and the characters are quite endearing. This is a good book if you're looking for a light, entertaining, and well-written story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Another fun cozy mystery

This is my 3rd of this series and I enjoyed it, but I feel like the mystery parts were weaker than the first two. I do love the main character. Her assistant is proving to be a more well-rounded character as well. I think I'm probably right in the target audience, but I'm still not a huge mystery reader. I'll be doing these as filler between other books, but I bought a bunch when they were on sale on Audible for $5 each. It was worth it.

Although Alexander McCall Smith is a white man, he did grow up in the area and he seems to understand a lot about issues and traditions. I would like to see how some local people think about these books.

The narration is excellent and I look forward to the next book in the series.

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