The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency : The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

  • by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by Lisette Lecat
  • Series: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
  • 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This remarkably fresh and charming best seller took the world by storm upon its publication. It has since earned two Booker Judges' Special Recommendations and was voted one of the "International Books of the Year and the Millennium" by the Times Literary Supplement.Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country. At first, cases are hard to come by. But eventually, troubled people come to Precious with a variety of concerns. Potentially philandering husbands, seemingly schizophrenic doctors, and a missing boy who may have been killed by witch doctors all compel Precious to roam about in her tiny van, searching for clues.Chosen as a Top Ten Mystery by the Organization of Independent Booksellers, U.S.A., The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is that rare novel that imparts a sage wisdom while inspiring hearty laughter and lasting smiles.


What the Critics Say

Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Paperback, 2003
Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner, Best First Novel by an American Author, 1998
"One of the most entrancing literary treats of many a year...A tapestry of extraordinary nuance and richness." (Wall Street Journal)
"An artful, pleasing novel...General audiences will welcome this little gem of a book just as much if not more than mystery readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"Smart and sassy...Precious' progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once." (Los Angeles Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Transcends its Genre

Sometimes a book that supposedly inhabits a certain genre breaks away and becomes literature. That is true of this book, which unveils an entire universe practically unknown to most of its readers: Botswana and Africa. This is a horizon-widening book, and to call it detective fiction is like referring similarly to Crime and Punishment. When describing it, one is tempted to describe it as hilarious, and it certainly has many hilarious aspects, but it also has moments of sadness and empathy, sometimes with the perpetrator of a crime. The love of Africa is another element that shines forth. The narrator seemed to me to be the Merryl Streep of naration, rendering accents with a musical, dead-on, laconic precision compared to the way I thought they should sound. I don't have time to finish this review, unfortunately -- I'm busy listening to The Tears of the Giraffe, the next in the series...
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- Gene

This book made my life better

I do not usually go for detective stories, however, as someone already mentioned, this is more of a cultural exploration, introducing an idealistic side of Africa that is not generally portrayed in the US. The narration is genious - I could happily listen to Lisette Lecat for the rest of my life. The story is relentlessly cheerful without being sappy, and is deceptively complex while feeling soooo easy and pleasurable. I am easily swayed by emotional affect in stories, and this one could cure any existential crisis...
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- Lisa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-21-2003
  • Publisher: Recorded Books