Alexander McCall Smith's "Precious Ramotswe" series.

Alexander McCall Smith, "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive"

2008-06-22 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 51 words

I think this was the point at which I gave up with the series -- mostly because Alexander trots out the old haunted-hospital-bed mystery. Is there honestly anybody who's not encountered the solution to that? Is it plausible that Mma Ramotswe hasn't?

Alexander McCall Smith, "Blues Shoes and Happiness"

2007-06-06 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 33 words

Yep, it's another No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book. More of the same. Not that that's going to stop me from reading it.

Alexander McCall Smith, "In The Company of Cheerful Ladies"

2005-05-02 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 10 words

Alexander McCall Smith, "The Full Cupboard Of Life"

2004-09-20 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 170 words

We are a dry country, she had once said while Mma Makutsi was trying to wash her hair in the running water.

Yes, said Mma Makutsi, from under the stream of deliciously cool water. That is why we have taps.

Another instalment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. As you could reasonably expect, it's much the same as the previous books. I was a bit bemused by the behaviour of the apprentices — they were showing signs of becoming somewhat more interesting characters when we last saw them, and if anything they're even more caricaturish now — and, while the character development is interesting, I'd really like to see more detective work, like in the original book, but there's not really too much to complain about here. Nothing groundbreaking, but a reasonably amusing read.

I'm informed that the new BBC dramatisation of this series is well worth listening to, if only because you'll then know how to pronounce all the names.

Alexander McCall Smith, "The Kalahari Typing School for Men"

2004-05-29 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 93 words

The fourth instalment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. This time, Mma Ramotswe has to contend with a rival detective agency, a cheating husband and a remorseful ostrich farmer, while Mma Makutsi tries to juggle running the agency and the garage along with a new venture.

This book continues the storyline in the graceful, understated style of the previous three. As such, it's hard to find anything I didn't like about it. Recommended, although I'd suggest reading the earlier books first.

Alexander McCall Smith, "Morality for Beautiful Girls"

2004-05-23 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 196 words

Mma Ramotswe laughed. Don't believe everything he says, she said. Men like that can make all sorts of promises. And he is a very stupid man. Very proud too.

But he was telling the truth about the brother's wife? asked Mma Makutsi anxiously.

Probably, said Mma Ramotswe. I don't think he made that up. But remember what Clovis Andersen says. Every story has two sides. So far, we've only heard one. The stupid side.

The third book in the Precious Ramotswe series. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is moving to new premises, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni is forced by illness to leave the garage in the hands of the apprentices temporarily, and a case of attempted murder requires Mma Ramotswe to go undercover in the house of a government official's family.

It's not especially different from the previous books — by which I mean that it's extremely enjoyable and beautifully-written, and I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone. It's nice to see some of the minor characters from earlier in the series getting developed a bit further, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book.

Alexander McCall Smith, "Tears Of The Giraffe"

2004-04-18 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · 270 words

That is natural, said Mr J. L. B. Matekoni. Of course boys love their mothers. Why should they not do so?

Mma Potokwane shrugged. I agree with you. I cannot see what is wrong with a boy loving his mother.

Then why is Dr Freud worried about this? went on Mr J. L. B. Matekoni. Surely he should be worried if they did not love their mothers.

This is the second book about life at The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana. Like the first, it's almost the complete opposite of the stereotypical American detective novel; the tone is more relaxed than hard-boiled, and Mma Ramotswe's cases are usually solved by asking the right questions rather than creeping around with a pistol. The emphasis is very much on developing the characters and painting a picture of life in Botswana rather than telling a thrilling story.

The author's writing style is simple and elegant, which makes the book a real pleasure to read — a fast reader will finish it in one sitting. This is a feel-good story that avoids being condescending or repetitive.

A quick search suggests I wasn't alone in wanting a pronunciation guide for this book — I knew "Ramotswe" and could make a good guess at "Gaborone" and "Molepolole", but I had no idea what "Mma" and "Rra" sound like. (If you're also wondering, the Botswana Department of Tourism have recordings of useful Setswana phrases.)

Strongly recommended, along with the first book in the series. I'll be very surprised if the third and fourth books aren't equally good.

Alexander McCall Smith, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"

2003-12-18 · in Books, Precious Ramotswe · no content

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