Hot Best Seller

The Kalahari Typing School for Men

Availability: Ready to download

Life is never without its problems. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Find out in this, the fourth volume in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series featuring Botswana's first and only lady detective. Now that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (the only detective agency for ladies and others in Botswana) is established Life is never without its problems. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Find out in this, the fourth volume in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series featuring Botswana's first and only lady detective. Now that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (the only detective agency for ladies and others in Botswana) is established, its founder, Precious Ramotswe, can look upon her life with pride: she’s reached her late thirties ("the finest age to be"), has a house, two children, a good fiancé -- Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni -- and many satisfied customers. But life is never without its problems. It turns out that her adopted son is responsible for the dead hoopoe bird in the garden; her assistant, Mma Makutsi, wants a husband and needs help with her idea to open the Kalahari Typing School for Men; yet Mma Ramotswe’s sexist rival has no trouble opening his Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency across town. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Follow the continuing story of Botswana’s first lady detective in the irresistible The Kalahari Typing School for Men.


Compare

Life is never without its problems. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Find out in this, the fourth volume in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series featuring Botswana's first and only lady detective. Now that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (the only detective agency for ladies and others in Botswana) is established Life is never without its problems. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Find out in this, the fourth volume in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series featuring Botswana's first and only lady detective. Now that The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (the only detective agency for ladies and others in Botswana) is established, its founder, Precious Ramotswe, can look upon her life with pride: she’s reached her late thirties ("the finest age to be"), has a house, two children, a good fiancé -- Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni -- and many satisfied customers. But life is never without its problems. It turns out that her adopted son is responsible for the dead hoopoe bird in the garden; her assistant, Mma Makutsi, wants a husband and needs help with her idea to open the Kalahari Typing School for Men; yet Mma Ramotswe’s sexist rival has no trouble opening his Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency across town. Will Precious Ramotswe’s delightfully cunning and profoundly moral methods save the day? Follow the continuing story of Botswana’s first lady detective in the irresistible The Kalahari Typing School for Men.

30 review for The Kalahari Typing School for Men

  1. 3 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Alexander McCall Smith - image from famousauthors.org Guilt is the subject here. The theme is threaded throughout. The primary client of the book is a mister Molefelo, a hotelier and ostrich farmer. He had committed a crime as a youth and sought to atone for his sins. Precious helps him of course. Mma Makutsi acquires a beau, Mister Seleliping. She also attempts to begin a new business, and does, the typing school of the title. The detective agency gains competition in the form of a male-run ent Alexander McCall Smith - image from famousauthors.org Guilt is the subject here. The theme is threaded throughout. The primary client of the book is a mister Molefelo, a hotelier and ostrich farmer. He had committed a crime as a youth and sought to atone for his sins. Precious helps him of course. Mma Makutsi acquires a beau, Mister Seleliping. She also attempts to begin a new business, and does, the typing school of the title. The detective agency gains competition in the form of a male-run enterprise run by a very pompous individual. Jill Scott as Precious Ramotswe - Image from BBC This is the usual comfortable tale told in the usual manner. Smith maintains his high standard. The cast of characters has come to seem familial. We wonder at Mister Maketoni’s recovery from depression. What was it all about? Will Makatsi every have a true boyfriend? Will she become rich beyond all her dreams? Will Precious ever get married to Maketoni? Anika Noni Rose as Grace Makutsi - image from HBO If you are new to the series. I would stop, go back and read The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. It makes a difference seeing the characters develop over time. And if you can, I would definitely check out the HBO series. It is a true shame that the series was killed after only six episodes. Those shows are precious indeed..

  2. 3 out of 5

    Writerlibrarian

    Fourth installment in this amazing series. You don't read Mma Ramotswe novels for the action or even for the mysteries. You read them for the gentle rhythm of the narration, the wise philosophy of the characters. In this we rejoin Mma Ramostwe as she waits for her fiancée to set a date for their wedding after his illness. Mr Matekoni is slowly coming out of depression and finds his motor repair shop in the good hands of Mma Makutsi who shares her time between the detective agency and the auto re Fourth installment in this amazing series. You don't read Mma Ramotswe novels for the action or even for the mysteries. You read them for the gentle rhythm of the narration, the wise philosophy of the characters. In this we rejoin Mma Ramostwe as she waits for her fiancée to set a date for their wedding after his illness. Mr Matekoni is slowly coming out of depression and finds his motor repair shop in the good hands of Mma Makutsi who shares her time between the detective agency and the auto repair shop. The joy of these novels is the intimate view of how the characters live, their values, how they set goals for themselves and go after them. Mma Makutsi finds a way to get ahead and make a life for herself beyond the limits of her current situation : single, with a sick brother to take care of and very low income. Mma Ramotswe faces competition with the opening of a new detective agency run by a male detective with international experience. Everything ends well, despite some minor moral growing pains. I like the philosophy, the values McCall Smith projects thru his characters in this simple, yet very nourishing for the soul, series.

  3. 3 out of 5

    abby

    Reading a book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series is like catching up with old friends. Mma Ramotswe is still proud to be a traditionally-built woman living in the greatest country in Africa, if not the world. Her assistant, Mma Makutsi, reminds anyone who will listen that she scored a 97 at her typing school and laments that prettier girls get the best jobs. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni finally stands up to the mistress of the orphan home-- by agreeing to fix more things for free. Then there ar Reading a book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series is like catching up with old friends. Mma Ramotswe is still proud to be a traditionally-built woman living in the greatest country in Africa, if not the world. Her assistant, Mma Makutsi, reminds anyone who will listen that she scored a 97 at her typing school and laments that prettier girls get the best jobs. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni finally stands up to the mistress of the orphan home-- by agreeing to fix more things for free. Then there are the mysteries, which are almost besides the point, but of course Mma Ramotswe continues to use savvy and good judgment, showing mercy whenever applicable. The rest of the series has shown snippets of sexism in the past, with Ramotswe often "observing" that men are overgrown boys incapable of, well, everything, frankly, but McCall Smith ratchets it up a notch in this installment. Even so, I found this book an improvement over the last in the series. These books continue to be gentle, friendly, white noise for me, and I'll keep reading.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    These books drive me crazy, but instead of talking about what I don't like about them, I want to say what I do like. I keep reading them for some reason, so I think it is about time I figure out why. The first reason is that the author, clearly, has an affection for Botswana. He describes cattle in a way that makes me want to love cows. He describes a desert in way that makes me want to vacation there. The second is that I can appreciate a book that isn't in a hurry, I read a lot of action/adventu These books drive me crazy, but instead of talking about what I don't like about them, I want to say what I do like. I keep reading them for some reason, so I think it is about time I figure out why. The first reason is that the author, clearly, has an affection for Botswana. He describes cattle in a way that makes me want to love cows. He describes a desert in way that makes me want to vacation there. The second is that I can appreciate a book that isn't in a hurry, I read a lot of action/adventure books, so I like the way this book takes its time and concentrates on human interaction, but still respects the fact that there is a plot to developed. There are many books in this series, so I'll discuss what I don't like, next time.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Srividya

    Africa is a continent that is somehow really close to my heart. This is largely because I have had several friends from the continent, coming from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria to name a few. One of my closest friends after marriage is from Liberia. Added to this fact, is that my husband makes regular visits to the continent during the course of his work and comes home with some splendid tales about living in that continent. Botswana was a mystery for me, despite the fact that I have a cousin living Africa is a continent that is somehow really close to my heart. This is largely because I have had several friends from the continent, coming from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria to name a few. One of my closest friends after marriage is from Liberia. Added to this fact, is that my husband makes regular visits to the continent during the course of his work and comes home with some splendid tales about living in that continent. Botswana was a mystery for me, despite the fact that I have a cousin living there and who has lived there since a very long time. With this series, however, I was introduced to this wonderful country and its people and culture. For that alone this, would deserve high praise, but when you add to it a lovely story that is part cozy mystery and part cultural treatise; it definitely becomes a personal favourite, one that stays with me even after I finish reading it. Long are the echoes of Mma Ramotswe and her nuggets of wisdom regarding people in general and Botswanan culture in particular. This is the fourth book in this series and, like the other three, it opens with Mma Ramotswe talking about certain issues that bother her. In this case, she is firstly worried about Mma Makutsi, who is losing her self confidence as she is still unmarried. Additionally, her adopted son is also causing problems, especially behavioural, which she cannot understand and therefore solve. Mma Ramotswe has no experience in raising children, so it is natural that she feels uncertain about raising her adoptive kids. Also there is a new detective agency that has opened in her town, which means that she needs to deal with competition. Mma Makutsi, on the other hand, is also worried about her finances and chances of a secure earning, which leads her to think of different options to earn money; one such idea is the Kalahari Typing School for Men. Amidst these two issues, Mma Ramotswe receives two potential cases, both quite different from the other and yet both extremely of a personal nature. While these issues might not seem like much and pretty mundane at that, what makes the book beautiful is the way in which the author has blended African and especially Botswanan culture and small niceties in this book. While reading this book, or for that matter any book in this series, I have a slight smile on my face; one that depicts my happiness at reading such a beautiful prose. Africa and its culture comes to life under the gentle touch of the author and this is extremely difficult, especially when you are writing a cozy mystery. Mma Ramotswe’s talent at getting the best out of people, the African need to know about everyone in their home town and their allusions to the older and more sedate Botswana, all remind me of how things work in India. Indian villages are quite similar in their approach and ability to interact with this African country. The need to exhibit respect for elders, the proper way of interaction, the casual and gentle nudging out of local gossip, all make me feel as if I were reading about an Indian village and this makes the book extra special to me. In short, this was an enjoyable read and I am already looking forward to reading the next in the series. If you haven’t read this one, I suggest that you begin with book 1. Don’t expect great mystery solving abilities, instead look at it as a beautiful river that flows gently and waters the areas that it passes; a river that enriches your knowledge about Botswana and African culture in general.

  6. 4 out of 5

    James

    A delightfully gentle series of books by Alexander McCall Smith - set in and around Botswana's capital city of Gaborone and stories of the 'No.1 Ladies Detective Agency'. McCall Smith has created a lovely world of mainly (very) amateurish sleuthing - which whilst ostensibly the theme which is central to these books, is ultimately almost incidental. The main draw here is the cast of well drawn, well written, very memorable and on the whole very endearing (if occasionally frustrating) characters - A delightfully gentle series of books by Alexander McCall Smith - set in and around Botswana's capital city of Gaborone and stories of the 'No.1 Ladies Detective Agency'. McCall Smith has created a lovely world of mainly (very) amateurish sleuthing - which whilst ostensibly the theme which is central to these books, is ultimately almost incidental. The main draw here is the cast of well drawn, well written, very memorable and on the whole very endearing (if occasionally frustrating) characters - Precious Ramostwe, Grace Makutsi, J.L.B. Matekoni et al and the interplay of their lives - the detective work and cases here become increasingly an incidental backdrop. The 'No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' stories and characters certainly have an air of authenticity and believability (although obviously contrived and significantly exaggerated for comic effect) and interestingly McCall Smith did spend some time living and working in Botswana. The first few books in the series are undoubtedly the strongest, funniest, most entertaining and compelling. Whilst later installments are all good - they do feel like somewhat of retread of ideas that McCall has spun out perhaps beyond their natural course. Whilst serious themes are alluded to - feminism, AIDS and domestic violence; there is little here that is particularly thought provoking or challenging - but then that's not the point here. For anyone wanting a series of light, likeable, entertaining, funny, absorbing, well written and compelling amateur detective books - with a difference, then the 'No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' books are a must. Good stories, simple truths - people doing the right thing. Ultimately these stories are all about kindness, forgiveness, restitution and resolution. Which in itself is surely a good enough reason to read at least some of this lovely series of books?

  7. 3 out of 5

    Hilary

    Another lovely slice of Botswana, served as always with Mma Ramotswe's wisdom and philosophy. In this book we see Mma Makutsi come into her own with her new business venture and rise unscathed from a (view spoiler)[ romance with a man whom she didn't know was married but was being investigated by Mma Ramotswe on suspicion of cheating, under instruction from his wife. (awkward situation) Luckily Mma Makutsi is saved from this knowledge by her friends thoughtfulness and the cheating husband leaves Another lovely slice of Botswana, served as always with Mma Ramotswe's wisdom and philosophy. In this book we see Mma Makutsi come into her own with her new business venture and rise unscathed from a (view spoiler)[ romance with a man whom she didn't know was married but was being investigated by Mma Ramotswe on suspicion of cheating, under instruction from his wife. (awkward situation) Luckily Mma Makutsi is saved from this knowledge by her friends thoughtfulness and the cheating husband leaves with a vague excuse and present of a necklace (hide spoiler)] A man feels bad about his behaviour in the past and enlists Mma Ramotswe to help him find those on the receiving end so he can make amends. A rival detective agency sets up shop nearby and makes some sexist comments in his advertising about entrusting an investigation to a man! Hackles rise, quite understandably. There is some lovely humour in these parts (view spoiler)[ but he doesn't have the stamina or intelligence of our favourite ladies so soon Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are rid of the competition. (hide spoiler)] This copy has a lovely picture of Alexandra McCall Smith inside the front cover. He is in his library, leaning on a tuba-Lovely!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Just as with all the other books in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series, this one evokes a clear sense of place and characters. Simply put, it makes me want to be in Botswana right now. One of the things I like best about Alexander McCall Smith's writing is the way he develops his characters through their lives and actions and not much in the way of a narrator's analysis. The author seems to feel a great deal of affection for his characters even when they make unwise choices. These books ar Just as with all the other books in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series, this one evokes a clear sense of place and characters. Simply put, it makes me want to be in Botswana right now. One of the things I like best about Alexander McCall Smith's writing is the way he develops his characters through their lives and actions and not much in the way of a narrator's analysis. The author seems to feel a great deal of affection for his characters even when they make unwise choices. These books are fresh, unpredictable, and plain ol' addictive. I actually read this one but have listened to the previous ones in the series on audio CD. I'd recommend listening to at least one title in this series to hear the cadence of the names and places.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    ****Second read**** 4.25 stars. This is a wonderful series I thoroughly enjoy reading. AMS's humor is all over these books, and I'm always chuckling as I'm reading or listening. These characters are real, and for the most part, they are kind people. The community sticks together and helps each other. It's just what you do, and not even thought of as being especially anything other than human to do for others. This is a series to read when you want to have faith in humankind, when you want to smil ****Second read**** 4.25 stars. This is a wonderful series I thoroughly enjoy reading. AMS's humor is all over these books, and I'm always chuckling as I'm reading or listening. These characters are real, and for the most part, they are kind people. The community sticks together and helps each other. It's just what you do, and not even thought of as being especially anything other than human to do for others. This is a series to read when you want to have faith in humankind, when you want to smile, when you want to read about a simpler place and time. Mma Ramotswe is just priceless; we all need to have a Mma Ramotswe or two in our lives. I want to once again thank Mr. Alexander McCall Smith for sharing his wisdom, sense of humor, kindness and humanity, as well as his love for Botswana with the world. The world is a better place because of this man and his novels. Thank you, sir. ****First read review**** 4.5 stars. I love this series so much. In my opinion, it's the best series currently being written. Nothing earthshaking going on, but it's about people who try to do the best they can all the time to help one another. And it can be pretty funny too. And not at all crude or off-color, but not sickening sweet either. I just love it! I can see why it's internationally loved.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    The story of _Kalahari Typing School for Men_ was much like its immediate predecessor, _Morality for Beautiful Girls_. The novel focuses a great amount on the development of some characters, and leaves others "out to dry", and ultimately strays away from the things that made books 1 and 2 of the series so good: the cases, the interactions, and the values of the Botswana people. That is not to say that this book does not have any detective cases, but I find the novels have shifted from their orig The story of _Kalahari Typing School for Men_ was much like its immediate predecessor, _Morality for Beautiful Girls_. The novel focuses a great amount on the development of some characters, and leaves others "out to dry", and ultimately strays away from the things that made books 1 and 2 of the series so good: the cases, the interactions, and the values of the Botswana people. That is not to say that this book does not have any detective cases, but I find the novels have shifted from their original focus. However, one thing that I did like about this book is the increased role and development of Mma Makutsi. She is a great characters, and until book 3, Mma Makutsi existed in the shadows. I look forward to seeing her develop more in the next books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Yay for this series! I'm glad there are so many. It actually inspired me to read more about Botswana. Here is a nugget from this book: "People's lives were delicate; you cannot interfere with them without running the risk of changing them profoundly. A chance remark, a careless involvement, may make the difference between a life of happiness and one of sorrow." pg 164

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    My colleague and I have recently groused together that a certain novelist who writes a certain set of trashy novels to which we are both addicted, is such a poor writer that even though the novels are set in Lousiana, when we read the dialogue what we hear in our minds' ears are the voices of people just like us who live in the Pacific Northwest. And upon reading these admittedly addicting trashy novels, I have no reason to picture the heat and damp and mosquitos with which I know Louisiana must My colleague and I have recently groused together that a certain novelist who writes a certain set of trashy novels to which we are both addicted, is such a poor writer that even though the novels are set in Lousiana, when we read the dialogue what we hear in our minds' ears are the voices of people just like us who live in the Pacific Northwest. And upon reading these admittedly addicting trashy novels, I have no reason to picture the heat and damp and mosquitos with which I know Louisiana must be afflicted, because the author does nothing to help me imagine the setting. Nothing can be further from the writing of Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, of which The Kalahari Typing School for Men is the first book I've read. When I read the words on Mr. Smith's pages, I hear the measured lilt of a Botswana accent, and his characters have such rich inner lives that I am able to nod with satisfaction that each is behaving according to his own character. Mr. Smith's writing is beautiful and wonderfully evocative; I can imagine the garage, the house, the bush, the little white van, the cattle with their beautiful eyes, and the field with its endless sky. The pace of his story was slow, as measured and lilting as a Botswana voice must surely be, and the story's arc was satisfying. I will read more books in this series.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Robin

    I just can't seem to get enough of this series. I find it soothing, but not boring. I love the setting and learning more about Botswana. But mostly I love the lifestyle of the main character. I love her simplicity. I love that they live in a non-materialistic world so that the focus is truly on important things. I love the kindness she shows to everyone. I love the directness and honesty of almost all the characters. I love the way they greet each other as family and welcome new people into their I just can't seem to get enough of this series. I find it soothing, but not boring. I love the setting and learning more about Botswana. But mostly I love the lifestyle of the main character. I love her simplicity. I love that they live in a non-materialistic world so that the focus is truly on important things. I love the kindness she shows to everyone. I love the directness and honesty of almost all the characters. I love the way they greet each other as family and welcome new people into their lives. I love their acceptance of each other and their forgiveness. I love the way she follows her intuition and logic together. I love the way she stays true to the old ways, the respectful ways. They are just a nice, comfortable read. And the ability of the author to maintain quality book after book is impressive. I love spending time with his characters.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Moshe Mikanovsky

    Still charming though not enough investigating, which was missing for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ivz Andonova

    Думела*, братя и сестри! Стигнах до петата част за Дамската детективска агенция №1 на Алегзандър Маккол Смит и искам да кажа, че освен, че вече съм ужасно нетърпелива кога най-накрая господин Дж. Л. Б. Матекони ще се ожени за маа Прешъс Рамотсве (която се гордее с традиционното си телосложение, живееща в най-великата страна в Африка, ако не и в целия свят), държа да благодаря на Цветанка Севдина, че ми препоръча този автор (е, тръгнах от други книги, но ще стигна и до португалските неправилни гла Думела*, братя и сестри! Стигнах до петата част за Дамската детективска агенция №1 на Алегзандър Маккол Смит и искам да кажа, че освен, че вече съм ужасно нетърпелива кога най-накрая господин Дж. Л. Б. Матекони ще се ожени за маа Прешъс Рамотсве (която се гордее с традиционното си телосложение, живееща в най-великата страна в Африка, ако не и в целия свят), държа да благодаря на Цветанка Севдина, че ми препоръча този автор (е, тръгнах от други книги, но ще стигна и до португалските неправилни глаголи и особеностите на саламовидните кучета в компанията на Фон Игелфелд, неминуемо е). За съжаление в третата част сватбата се отложи, защото господин Дж. Л. Б. Матекони изпадна в депресия, а маа Рамотсве хвана важен клиент от правителството, но пък маа Макутси получи личния си триумф като пое ръководството над "Тлоквенг роуд спийди моторс" и разреши случай за много пари. Разбира се, аз не чета тази поредица заради действието или загадките. Чета ги заради нежния ритъм на разказа и заради мъдрата съзерцателност на героите- радостта от тези книги е интимната гледна точка над това как живеят, техните ценности, как си поставят цели и ги следват. Маа Макутси намери начин да да се развива и да си изкара живота отвъд границите на настоящата си ситуация: неомъжена, с болен брат, за който да се грижи, живееща в една стая без слънце и с много ниски доходи, като откри школата по машинопис за мъже "Калахари", например. Лежерното темпо на разказа, опростения (почти детски) език и мъдрите съвети на добросърдечната маа Рамотсве успяват да дадат усещане на спокойствие и оптимизъм. А Алегзандър Маккол Смит е майстор във взаимодействието на развитието на историята с вътрешния диалог, в изграждането на истории, изпълнени с хумор, с красотата на Африка и с чувство за качеството на простия и семпъл живот. Ако преминавате през тежък период, едно посещение на верандата на Прешъс Рамотсве за малко философстване над живота, пиейки ройбос, докато гледате необятното небе над Ботсуана, определено ще ви ободри. Тези книги трябва да се прочетат, за да се преживеят. Коментарите за тях няма да са достатъчни, за да се предаде цялостното удоволствие от тях и за това спирам до тук. Любим цитат (от "Морал за красиви момичета"): "Така или иначе, тя беше дама с традиционно телосложение и нямаше нужда да се тревожи за размера дрехи, който носи, като онези нещастни, невротизирани хора, които вечно се гледат в огледалото и мислят, че са твърде дебели. А и какво значи „твърде дебел“? Кой има право да казва на другия какъв размер дрехи да носи? Това беше форма на тирания от страна на слабите, но тя нямаше намерение да я приема. Ако тези слаби хора станеха още по-настоятелни, щеше да се наложи по-щедро надарените хора направо да им натрият носа. Да, щяха да ги научат те! Ама-ха!" ___________________ *Добър ден (сетсуана)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I'm not entirely sure, but I think Alexander McCall Smith made a sort of cameo in this book! Mma Ramotswe is looking at some photographs with a friend, and she sees a man in one of them, smiling, and asks who it is. Her friend says he is a nice man who stays with them sometimes, and writes books. "You would like him." "I'm sure I would." I giggled: I'm sure this is the author referencing himself! But anyway: another delightful novel about Mma Ramotswe, her detective agency, and her friends. What I'm not entirely sure, but I think Alexander McCall Smith made a sort of cameo in this book! Mma Ramotswe is looking at some photographs with a friend, and she sees a man in one of them, smiling, and asks who it is. Her friend says he is a nice man who stays with them sometimes, and writes books. "You would like him." "I'm sure I would." I giggled: I'm sure this is the author referencing himself! But anyway: another delightful novel about Mma Ramotswe, her detective agency, and her friends. What I love about these books is that it isn't just some long murder mystery, it's a series of smaller mysteries, human mysteries: can you find this person for me, do you know where my husband is going at night? It's more real and more human. There is also the day-to-day drama of their lives: Mma Ramotswe, her fiance, the foster children, their friends. In this particular book, Mma Makutsi starts a typing school for men, and falls for one of her students, while Mma Ramotswe is busy on a most delicate case indeed. These books have a slow and dreamy quality, but they are quality, and the writin is beautiful and joyous to read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Young

    This series is my current comfort-read. A lovely world to escape into for late-night reading, beautifully written, sensitively told. Really life-enhancing. Wonderful.

  18. 3 out of 5

    Blaine DeSantis

    Another solid effort in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series, as these books continue to delve into its characters and manages to use this as a way to have them involved in the new cases. While the books are very delightful and easy to read, I feel that the author needs to get these ladies involved in much more serious and complicated cases. So far, most of the cases are cute and involve a lot of moral detecting, but the time has come for Mma. Ramotswe and Mma. Makutsi to get into some meatier case Another solid effort in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series, as these books continue to delve into its characters and manages to use this as a way to have them involved in the new cases. While the books are very delightful and easy to read, I feel that the author needs to get these ladies involved in much more serious and complicated cases. So far, most of the cases are cute and involve a lot of moral detecting, but the time has come for Mma. Ramotswe and Mma. Makutsi to get into some meatier cases, especially since Book 4 introduced a new Detective Agency to the town. We also saw the first sparks of love for Mma. Makusti even though it was short-lived, as she also branches out by opening the Mens Typing School. Mma. Makutsi is a great character and almost a more enjoyable one then the lead character Mms Ramotswe. You do not want to miss the one part where they all go to church to support their one apprentice - it is hilarious and is the funniest thing that has been written to date in this series. It is obvious that the author loved Botswana and has transferred that love onto his main character Mma. Ramotswe. And as in all the prior books, by the end all the cases and moral dilemmas are resolved by the end of the book and we are left with only one question? When will Mma. Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni going to be married??? That is the biggest unsolved mystery that has yet to be finalized!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    More slow charm and gentle truth seeking from our friends at the #1 Ladies Detective Agency, who now have a competitor in the form of the Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency (“Don’t take any chances! Entrust your inquiries to a MAN!”). A ten year old could see the competition isn’t going to be that stiff, but the lack of subtlety is one of the most delightful qualities of these books, partly because it reminds me that most people really aren’t that adept at hiding unpleasant traits, and par More slow charm and gentle truth seeking from our friends at the #1 Ladies Detective Agency, who now have a competitor in the form of the Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency (“Don’t take any chances! Entrust your inquiries to a MAN!”). A ten year old could see the competition isn’t going to be that stiff, but the lack of subtlety is one of the most delightful qualities of these books, partly because it reminds me that most people really aren’t that adept at hiding unpleasant traits, and partly because it gives Mma Ramatswe material for her commentaries on men. This one has a couple of bittersweet storylines that pulled at my sympathies — the trusty assistant Mma Makutsi starts her own business and becomes involved in a bit of an intrigue, and Mma Ramatswe has a client who needs help rectifying a past sin. Mma Ramatswe doesn’t have murders to solve, but she does have to deal with other crimes and failings that must be put right, and this she does with compassion and principles.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Still loving the series!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Netta

    ספר מעולה, משעשע וזורם. הפילוסופיה המעניינת של מא ראמווצאה, התרבות האפריקאית היפהפיה שלה והכתיבה השנונה של אלכסנדר מקקול סמית הופכים את הספר הזה לממתק אמיתי. מומלץ בחום.

  22. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    The Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency has opened across town, and it is drawing attention. The brusk owner Cephas Buthelezi, who claims to be ex-CID, is polite to Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency when she comes to visit her new competition, but he is rude to Mma Makutsi, her partner and assistant manager. It is worrisome that a man of such credentials has opened a detective business in the small town in Botswana, a country of 2 million people. Ramotswe is not The Satisfaction Guaranteed Detective Agency has opened across town, and it is drawing attention. The brusk owner Cephas Buthelezi, who claims to be ex-CID, is polite to Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency when she comes to visit her new competition, but he is rude to Mma Makutsi, her partner and assistant manager. It is worrisome that a man of such credentials has opened a detective business in the small town in Botswana, a country of 2 million people. Ramotswe is not really earning enough to stay in business, but she and Makutsi have already helped so many people, earning trust and good will. With the agreement of her fiancé, Mr. J. L. B. Matekobi, proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, she maintains a very clean and inviting office in the back of Matekobi's garage and keeps her doors open with enough clients that there is much mutual advantage for all. However, there is not enough cash being earned. Perhaps she should push Matekobi to get married at last? Her two foster children are a worry as well, especially Puso, the boy. He killed a hoopoe with a stone, and he is unaccountably sullen and angry. Could it be something at school? She makes a note to herself to visit with the orphanage and Mma Potokwani and get advice. Mma Makutsi has started a third job for herself. Besides being Mma Ramotswe's assistant and also Matekobi's assistant in the garage, she opens a typing school for men. It is going very well, and one of the men has taken a personal interest in her! The problem is Mma Ramotswe has learned from one of her clients that the gentleman is hiding a very important fact about his availability for marriage - he has a wife. The problems seem without solutions unless Mma Ramotswe can find a way for everyone to save face with minimum harm - it is unthinkable to her to cause unnecessary pain. Everyone has sins on their conscience - but she knows the confession of sin is not what saves the day, but it is in the fixing of the damage that makes it right.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Patty Fitzgerald

    My bookclub discovered The Number One Ladies Detective Agency in 2005, and we just loved it. A couple summers ago, I began a tradition of reading one book in the series during my annual beach vacation. This one is the fourth book, and I think it's the best since the original. The author is masterful at conveying a sense of charm without allow it to feel "precious" (no pun intended with regard to the lead character). I have never been to Botswana, but there is something about both the narrative a My bookclub discovered The Number One Ladies Detective Agency in 2005, and we just loved it. A couple summers ago, I began a tradition of reading one book in the series during my annual beach vacation. This one is the fourth book, and I think it's the best since the original. The author is masterful at conveying a sense of charm without allow it to feel "precious" (no pun intended with regard to the lead character). I have never been to Botswana, but there is something about both the narrative and dialgoe that I am utterly convinced that it's an authentic treatment. The books feel light and airy when it comes to the "action," and yet have a depth and subtlety that is easy to overlook but feeds the literary soul. This one even had a "twist" that completely caught me off-guard and had me turning the pages with anxiety as to how things would turn out for the characters. If you haven't yet, give this series a try--and check out the HBO series, which is wonderful and completely faithful to the books (available on Netflix).

  24. 3 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    After reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency a couple of years ago, I accumulated a few of these, and went through 6 in less than a month. They're very quick reads - I read 2 and part-of-a-third in one day. They're very entertaining, charming, and compulsively readable. Although marketed as mysteries; they're not, really. Rather they follow Mma Ramotswe and those around her through their daily lives - it's almost besides-the-point that the business she runs is a detective agency. The stories a After reading the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency a couple of years ago, I accumulated a few of these, and went through 6 in less than a month. They're very quick reads - I read 2 and part-of-a-third in one day. They're very entertaining, charming, and compulsively readable. Although marketed as mysteries; they're not, really. Rather they follow Mma Ramotswe and those around her through their daily lives - it's almost besides-the-point that the business she runs is a detective agency. The stories are suffused with McCall-Smith's obvious sincere love of Africa (where he grew up), and the reader feels that a genuine window has opened up into the lives and mindsets of ordinary Africans. I don't agree with many aspects of Precious Ramotswe's view on the world, and I probably wouldn't get along with her in real life - but these books made me feel like I might understand people like her more than before. However... there's also a weird aspect to the books. They're so relentlessly cozy. It's not that McCall-Smith ignores the poverty, the devastation of AIDS, the lack of education, etc... these things are acknowledged, but then almost swept to the side. On the one hand, it's a celebration of the spirit of the people of Botswana and their love of their homeland... but on the other hand, it sometimes feels like a minimization of these things. It's not just larger social issues: there's domestic abuse, adultery, etc... all the normal foibles of humanity (although all reference to sex of any kind are totally non-existent)- but all the unpleasant things somehow get almost drowned out in the cozy, feel-good atmosphere of the books. Maybe it's just that I usually read darker, grittier material [especially in mysteries {McCall-Smith is no Stieg Larsson!}] but it felt a bit strange to me. I can't decide if it's a detriment or a positive asset to the books. In 'The Kalahari Typing School for Men,' Mma Makutsi opens her own side business - teching typing to men who might find office skills useful, but might be embarrased to go to a secretarial class poopulated by women. She also has a hope of meeting a nice man... Meanwhile, one of Mr. JLB Maketoni's lazy apprentices has a religious conversion, the orphaned foster children deal with emotional issues, and the detective agency has to deal with a new problem - competion from a rival business. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe handles the case of how to deal with a man who is guilty over having treated his first girlfriend poorly, many years ago.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Matt

    These are pretty much perfect airplane books. Easy to read, well-crafted, home-spun and nostalgic. Mma Ramotswe is everyone's mother figure, a "traditionally-built" Miss Marple. The African dialogue and setting also offers a touch of the exotic, with Botswana playing a role as a country of "integrity and generosity in both the simple and the big things". Alexander McCall Smith is a master at interweaving plot development with inner monologue. These books are not your standard detective novels. Th These are pretty much perfect airplane books. Easy to read, well-crafted, home-spun and nostalgic. Mma Ramotswe is everyone's mother figure, a "traditionally-built" Miss Marple. The African dialogue and setting also offers a touch of the exotic, with Botswana playing a role as a country of "integrity and generosity in both the simple and the big things". Alexander McCall Smith is a master at interweaving plot development with inner monologue. These books are not your standard detective novels. They rarely turn on revelatory plot twists. Fundamentally, the simple stories are more about character development and promoting a simple morality. "In spite of everything, in spite of all the change, with all the confusion and uncertainty which it brought; in spite of the casual disregard with which people were increasingly treating one another these days, there were people who spoke to others with the proper courtesy, who treated others, whom they did not know, in the way which was proper according to the standards of the old Botswana morality. And whenever that happened, whenever one encountered such behaviour, one was reminded that all was by no means lost." Escapism at its finest.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christiana Hadji

    Πολλοί χαρακτηρίζουν τα βιβλία της σειράς αυτής ως chicken soup for the soul, ή βάλσαμο για τη ψυχή, κι έχουν απόλυτο δίκιο. Οι χαλαροί, νωθροί ρυθμοί της αφήγησης, η απλοϊκή (σχεδόν παιδική) γλώσσα κι οι σοφές συμβουλές της καλόκαρδης κυρίας Ραμότσουε πάντα καταφέρνουν να μου μεταδώσουν μια αίσθηση ηρεμίας κι αισιοδοξίας. Αν περνάτε δύσκολες ώρες, μια επίσκεψη στην βεράντα της Πρέσιους Ραμότσουε για να φιλοσοφήσετε τη ζωή πίνοντας τσάι από βότανα της ερήμου κι αγναντεύοντας τον ουρανό της Μποτσ Πολλοί χαρακτηρίζουν τα βιβλία της σειράς αυτής ως chicken soup for the soul, ή βάλσαμο για τη ψυχή, κι έχουν απόλυτο δίκιο. Οι χαλαροί, νωθροί ρυθμοί της αφήγησης, η απλοϊκή (σχεδόν παιδική) γλώσσα κι οι σοφές συμβουλές της καλόκαρδης κυρίας Ραμότσουε πάντα καταφέρνουν να μου μεταδώσουν μια αίσθηση ηρεμίας κι αισιοδοξίας. Αν περνάτε δύσκολες ώρες, μια επίσκεψη στην βεράντα της Πρέσιους Ραμότσουε για να φιλοσοφήσετε τη ζωή πίνοντας τσάι από βότανα της ερήμου κι αγναντεύοντας τον ουρανό της Μποτσουάνα, σίγουρα θα σας φτιάξει τη διάθεση.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sidney Prescott

    This was my first time reading an Alexander McCall Smith novel, on recommendation from my persistent mother. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. He is a champion at writing women, honestly, all the women in this novel were astounding and I loved them all so much. A wonderful little cute story with interesting characters, a very simple and easy but enjoyable read. I will definitely pursue more of his novels.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cathleen

    I'm really stretching the 3 stars here. This book #4 just didn't sit right with me. The charm and cozy feeling was not there. There were several stories going on and they were all really tough subject matters. And Mma Ramotswe seemed to have become quite the man-hater, well except for her fiance. 2.5 stars

  29. 3 out of 5

    Hannah

    This is a soothing, gentle read, like a nice cup of tea. The characters are endearing, and the setting of Botswana is charming. Wisdom and humor abound. The author's writing style just lulls me. If you want to relax, this is the book for you.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Thomas Strömquist

    The assignments for the detective agency and the side stories takes on even more serious subject matters in the fourth book in the series. This is not a bad thing and the narrative is still a treat; thoughtful, humorous and engaging.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.