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Publisher's Summary

The delightful 17th installment of the ever-popular, perennially best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective, is a little short on help. The codirector of the agency, Grace Makutsi, is busy with her own case, her client none other than their erstwhile assistant, Mr. Polopetsi, who has unwittingly involved himself in a pyramid scheme. The agency's other assistant, Charlie, may also need more help than he can offer, as he is newly embroiled in a romance with a glamorous woman about whom the others have their doubts. So when a young Canadian woman approaches Mma Ramotswe with a complex case, it's up to her alone to solve it - with her signature intuition and insight, of course. The young woman spent part of her childhood in Botswana and needs help finding a long-lost acquaintance. But much time has passed, and her memory yields few clues. The difficult search - and the unexpected results - will remind them all that sometimes it's those we think we know best who most surprise us.

©2016 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2016 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"It's delicious to visit with old friends, and that's certainly the case in Lisette Lecat's lovely performance of Alexander McCall Smith's newest No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mystery. South African-born Lecat, who has long narrated the series, understands the characters and atmosphere perfectly; thus, the listener can trust that all sounds as it should in the company of Botswana's Mma Ramotswe and her compatriots." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

One of the best in the series

Yes, these women are like dear old friends, the narrator a comforting voice, and the writing a fabulous international trip, but this one has a message and a true heart. There's a double meaning in the title: the two words are the names of the characters and also point to where the story is going to lead. There are a few of these titles I might not suggest, but this one is a must for the Number 1 Ladies fans.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 10-12-16

A wonderfult series, That is well known.

The traditionally built lady detective of Botswana Mma Precious Remotswe is back for novel #17 in this wonderful series. Joining her is her mechanic husband and proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, their adopted children Motholeli and Puso, her secretary/business partner Grace "97%" Makutsi, ex-apprentice mechanic and current apprentice detective Charlie, mechanic Fanwell, chemist and part time detective and mechanic Mr. Polopetsi, orphan farm matron Mma Portokwane, and of course Grace's long time nemesis Violet Sephotho.

All 17 novels in this glorious light detective series are in my Audible library. Precious and Grace is a wonderful addition. The setting is Gaborone the capital city of the democratic landlocked south African country of Botswana. The novels in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series are as much about the adventures and eccentricity of the various characters as they are about solving mysteries; there are always valuable life lessons learned.

Lisette Lecat narrates all novels in this series in Botswana's speech patters in English. Lecat is very, very good with regional accents.

I highly recommend this book and this series with the understanding that they are more about the foibles of the characters than with high adventure or strong suspense. Author Alexander McCall Smith tells wonderful stories centered around highly developed characters.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 10-22-16

Delightful

This is book seventeen in the “Number One Ladies Detective Agency” Series. This book meanders around a number of various unrelated problems for Precious Ramotswe.

We have the return of some prior characters such a Ra Polopetsi who use to help out occasionally at the agency. Mma Ramotswe thinks he has gotten himself involved in a pyramid investment scheme. A new character is introduced, he is Fanwell, an assistant mechanic at the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. Fanwell ran over a dog and now it keeps coming back to the Speedy Motors. Grace is upset because her long time enemy Violet Sephotko was elected Woman of the Year. There is a case to work on from a Canadian woman who lived in Botswana as a child and wants them to find the house she lived in as a child and the nurse that took care of her.

The book is well written and sprinkled with cliques and homespun wisdoms. Precious does her philosophical musings over bush tea and they are delightful; such as do dogs have souls? Smith does provide some suspense and action such as the encounter with a snake. The story has two key messages one is friendship and the other is forgiveness. I always enjoy reading this series. It is like taking having a cup of tea with Precious, slowing down and remembering what is important in life.

Lisette Lecat does an excellent job narrating the series. I believe she makes the story come to life with the rhythm of her speech and the pronunciation of the African words. Lecat was born in South Africa. She is a stage actress and a voice over artist in three languages and is an award winning audiobook narrator.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosemary
  • Greenwich, CT, United States
  • 10-27-16

One of his best in awhile. Full stars!

This one has great wisdom but also moves right along . Some of AMS's later works in this series have become a bit tedious and too digressive. This one is a good listen and has much reflective writing worth remembering.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ch
  • Portland, OR USA
  • 10-01-17

Bookends to Tears of the Giraffe

This installment of the Ladies' Detective Agency was a fine example of the series. I thought that the main mystery in this book was a bit of an antithesis of the second book of the series. It made for an interesting contrast. I also enjoyed the struggle of the main characters Precious and Grace to redefine their roles and further their relationship, despite having very different personalities and levels of self-awareness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed

Would you try another book from Alexander McCall Smith and/or Lisette Lecat?

Lisette Lecat is the perfect choice for the narration of this series; however, this book was very disappointing. I totally enjoyed all other volumes....this one lacked substance. I would definitely try other books by both author and narrator. They both have so much to offer.

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

YES.

Have you listened to any of Lisette Lecat’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to the whole series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and she is stellar, the perfect narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great new listen

I've loved all of the No. One Ladies Detective Agency. Precious and Grace did not disappoint. AMS has a wonderful story to tell in each book. If you haven't read the series yet, get started.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Warm and Comfy

Alexander McCall Smith has done it again. Precious and Grace takes you into the warm wonderful world. of the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Listening to these books is a treat. The words carry you to Botswana and into the homes of characters you love like family. As usual I Wanted to choke Grace to darkness but even she can be endearing. I wasn't sure how one case would turn out but the ending was convicting to us all

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Keeps getting better

I've loved the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series and this one is excellent. I lol especially in the beginning. Can't wait for the next one!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another Delight

As with all the books in this series this is another installment of delightful insight, amusement and escape from everyday life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful