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In The Company Of Cheerful Ladies


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* Highly original 'detective' stories with unique setting and characters featuring Mma Ramotswe and her No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

About the Author

McCall Smith is a Professor of Medical Law as well as an author who has written over 50 books on a wide range of subjects: from Forensic Aspects of Sleep to The Criminal Law of Botswana, The Perfect Hamburger (children's fiction) to Portuguese Irregular Verbs (short stories).


Adult/High School-This sixth entry in the series does not disappoint. But this time, Mma Ramotswe, proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gaborone, Botswana, and now married to Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, is filled with worry over personal problems. At the same time, her assistant, Mma Makutsi, is preoccupied with finding a husband, and it appears that Charlie, the apprentice at the auto shop, has run off with an older woman. Large cups of bush tea remain the main source of relief for thirst and for solving mysteries. Among the new characters is Mr. Polopetsi, hired to work at Tlokweng Road after Mma Ramotswe knocks him off his bicycle with her tiny white van. Although the agency takes on some criminal cases, most of the plot revolves around the everyday dilemmas of life. For Mma Ramotswe, the right course of action is always the moral one, usually reached with much reflection and humor. Good reading, sound reasoning, cheerful and faithful friends, and descriptions of the much-loved landscape of Botswana make this an appealing novel.-Sheila Janega, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'A rare pleasure' Daily Telegraph * 'Forget the library - the body is in the mud hut. An African Miss Marple created by a Scottish lawyer ... superb' Sunday Times * 'There is something almost divinely appealing about the way Alexander McCall Smith writes about daily life in Botswana...it is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging... I find it impossible to think about [his novels] without smiling' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

In this sixth entry in McCall Smith's consistently delightful series, Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built-and newly married-owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is saddled with a surfeit of challenging cases and personal crises. There has been an intruder in her home (he managed to escape, but left a telltale pair of trousers in his wake). And the levelheaded sleuth is flustered by an encounter with a man from her past. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's husband, master mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is neck-deep in work after the resignation of one of his apprentices, who has become romantically entangled with a married woman (Mma Ramotswe and assistant detective Grace Makutsi slyly gather the scurrilous details). Scotsman McCall Smith, who was born in what is now Zimbabwe, renders colorful characters with names that trip off the tongue. Among the new arrivals: Mma Makutsi's new suitor and dance partner, Phuti Radiphuti, a stuttering furniture salesman with two left feet; and Mr. Polopetsi, a wrongfully imprisoned pharmacist Mma Ramotswe deems worthy of a second chance. As always, when troubles are brewing, nothing puts things in perspective like time spent on the verandah with a cup of bush tea. Amid the hilarious scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue skies. The prolific McCall Smith dispenses tales from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency at a rate of one per year (he's also author of a second detective series featuring Scottish-American moral philosopher Isabel Dalhousie). That's good news for loyal fans, who eagerly await new adventures with Precious Ramotswe. Agent, Robin Straus. (Apr. 19) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

The sixth entry in Smith's always delightful "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series sees the return of newly married Precious Ramotswe, with husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, his apprentices, and assistant detective Grace Makutsi in tow. The group embarks on another set of clever and amusing Botswana adventures that kick off with an intruder in Mma Ramotswe's home and proceeds to a succession of other dilemmas: Mr. Matekoni's apprentice Charliekeeps company with a mysterious older woman and quits his position, Mma Ramotswe and her assistant encounters a good-hearted man with a dark past, and Mma Makutsi reluctantly begins dance lessons with a stuttering stranger. Smith remains true to form in this clever and wonderfully written installment; the characters are deliciously human, and the multiple plots mesh together seamlessly. An essential read for series fans and mystery buffs alike, this is highly recommended for all public libraries. Smith lives in Scotland. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 12/04.]-Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., Upper Montclair, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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