The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #9)

( 72 )

Overview

Alexander McCall Smith's internationally best-selling, award-winning No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series continues in this captivating novel. It's business as usual for Botswana's only female detective, as Precious Ramotswe applies her characteristic wit to a set of perplexing difficulties.

Precious' latest case involves helping a woman find her family. But there are extenuating circumstances. Namely, the woman doesn't know her real name, and she's not even sure any of her ...

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Overview

Alexander McCall Smith's internationally best-selling, award-winning No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series continues in this captivating novel. It's business as usual for Botswana's only female detective, as Precious Ramotswe applies her characteristic wit to a set of perplexing difficulties.

Precious' latest case involves helping a woman find her family. But there are extenuating circumstances. Namely, the woman doesn't know her real name, and she's not even sure any of her family members are still living. Meanwhile, as Precious' husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni frets over his ailing daughter, his attention is captured by a doctor promising miracles. And when Mma Makutsi receives a new bed from Phuti Radiphuti, the result is unexpected sleepless nights. Fueled by steaming mugs of bush tea, Precious and company tackle their concerns with irrepressible logic and unwavering determination. As she has done with the whole series—available in its entirety from Recorded Books—African...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Not even several cups of bush tea can calm things down in this No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel. Mma Ramotswe's latest case brings her to a Botswana game preserve where an elderly American tourist has met his untimely demise. (Are any demises timely?) Meanwhile, back at home at the agency, Mma Makutsi has insisted on the creation of Complaint Half Hour to air grievances, especially her own. And the estimable J.L.B. Matekoni has just informed his detective wife that he plans to mortgage the garage. Can our mild-mannered, philosophical sleuth bring peace on all fronts? Settle down with a fragrant steeping beverage and find out.
Marilyn Stasio
Before this touching case is solved—with the twist of folk humor that makes the whole series irresistible—there will indeed be miracles.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Lisette Lecat is the ideal reader for Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. A native of South Africa (which borders Botswana and shares Setswana language roots), Lecat's perfect accents and delightful characterizations are charming and entirely believable. Smith's detective plots are always secondary to the common sense and often witty psychological and philosophical discussions and internal musings that constitute the better part of the book, but Lecat manages to keep listeners engaged and focused throughout, and to feel comfortable in the Botswanan landscape. Teaching law at Botswana University, Smith obviously developed great admiration and love for the nation and its people, and it is this that makes his detective ladies so popular. Lecat's reading will delight both veteran and new fans of the series. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 25). (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

This ninth "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" novel is one of the strongest entries in a consistently strong series. Like its predecessors, it is a gentle, warmhearted mix of loosely interwoven narrative threads that reaffirm Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe's philosophy of serving others. The book also offers enough intrigue, mystery, and uncertainty to keep listeners guessing-particularly about what the title's "miracle" will be. The answer is at once surprising and wholly believable. As always, South African reader Lisette Lecat brings a perfect accent and intonation to her narration, making Smith's books a treat to hear. With a new BBC miniseries adapted from the novels coming to HBO, American interest in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency should soon be greater than ever. Strongly recommended for general collections.
—Kent Rasmussen

Kirkus Reviews
Mma Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's foremost detective, witnesses a miracle, though not the one she was hoping for. In their deceptively quiet way, things are bustling at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Mma Manka Sebina, an adopted woman from the village of Ootse who does not know her blood relatives, begs Mma Ramotswe: "Please find me a birthday, and find me some people." Mma Grace Makutsi, the formidable assistant who clearly has her heart set on becoming the No. 1 Agency's Chief Detective, arranges with her fiance Phuti Radiphuti, owner of the Double Comfort Furniture Shop, to have a connubial bed-and what a bed!-delivered to her house. Mma Ramotswe's husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, is excited to hear Dr. Mwata suggest that, against all earlier medical opinion, he may be able to help the couple's foster daughter Motholeli to walk again. Although Motholeli has always accepted with rare grace the spinal injury that has kept her in a wheelchair, she can't keep herself from hoping too. The only cloud on the horizon is a series of spiteful anonymous letters in which Mma Ramotswe is warned: "Fat lady, you watch out!"If there are fewer funny moments than in Mma Ramotswe's previous cases (Good Husband of Zebra Drive, 2007, etc.), there's a deepening gravity and sweetness you won't find anywhere else in the genre.
From the Publisher
“Utterly charming and compulsively readable.” –Newsweek

“Before this touching case is solved–with the twist of folk humor that makes the whole series irresistible – there will indeed be miracles.” –The New York Times

“Whether you’re making your first visit to McCall Smith’s fictional Botswana or your ninth, it’s an irresistible destination.” –The Scotsman

“Gentle and engaging, the Mma Ramotswe stories have captivated millions.” – The Western Morning News (UK)

“Fluent and gracious . . . charmingly conveys the practical wisdom of much of African life.” –The Daily Telegraph

The Miracle at Speedy Motors [has] a deepening gravity and sweetness you won’t find anywhere else in the genre.” –Kirkus Reviews

“The ninth installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, featuring ‘traditionally built’ Botswana sleuth Mma Precious Ramotswe is as quietly enjoyable as the first. . . . the pleasure of these sweet books lies in the clarity and gravity with which the characters reason through everyday dilemmas.” –Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616880309
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Series: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series , #9
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith
Law professor Alexander McCall Smith had already written more than 50 books before inventing the heroine for his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: Precious Ramotswe, the only female P.I. in Botswana. The books are as unconventional as their good-humored heroine, who relies on common sense -- and a few tidbits gleaned from Agatha Christie -- to solve her cases.

Biography

Alexander McCall Smith was born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and went to school in Bulawayo, near the Botswana border. Although he moved to Scotland to attend college and eventually settled in Edinburgh, he always felt drawn to southern Africa and taught law for a while at the University of Botswana. He has written a book on the criminal law of Botswana, and among his successful children's books is a collection of African folk tales, Children of Wax.

Eventually, Smith had an urge to write a novel about a woman who would embody the qualities he admired in the people of Botswana, and the result, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, was a surprise hit, receiving two special Booker citations and a place on the Times Literary Supplement's International Books of the Year and the Millennium list. "The author's prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision," Anthony Daniels wrote in the Sunday Telegraph. "His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswanan landscape. This is art that conceals art. I haven't read anything with such unalloyed pleasure for a long time."

Despite the book's success in the U.K., American publishers were slow to take an interest, and by the time The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was picked up by Pantheon Books, Smith had already written two sequels. The books went from underground hits to national phenomena in the United States, spawning fan clubs and inspiring celebratory reviews. Smith is also the author of a detective series featuring the insatiably curious philosopher Isabel Dalhousie and the 44 Scotland Street novels, which present a witty portrait of Edinburgh society

In an interview on the publisher's web site, Smith says he thinks the country of Botswana "particularly chimes with many of the values which Americans feel very strongly about -- respect for the rule of law and for individual freedom. I hope that readers will also see in these portrayals of Botswana some of the great traditional virtues in Africa -- in particular, courtesy and a striking natural dignity."

Good To Know

As a professor at Edinburgh Law School, Smith specializes in criminal law and medical law, and has written about the legal and ethical aspects of euthanasia, medical research, and medical practice.

When he isn't writing books or teaching, Smith finds time to play the bassoon in the candidly named amateur ensemble he co-founded, The Really Terrible Orchestra.

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Introduction

“Irresistible—there will indeed be miracles.”
The New York Times Book Review

The introduction, questions, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to enhance your group's conversation about Alexander McCall Smith's The Miracle at Speedy Motors, the ninth installment in the acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

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Foreword

1. After Mma Makutsi protests about the agency's address being “in care of” Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mma Ramotswe thinks about the meanings of the phrase. “Yes, we were all care of one another in the final analysis, at least in Botswana, where people looked for and valued those invisible links that connected people, that made for belonging” [p. 5]. Would you consider this idea central to the book? To which characters or events in the story does this phrase “in care of” seem most pertinent?

2. Mma Sebina comes to the agency in the hope that Mma Ramotswe will find her relatives: “Please find me a birthday, and find me some people” [p. 24]. So the novel begins like a Victorian orphan story—something like Jane Eyre—with a character seeking an identity. How else do the themes of family and identity arise in the novel?

3. Puso jumps out of the car when Mma Ramotswe mentions his Bushman background, of which he is ashamed [pp. 33–34]. She tells him, “You mustn't be cross with your mummy” [p. 35], and realizes she has called herself his mother for the first time. What progress does this family of two foster children and two nonbiological parents make throughout the course of the novel in strengthening their bonds of love and trust?

4. In Chapter Four, Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni discuss Mma Makutsi's impending marriage and the question of whether men should have to pay the bogadi for their wives [pp. 45-50]. What is unsettling for Mma Ramotswe about this conversation? What details help to create the quiet comedy of the situation?

5. In her visit to Mma Sebina'svillage, Mma Ramotswe tells the woman under the tree, “I am a lady first and then I am a detective. So I just do the things which we ladies know how to do—I talk to people and find out what has happened. Then I try to solve the problems in people's lives. That is all I do” [p. 71]. Is it true that Mma Ramotswe is “a lady first”? How relevant or necessary is the fact of her being a woman to her success in solving problems for people?

6. As in all of the books of this series, the land plays a silent but important role in the lives of the characters. Mma Ramotswe, watching rainclouds gather, thinks “we Batswana are . . . dry people, people who can live with dust and dryness but whose hearts dream of rain and water” [p. 76]. Why are conditions of the land and the weather so central for Mma Ramotswe? Is it ironic that the rainclouds, “stacked in towering layers; so sudden, so welcome” [p. 74], cause the disaster that befalls Mma Makutsi's new bed?

7. Mr. Polopetsi becomes a suspect in the case of the threatening letters. Does it seem that Mma Ramotswe has become less generous in her attitude toward him [pp. 89–90]? What character traits bring him under suspicion? When the writer of the threatening letters is revealed, Mma Ramotswe's assumption that the writer was a man [pp. 14–15] is proven wrong. Is it unusual that Mma Ramotswe was wrong in her thinking on this matter?

8. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni meets a doctor who promises him that Motholeli's paralysis can be reversed [p. 96]. What difficulties does this unexpected development cause for Mma Ramotswe? Why does she come up with the money, given her lack of faith in the treatment? How does she behave when Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and Motholeli return home [p. 211]? What is exceptional about her handling of the whole predicament?

9. Why is Mma Makutsi reluctant to tell her fiancé the truth about what happened to the new bed? What does it suggest about their relationship that she doesn't feel she can tell him? Why is his eventual response surprising to her [p. 187]?

10. In most detective fiction, readers seek the identity of the criminal or the resolution of a mystery. Who are the criminals, and where is the mystery, in The Miracle at Speedy Motors? In what ways does Mma Ramotswe differ from most fictional detectives? How do plot and pace differ, and what unique features distinguish The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series from conventional mystery novels?

11. Reflecting upon Motholeli and the suffering of Africa in general, Mma Ramotswe considers that “fundamental unfairness seemed to be a condition of human life. . . . What could one say to the poor, who had only one life, one brief spell of time, and were spending their short moment of life in hardship? And what could she say to Motholeli?” [pp. 145–46]. Does she have words of comfort for Motholeli?

12. What qualities make Precious Ramotswe such an unusual person? How would you describe the quality of her insight or wisdom? Do you find her inspirational, and if so why?

13. In the delicate matter of the health of Mma Ramotswe's van, Mma Potokwane is uncertain of how truthful she can be. Do you agree with her list of the matters that, even between close friends, cannot be criticized [p. 148]?

14. Why is Mma Makutsi shocked at the letter Mma Ramotswe dictates for Violet Sephotho [pp. 202–03]? What do you think of Mma Ramotswe's resolution that “we must answer her hatred with love” [p. 204]?

15. What is puzzling about Mr. Sekape and his attitude toward his newly discovered sister? Why is he so excited if, as he says, he dislikes women [p. 184]? Once it turns out they are unrelated, does it seem likely that Mma Sebina will succeed in marrying him [pp. 207–08]?

16. What miracles does Mma Ramotswe observe, in place of the large miracle her husband has hoped for? What is the significance of the title [p. 213]?

17. A typographic design, repeating the word Africa, follows the novel's final sentence. How does this affect your reading of the ending, and what emotions does it express?

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Reading Group Guide

1. After Mma Makutsi protests about the agency's address being “in care of” Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mma Ramotswe thinks about the meanings of the phrase. “Yes, we were all care of one another in the final analysis, at least in Botswana, where people looked for and valued those invisible links that connected people, that made for belonging” [p. 5]. Would you consider this idea central to the book? To which characters or events in the story does this phrase “in care of” seem most pertinent?

2. Mma Sebina comes to the agency in the hope that Mma Ramotswe will find her relatives: “Please find me a birthday, and find me some people” [p. 24]. So the novel begins like a Victorian orphan story — something like Jane Eyre — with a character seeking an identity. How else do the themes of family and identity arise in the novel?

3. Puso jumps out of the car when Mma Ramotswe mentions his Bushman background, of which he is ashamed [pp. 33–34]. She tells him, “You mustn't be cross with your mummy” [p. 35], and realizes she has called herself his mother for the first time. What progress does this family of two foster children and two nonbiological parents make throughout the course of the novel in strengthening their bonds of love and trust?

4. In Chapter Four, Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni discuss Mma Makutsi's impending marriage and the question of whether men should have to pay the bogadi for their wives [pp. 45-50]. What is unsettling for Mma Ramotswe about this conversation? What details help to create the quiet comedy of the situation?

5. In her visit to Mma Sebina's village, Mma Ramotswe tells the woman under the tree, “I am a lady first and then I am a detective. So I just do the things which we ladies know how to do — I talk to people and find out what has happened. Then I try to solve the problems in people's lives. That is all I do” [p. 71]. Is it true that Mma Ramotswe is “a lady first”? How relevant or necessary is the fact of her being a woman to her success in solving problems for people?

6. As in all of the books of this series, the land plays a silent but important role in the lives of the characters. Mma Ramotswe, watching rainclouds gather, thinks “we Batswana are . . . dry people, people who can live with dust and dryness but whose hearts dream of rain and water” [p. 76]. Why are conditions of the land and the weather so central for Mma Ramotswe? Is it ironic that the rainclouds, “stacked in towering layers; so sudden, so welcome” [p. 74], cause the disaster that befalls Mma Makutsi's new bed?

7. Mr. Polopetsi becomes a suspect in the case of the threatening letters. Does it seem that Mma Ramotswe has become less generous in her attitude toward him [pp. 89–90]? What character traits bring him under suspicion? When the writer of the threatening letters is revealed, Mma Ramotswe's assumption that the writer was a man [pp. 14–15] is proven wrong. Is it unusual that Mma Ramotswe was wrong in her thinking on this matter?

8. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni meets a doctor who promises him that Motholeli's paralysis can be reversed [p. 96]. What difficulties does this unexpected development cause for Mma Ramotswe? Why does she come up with the money, given her lack of faith in the treatment? How does she behave when Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and Motholeli return home [p. 211]? What is exceptional about her handling of the whole predicament?

9. Why is Mma Makutsi reluctant to tell her fiancé the truth about what happened to the new bed? What does it suggest about their relationship that she doesn't feel she can tell him? Why is his eventual response surprising to her [p. 187]?

10. In most detective fiction, readers seek the identity of the criminal or the resolution of a mystery. Who are the criminals, and where is the mystery, in The Miracle at Speedy Motors? In what ways does Mma Ramotswe differ from most fictional detectives? How do plot and pace differ, and what unique features distinguish The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series from conventional mystery novels?

11. Reflecting upon Motholeli and the suffering of Africa in general, Mma Ramotswe considers that “fundamental unfairness seemed to be a condition of human life. . . . What could one say to the poor, who had only one life, one brief spell of time, and were spending their short moment of life in hardship? And what could she say to Motholeli?” [pp. 145–46]. Does she have words of comfort for Motholeli?

12. What qualities make Precious Ramotswe such an unusual person? How would you describe the quality of her insight or wisdom? Do you find her inspirational, and if so why?

13. In the delicate matter of the health of Mma Ramotswe's van, Mma Potokwane is uncertain of how truthful she can be. Do you agree with her list of the matters that, even between close friends, cannot be criticized [p. 148]?

14. Why is Mma Makutsi shocked at the letter Mma Ramotswe dictates for Violet Sephotho [pp. 202–03]? What do you think of Mma Ramotswe's resolution that “we must answer her hatred with love” [p. 204]?

15. What is puzzling about Mr. Sekape and his attitude toward his newly discovered sister? Why is he so excited if, as he says, he dislikes women [p. 184]? Once it turns out they are unrelated, does it seem likely that Mma Sebina will succeed in marrying him [pp. 207–08]?

16. What miracles does Mma Ramotswe observe, in place of the large miracle her husband has hoped for? What is the significance of the title [p. 213]?

17. A typographic design, repeating the word Africa, follows the novel's final sentence. How does this affect your reading of the ending, and what emotions does it express?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 72 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What do you do when you're feeling low?

    What do you do when you're feeling low? Read one of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books! Learn a little about Botswana. Enjoy the company of a woman of traditional build who treats others with respect and gentility. No foul language. No sex. No graphic description of gruesome crime scenes. Just pleasant reading that always helps me feel better about the world.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A TREAT FOR THE HEART!

    I have become a huge fan of McCall Smith's work. This is an amusing, touching, and gentle look at ordinary people who search out a meaningful connection with others and a purpose to their existence.
    Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are back, solving new problems for their clients, but the investigations don't go quite as well as planned. There are small glitches along the way that add philosophical light to what the right thing to do could possibly be.
    The simple and charming events that happen in this book make it a true pleasure to read. Smith's gentle, realistic mystery books are a relaxant to the busy, worrisome world we live in and are full of values that encourage "good" in people. This is one of the best "pick-me-up" books, or any of Smith's books, that you can read. GENTLE. HEARTFELT. HUMOROUS. COZY. WARM. A TREAT FOR THE HEART!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    Meaningful Miracles

    This book like the previous 8 books in this series places Mr. Smith's characters in situations in which miracles are the experiences in life that can often be taken for granted. These miracles are not preached to the reader but enjoyed with the main character as she copes, appreciates and values her life in an African village and country which are her roots. Whether enjoying the peacefulness of an early morning cup of tea, the bonding of a friendship, her love of family or confronting worrisome problems, mysterious cases to be solved, she shows an awareness of these quiet often unspoken miracles. She is a true heroine with a sensitivity to her world which reflects our world. There's much to relate to in these very charming books which above all are very very entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    You really should not miss this book or any of the others in the series.

    This book was another of the series that I find to be relaxing and enjoyable. Great series to read when you are wanting to read just for the joy of reading. This book (The Miracle at Speedy Motors) is imaginative and full of humor. I am so glad the author continues to be able to find these quality stories to write about very simple people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    A lovely read.

    This author does a wonderful job of pulling a multilayered plot and several characters together without giving in to a syrupy ending or making it all fairy tale. McCall Smith just has that wonderful touch to a story that nudges you gently along. He takes you in one direction and "poof", a surprise here, a wake-up call there. But nothing is overboard or in your face. He has a way of making me love Mma Ramotswe more and more and embrace her staff and family. I treasure every read and savour my time with them.

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    Highly recommended.

    I was so enthralled after reading the first three books in the series that I had to purchase all of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series. The series would make good discussion books for a book club.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A series that continues to provide wisdom and insight

    Reading book 9 of Alexander McCall Smith's Number one Ladies' Detective Agency is every bit as enjoyable as you'd expect after reading 1 to 8. I know I'm behind. I know real addicts are already on book 11, but I'm catching up. Botswana continues to enthrall the reader with its beauty, the gentle pace of its culture, the quiet way it reflects a different version of ourselves in might-have-beens. Precious Ramotswe continues to seek and learn, from quiet mountain-side splendor that calms, to flustered concerns of secrets only half-uncovered. Mma Makutsi continues to grow into her role, slowly learning that secrets are better when set free and shared. And the promised miracle that threads throughout the tale? Well, you'll have to read to find out, but the author assuredly doesn't cheat to pull it out of the bag. Even the obdurate apprentices are growing older in this series, where everything changes with time but stays just as sane, just as wise and real and interesting as it was in the beginning.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Alexander McCall Smith for President

    In his classic witty, thoughtful, caring, creative, heartwarming style, A. M. Smith has created another delightful read. It's just too easy to become one with Mma. Ramotzwe as she tactfully ponders how best to handle the mysteries that come her way from clients as well as her husband, their adopted children and their employees. Ranging from hilarious to serious, clear-thinking to confused, the people she meets in her daily life are all given careful consideration and handled with genteel thoughtfulness. It was good to see more of the children's characters developed in this book and great to know there's a wedding in the future. Wonder if the bride will wear blue shoes? Ha! Happy endings abound in this series and no one should want it any other way.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    The Miracle at Speedy Motors

    I have read the entire series: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and found the books to be an easy read and could picture the characters nicely in my mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fan of #1 Ladies Detective Agency

    I've loved every book I've read in this series-looking forward to diving into book #10.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2009

    Another Great Book in the series

    Alexander McCall Smith has written another book that captures the reader. Although the story takes place in Botswana, it could be a story that takes place any where. The characters, the situations, the descriptions captivate the reader. I hope the Great Mma Lady Detective appears again and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2009

    Fun as always

    This is not great literature, but so heart warming and pleasant!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Another McCall Smith Hit

    Once again the author scores a hit with the continuing story of the goings on at the Speedy Motors location. Mma Ramotswe has another puzzle to solve and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni gets involved with helping their daughter become cured of her medical problems.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    great

    I love all his books!

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    As good as I expected it to be!

    I love the entire series and this held up to the standards of the previous books in the No. 1 Ladies Dectective series. An easy read, not complicated. Precious makes life seem easy to figure out. And she makes it seem very easy to do the right thing. I always anticipate the next book in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009

    Always Good Reads.

    I always look forward to the release of the next book in this series and the continued "unfolding" of these characters. Precious' appreciation for the simple honesty of life and her wisdom give pause for thought.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    a bit missleading

    Another sincere accounting of what life was like in Gabarone and how is is constantly changing but slower than the rest of the world. It's about people and the simple life but not overlooking some sordid characters who insist on making others take note.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Like putting on a pair of cozy slippers.

    The entire series is wonderful, and this is a great addition. I did nottry this searies for years and when I picked it up and began reading, I could have kicked myself.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    An original plot which does not rely on blood, murder, intrigue, or suspense to hold the reader's attention.

    The series is written about a central character, Precious Ramotswe, who comes from simple, honorable beginnings and chooses an unusual profession for a lady, especially one who is a native of Botswana.

    From a basic "How To" book, she feels she can be a detective and by combining book knowledge with her own common sense and honorable ideas of what makes a good society, she succeeds in resolving the cases which come to her. It's a very simple, yet very enjoyable plot. It's one I will probably read again for the sheer joy of finishing a book without the usual themes intended to grab my attention and my spare cash. This is an unusual series and the author appears to have a serious place in his heart for the Botswana people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Mystery book like no other

    To be honest, I don't like mysteries, and I loved this book. Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors is the locale for this odd tale of intrigue and miracles. There's good doses of humor, especially needed because Mma Ramotswe's husband has come under the spell of a sleazy doctor who has promised to cure his daughter's medical problems. This is one of those books that not will you enjoy, but it will make you look at your life and take stock. As with the other detective series, Mma Ramotswe is busy doing what she does--solve crimes. There's plenty here to love, regardless of the cultural differences you might expect, and if you're not familiar with Alexand McCall Smith, this is a good place to start

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