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Publisher's Summary

Readers everywhere have become entranced by the New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, from acclaimed author and award-winning wit Alexander McCall Smith. Each charming book in the series is a masterpiece of comic subtlety and a window for viewing the distinctive culture and landscape of Botswana.

Handling a busy caseload at The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and contending with an intruder in her home, Mma Ramotswe has plenty on her mind. So when her unfortunate past returns to haunt her, she is happy her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is distracted as well. It seems one of his apprentices at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors has raced off with an older, wealthy woman.

Life on the edge of the Kalahari is as humorously chaotic as ever for Mma Ramotswe and her loved ones. And there's plenty of bush tea to go around.

Listen to the other titles in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
©2004 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"[A] consistently delightful series....Amid the hilarious scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue skies." (Publishers Weekly) "[McCall Smith] delivers another winner, brimming with poetic descriptions of Botswana, pitch-perfect assessments of human foibles, and sensible resolutions reached over steaming cups of bush tea. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and quietly profound, these life-affirming mysteries are fine company, indeed." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Northbrook, IL, USA
  • 06-17-05

Great Listen

I read the first book in this series and didn't care much for it. Then I decided to listen to the next. I really enjoyed the narrator and kept on until I have heard every book in the series. They just keep getting better. As far as I'm concerned, the narrator makes all the difference in my enjoyment of these books. She does a superb job--her accent adds so much to the books! This one is a must for all of Mma Ramotswe fans!

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A delightful trip to Botswana

This was a my first experience with the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and what a delightful experience it was! Well written and expertly narrated. One of the best I've listened to and I will certainly take another trip to Botswana with them again. Just delightful!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rachel
  • Oconto, WI, USA
  • 06-14-06

Best in a Wonderful Series

I love all of these books, but "In the Company of Cheerful Ladies" is my favorite. Read it and you'll know why. A character like Mma Ramotswe hasn't come along for a while!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Elana
  • Shrewsbury, PA, USA
  • 11-26-05


This book was an enjoyable listen from beginning to end. Although I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, I wasn't as happy with the last couple. This installation though was a strong as ever and I highly recommend it. The new characters brought into the series were well developed, and fun to get to know. The book was both humerous and heart warming. And as always, Lisette Lecat does a delightful job of narration and her style is well suited for the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Superb Performance of a Delightful Book

As a fan of the printed series of Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency books, I was especially pleased to hear Lisette Lecat's superb narration using a variety of voices and accents. If you enjoy the subtle humor and good natured character of this series of books, you will especially like to hear them read by Ms. Lecat, who is also an accomplished Broadway playwrite.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sounds like the book come to life!

If you enjoy stories of Africa that underscore the beauty and humanity of people and the amazing geography of what is only in Africa, then you'll love this book. The reader provides, albeit to my untrained ear, a good southern African accent, and successfully makes each character sound unique. Ever wonder how to say "Mma" as in "Mma Romatswe?" Listen to this reader who renders the pronunciation and character voices successfully.

Wonderful, life affirming, character portraits in Botswana read to sound like the book has come to life.

Listen to the Zebra Drive tales and imagine having a cup of sweat-inducing hot, sweet tea in the cement floored and thinly furnished office of Mma Romatswe as you look across the rim of your cup and hear the wisdom of this kind-hearted fictitious woman.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I have not finished listening to this book, but I have read all the others and know there is generally more about character than plot in these novels. I disagree with the previous review. I think the reader does a wonderful job of expressing the pace of these novels and highlighting the various characters. It did take me a while before I could listen to "Mma" (a courtesy title) without thinking of a speech impediment, but it does finally integrate into the whole.

Much of the charm of this series is the fact the books are set in a place where life is slower and less frantic than the world most of us inhabit. Give it a chance. Enjoy the ride.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Another winner for Smith

After A Cupboard Full of Life (book #5) I thought that Smith and this series was going downhill. Well, with In the Company of Cheerful Ladies Smith's score is way back up there. I loved the characters especially (as usual) but the stories were fun and I smiled most of my listening time. The narrator was fine after I got used to her and the pronunciation of names, although it seems strange to listen to, is just like it is written in the books, Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and the slowness helps with the wondrful accent.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Too Much

Too much detail in each scene for me. The book and narration seemed to drag on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joanne
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
  • 10-24-07

Grab some bush tea and an easy listen

Following along with the other titles in the No.1 Ladies detective agency series. This book is a pleasant easy listen. I find this entire series far more a drama than mystery. The narration is So relaxing and enjoyable and the location discription is excellent also. Relax with something simple in Botswana

5 of 6 people found this review helpful