Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #10)

( 117 )



Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective.  In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, ...
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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #10)

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Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective.  In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea. 

In this latest installment in the endlessly entertaining series, Precious Ramotswe faces problems both personal and professional.
The first is the potential demise of an old friend, her tiny white van. Recently, it has developed a rather troubling knock, but she dare not consult the estimable Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni for fear he may condemn the vehicle.  Meanwhile, her talented assistant Mma Makutsi is plagued by the reappearance of her nemesis, Violet Sephotho, who has taken a job at the Double Comfort Furniture store whose proprietor is none other than Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Makutsi’s fiancé.  Finally, the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has been hired to explain the unexpected losing streak of a local football club, the Kalahari Swoopers.  But with Mma Ramotswe on the case, it seems certain that everything will be resolved satisfactorily.

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    No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Most private eyes roaming crime fiction spend their days and nights chasing murderers and kidnappers. Precious Ramotswe, the "traditionally built" proprietor of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, devotes her time to matters quite different. In the tenth installment of her walkabouts, Mma Ramotswe tracks down her husband's stolen white van and solves the case of a talented local soccer team that just can't win. These alleged crimes test her formidable talents in ways far more fascinating than any bloody act of mayhem could. A warm cup of red bush tea, to be consumed slowly.
From the Publisher
“As wise and lovely as ever.”—USA Today
“[McCall Smith] is a master. . . . There's beauty and revelation of one kind or another woven expertly into every line.”—Christian Science Monitor 
“Alexander McCall Smith is a vivid observer and an elegant writer. . . . Like the best traditions, this series is one we hope will endure.”
The Plain Dealer
“It’s time for celebration. . . . McCall Smith has done it again.”
The Washington Times

Tea-time continues McCall Smith’s heartwarming focus on quotidian mysteries and small victories.”—Times-Picayune
"There is no end to the pleasure that may be extracted from these books." —The New York Times Book Review
“What a treat to discover. . . . Brims with good humor and compassion.” —Entertainment Weekly


Publishers Weekly

Once again, Precious Ramotswe uses her insights into human nature to unravel problems big and small in Smith's charming 10th novel to feature Botswana's No. 1 lady detective (after The Miracle at Speedy Motors). Leungo Molofololo, the owner of the Kalahari Swoopers, a local soccer team with a lot of athletic talent, suspects a traitor on the squad is deliberately sabotaging games for an unknown reason. Despite her complete ignorance of the sport, Mma Ramotswe agrees to look into the matter. She and her prickly assistant, Grace Makutsi, attend a match and begin interviewing the players in an effort to solve what amounts to the book's main mystery. The soccer inquiry, though, is secondary to a major event in Mma Ramotswe's life-the impending demise of the little white van she's used for many years that's much more than a machine to her. Fans can look forward to the debut of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency on HBO on March 29. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Mma Precious Ramotswe wrestles with a timeless problem-to cling to the old or embrace the new-in her tenth adventure. Mr. Leungo Molofololo, the latest client of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has a big problem. The soccer team he owns, the Kalahari Swoopers, has stopped winning. Someone on the team, he tells Mma Ramotswe, is throwing the matches, and he wants her to find out who. Despite her complete ignorance of the game and her client's failure to pay a retainer, Botswana's preeminent detective conscientiously begins interviewing Swoopers to find out who is the rotten link. As usual in this much-honored series (The Miracle at Speedy Motors, 2008, etc.), however, the real action lies elsewhere. Sharp-tongued assistant detective Grace Makutsi's engagement is imperiled when her fiance, Mr. Phuti Radiphuti, hires her old nemesis, mantrap Violet Sephotho, to sell beds at his furniture store. Struggling to keep her man, Mma Makutsi has to decide between buying food and indulging in a pair of faux-alligator shoes. Mma Ramotswe's beloved little white van seems to be "sick at heart." Should she report its condition to her husband, auto salesman Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who'll surely want to replace it, or try to get one of his apprentices to fix it behind his back?Episodes in Smith's series, like those in a long-running sitcom, have stopped competing with each other as better or worse and instead have gelled into a self-contained world into which audiences enter with pleasure and gratitude. Here's more of the same.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307277473
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/9/2010
  • Series: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, #10
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 216,154
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mr. Molofololo

Traditionally built people may not look as if they are great walkers, but there was a time when Precious Ramotswe walked four miles a day. As a girl in Mochudi, all those years ago, a pupil at the school that looked down over the sprawling village below, she went to her lessons every morning on foot, joining the trickle of children that made its way up the hill, the girls in blue tunics, the boys in khaki shirts and shorts, like little soldiers. The journey from the house where she lived with her father and the older cousin who looked after her took all of an hour, except, of course, when she was lucky and managed to ride on the mule-drawn water cart that occasionally passed that way. The driver of this cart, with whom her father had worked in the gold mines as a young man, knew who she was and always slowed down to allow her to clamber up on the driver’s seat beside him.

Other children would watch enviously and try to wave down the water cart. “I cannot carry all Botswana,” said the driver. “If I gave all you children a ride on my cart, then my poor mules would die. Their hearts would burst. I cannot allow that.”

“But you have Precious up there!” called out the boys. “Why is she so special?”

The driver looked at Precious and winked. “Tell them why you are special, Precious. Explain it to them.”

The young Mma Ramotswe, barely eight, was overwhelmed by embarrassment.

“But I am not special. I am just a girl.”

“You are the daughter of Obed Ramotswe,” said the driver. “He is a great man. That is why you are riding up here.”

He was right, of course—at least in what he said about Obed Ramotswe, who was, by any standards, a fine man. At that age, Precious had only a faint inkling of what her father stood for; later on, as a young woman, she would come to understand what it was to be the daughter of Obed Ramotswe. But in those days, on the way to school, whether riding in state on the water cart or walking along the side of that dusty road with her friends, she had school to think about, with its lessons on so many subjects—the history of Botswana, from the beginning, when it was known as Khama’s country, across the plains of which great lions walked, to the emergence of the new Botswana, then still a chrysalis in a dangerous world; writing lessons, with the letters of the alphabet being described in white chalk on an ancient blackboard, all whirls and loops; arithmetic, with its puzzling multiplication tables that needed to be learned by heart—when there was so much else that the heart had to learn.

The water cart, of course, did not pass very often, and so on most days there was a long trudge to school and a long walk back. Some children had an even greater journey; in one class there was a boy who walked seven miles there and seven miles back, even in the hottest of months, when the sun came down upon Botswana like a pounding fist, when the cattle huddled together under the umbrella shade of the acacia trees, not daring to wander off in search of what scraps of grass remained. This boy thought nothing of his daily journey; this is what you did if you wanted to go to school to learn the things that your parents had never had the chance to learn. And you did not complain, even if during the rainy season you might narrowly escape being struck by lightning or being washed away by the torrents that rose in the previously dry watercourses. You did not complain in that Botswana.

Now, of course, it was different, and it was the contemplation of these differences that made Mma Ramotswe think about walking again.

“We are becoming lazy, Mma Ramotswe,” said Mma Makutsi one afternoon, as they sipped their afternoon cup of red bush tea in the offices of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. “Have you noticed? We are becoming lazy.”

Mma Ramotswe frowned. There were times when Mma Makutsi made statements that suffered from that classic flaw of all generalisations—they were just too general. This observation, it seemed to her, could be such a remark.

“Do you mean that you and I are becoming lazy?” she asked her assistant. “If you do, then I do not think that’s right, Mma Makutsi. Take this morning, for instance. We finished that report on security at the loan office. And we wrote a lot of letters. Six, seven, I think. That is not being lazy.”

Mma Makutsi raised a hand in protest. “No, Mma, I did not mean that. I did not mean to say that you and I are becoming lazy. Or not specially lazy. I am talking about everybody.”

Mma Ramotswe raised an eyebrow. “The whole of Botswana?”

Mma Makutsi nodded. “Yes, the whole country. And it’s not just Botswana, Mma. We are no worse than anybody else. In fact, I am sure that there are many much lazier countries elsewhere. What I really meant was that people in general are becoming lazy.”

Mma Ramotswe, who had been prepared to defend Botswana against Mma Makutsi’s accusations, relaxed. If the remark was about people in general, and not just about the residents of Gaborone, then Mma Makutsi’s theory could at least be heard out. “Why do you say that people are becoming lazy, Mma?” she asked.

Mma Makutsi glanced through the half-open door that led from the agency into the garage. On the other side of the workshop, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni was showing his two apprentices an engine part. “You see those two boys out there?” she said. “Charlie and . . .”

“Fanwell,” supplied Mma Ramotswe. “We must start using his name. It is not kind to be forgetting it all the time.”

“Yes, Charlie and . . . Fanwell,” said Mma Makutsi. “It is a stupid name, though, don’t you think, Mma? Why would anybody be called Fanwell?”

Mma Ramotswe could not let this pass. Mma Makutsi was too hard on the two apprentices, particularly on the older one, Charlie. Words had passed between them more than once, including on the occasion when Charlie had called Mma Makutsi a warthog and made disparaging references to her large glasses. It had been quite wrong of him, and Mma Ramotswe had made that plain, but she had also acknowledged that he had been provoked. “They are young men,” she had said to Mma Makutsi. “That is what young men are like, Mma. Their heads are full of loud music and thoughts of girls. Imagine walking around with all that nonsense in your head.”

That had been said in defence of Charlie; now it was necessary to say something for Fanwell. It was wrong of Mma Makutsi, she thought, to poke fun at Fanwell’s name. “Why is anybody called anything, Mma Makutsi? That boy cannot help it. It is the parents who give children stupid names. It is the fault of the parents.”

“But Fanwell, Mma Ramotswe? What a silly name. Why did they not call him Fanbelt? That would be a good name for an apprentice mechanic, wouldn’t it? Hah! Fanbelt. That would be very funny.”

“No, Mma Makutsi,” said Mma Ramotswe. “We must not make fun of people’s names. There are some who think that your own name, Grace, is a strange name. I do not think that, of course. But there are probably people like that.”

Mma Makutsi was dismissive. “Then they are very foolish,” she said. “They should know better.”

“And that is what Fanwell himself would probably say about anybody who laughed at his name,” Mma Ramotswe pointed out.

Mma Makutsi had to agree with this, even if reluctantly. She and Mma Ramotswe were fortunate, with their reasonably straightforward names of Grace and Precious, respectively; she had contemporaries who were not so fortunate and had been saddled by their parents with names that were frankly ridiculous. One boy she had known at school had borne a Setswana name which meant Look out, the police have arrived. The poor boy had been the object of derision amongst his classmates and had tried, unsuccessfully, to change the name by which he was known. But names, like false allegations, stick, and he had gone through life with this unfortunate burden, reminded of it every time he had to give details for an official form; looking away so that the person examining the form could be given the opportunity to smile, which they all did.

“Even if their names are not their fault,” said Mma Makutsi, “the way those boys behave is their fault, Mma. There can be no doubt about that. And those boys are very lazy, Mma. They are examples of what I am talking about.”

She looked sternly at Mma Ramotswe, as if challenging her employer to contradict her. Mma Ramotswe did not rise to the bait; Mma Makutsi was rather assertive—and she admired the younger woman for that—but it did not help, she had decided, to engage with her too much when she was in mid-theory. It was best to let people have their say, she always felt; then, when they had finished, and had possibly run out of breath, one could always lodge a mild objection to what had been said before.

Mma Makutsi peered in the direction of the garage and lowered her voice. “Have you ever seen those two young men walk- ing?” she asked.

Mma Ramotswe frowned. Of course she had seen the apprentices walking; they walked about the garage, they came into the office to collect their tea, they walked to the tree under which Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s truck was parked. She pointed this out to Mma Makutsi, gently enough, but not so mildly as to prevent a firm refutation from the other side of the room.

“Not that sort of walking, Mma,” said Mma Makutsi. “Anybody can walk across a room or round a garage. Anybody, Mma. Even those two lazy young men. The sort of walking I’m talking about is walking from one place to another. Walking to work. Walking from the middle of town to the National Stadium. Walking from Kgale Siding to Gaborone. That sort of walking.”

“Those are not short walks,” said Mma Ramotswe. “Although it would not take too long, I think, to get from the middle of town to the Stadium. Perhaps twenty-five minutes if it was not too hot.”

Mma Makutsi sniffed. “How can we tell?” she asked. “These days nobody would know how long it takes to walk anywhere because we have all stopped walking, Mma. We know how long it takes to drive. We know how long a minibus takes. But we do not know how long it takes to walk.”

Mma Ramotswe was silent as she thought about this. She had long understood that one of the features of Mma Makutsi’s speeches was that there was often a grain of truth in them, and sometimes even more than that.

“And here’s another thing, Mma Ramotswe,” Mma Makutsi continued. “Have you heard of evolution? Well, what will happen if we all carry on being lazy like this and drive everywhere? I can tell you, Mma. We shall start to grow wheels. That is what evolution is all about.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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Reading Group Guide

“As wise and lovely as ever.” —USA Today
The introduction, questions, and suggestions for further reading that follow are intended to enhance your group’s conversation about Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, the latest installment in Alexander McCall Smith’s beloved series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

1. Grace pokes fun at Fanwell’s name, and says that he and Charlie, apprentice mechanics in the garage, are lazy. What aspect of Grace’s character is revealed in this conversation [pp. 6–7]? How does Mma Ramotswe deal with temperamental differences between herself and her assistant?

2. As she said in The Miracle at Speedy Motors, “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.”  Why does the suspicion presented by Mr. Molofololo—that someone on his football team is throwing games—cause a real difficulty for Mma Ramotswe in solving the case?

3. How does visiting Fanwell’s home provoke Mma Ramotswe’s sympathy [pp. 63–72]?  Why does she conclude, “until you dig deeper, and listen … you know only a tiny part of the goodness of the human heart” [p. 72]?

4. Mma Tafa’s ambition for her husband, Big Man, to be captain of the football team makes Mma Ramotswe wonder whether Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni nursed any hidden, unfulfilled desires.  She thinks, “when we dismiss or deny the hopes of others … we forget that they, like us, have only one chance in this life” [p. 130].  If Mma Ramotswe’s compassionate insights were collected, would they comprise a dependable guide to an ethical life?

5. Mma Ramotswe has to laugh when she thinks of the tiny goalkeeper, Big Man Tafa, dancing with his wife [pp. 130–3].  What other moments cause laughter in the story? How would you describe Mma Ramotswe’s sense of humor?

6. Mma Makutsi’s purchase of new shoes gives her “that extraordinary feeling of renewal that an exciting purchase can bring,” but her old shoes silently make their resentment known [pp. 146–7].  If you have read Blue Shoes and Happiness, how does this moment recall an earlier episode where Grace buys a pair of new shoes?

7. What qualities make Precious Ramotswe such an unusual person?  How would you describe the quality of her insight or wisdom?  To her husband, she was the person “who stood for kindness and generosity and understanding; for a country of which he was so proud; who stood for Africa and all the love that Africa contained” [pp. 151-52].  Do you find her inspirational, and if so how can she been seen as a model for behavior in everyday life?

8. Why does Violet Sephotho make a direct play for Phuti Radiphuti?  Does it appear that she holds a grudge against Grace?  Does the conversation on pp. 45-47 suggest that Grace’s physical imperfections might present a serious cause for anxiety regarding Phuti’s commitment to her?

9. Why is Mma Ramotswe’s tiny white van so beloved?  What does it signify for her?  Having finally passed beyond the hope of repair, it was towed away by a man who bought it for spare parts [p. 172].  Do you see any hope for its revival in future episodes?

10. Mma Ramotswe often thinks of her father, Obed Ramotswe: “She would give anything—anything—to have her father back with her, just for a day, so that she could tell him about how her life had been and how she owed everything to him and to his goodness to her” [p. 183].  It is often said that gratitude is a spiritual emotion.  Why is gratitude such an important emotion in these books?

11. Mma Ramotswe says to Mma Makutsi, “Most of all I am grateful to you for being my friend … That is the best thing that anybody can be to anybody else—a friend” [p. 185].  What provokes these feelings of gratitude?  How is the “sense of dreadful imminence, [the] rawness” that Precious feels, resolved on page 186?  Discuss how, with scenes like this one, the series addresses small but important moments of life.

12. Puso provides the insight that Mma Ramotswe was missing in her investigation of the football team’s troubles.  What is the “sudden, blinding insight that Puso had triggered” [p. 207]?  Does it seem likely that Mr. Molofololo will learn what he needs to learn about himself and about his players [pp. 208–09]?

13. In most detective fiction, readers seek the identity of the criminal or the resolution of a mystery. Who are the criminals, and what is the mystery, in Tea Time for the Traditionally Built? How 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?

14. What are Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi celebrating with their lunch at the end of the novel? How does the fact that rain is coming add to the sense of a happy ending?

15. 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?

(For a complete list of available reading group guides, and to sign up for the Reading Group Center enewsletter, visit www.readinggroupcenter.com)

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    The proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Precious Ramotswe, is in mourning over her big-time old tiny white van. Her beloved van is making terrible noises and is probably headed for the junk yard. The idea of parting from the van that has been an important part of her life for so long is breaking Mma Ramotswe's heart.
    Precious and Grace are hired by Mr. Leungo Molofololo, the owner of a losing football team, to find out why his formerly successful Kalahari Swoopers are suddenly doing so badly.
    Ramotswe treats everyone with respect, kindness, and sensitivity, believing that "until you hear the whole story, until you dig deeper, and listen, you know only a tiny part of the goodness of the human heart." This is only one example of a book 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!

    Other treats for the heart....

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Precious Ramotswe Delights Again

    There is nothing else like the day a new book in the Number 1 Ladies'Detective series comes out. The plot only matters peripherally to me. What matters is being able to spend time with the most loveable and delightful people I have met in decades. All of the main characters
    will live in your heart as well as in Botswana (which comes alive in Smith's wonderful words). These are books perfect for a time when the reader needs lightness, smiles, and to have one's faith in humanity gently restored. The whole series is not to be missed. It a special treat to splurge for the CDs and hear the story brought to life with all names and places correctly pronounced. This one had me smiling on a long drive from Detroit to Cape Cod.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2009

    Sharing Tea with the Traditionally Built

    The No. 1 Ladies Detective series never disappoints. With Mma. Ramotswe, the challenges of life are calmly and creatively met. Among all of Alexander McCall Smith's series and books, his Botswana books are the most endearing due to its language, pace and sense of place in the simpleness of Botswana and her endearing people.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    I enjoyed the book

    I have read, in order, all of the Ladies Detective Club books. Alexander McCall Smith is a cleaver writer and keeps the stores flowing and interesting. The books are good to read on a rainy day and in between something more serious. I am always wondering what will happen next to Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    Very engaging & thought provoking

    I have enjoyed this series & usually find gems in Mma Ramotswe's thoughts; this one was no exception. I find myself slowing down in my busy day to day life when I'm reading this series & look forward to each new book. I will say the "mysteries" the ladies solve aren't all that difficult, but they are not as central to the plot of the book as the lives of the characters. I throughly enjoyed this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    The wonder continues

    Alexander McCall Smith again brings Precious to life for us. A wonderful, quiet, and gentle read for all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved It!

    This is a great book to relax with - it will take you to another, more simple world with charming characters. It's been great fun to be along for the ride as the characters have developed throughout the series. Just when you think you know someone, a subtle twist in personality takes me by surprise. I have read all of McCall Smith's books - love this book and this series but love the Scotland based series even more!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    the number one ladies detective meets another challenge.

    " Teatime for the Traditonally Built" is an enjoyable read. The uncommon good sense and humor is interspersed with the everyday lives and
    colors of Botswana. The mystery is worked out by good research and knowledge of human nature.
    An old rival of Mma Makutsi is countered in a suprizing way and a closer look at one of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's apprentices yields some unusual insights.
    The reader can relax with this interesting story and visit the beauty and local flavor of the Botswana countryside. You can sit and have your favorite cup of tea with Precious Ramotswe and enjoy meeting with old and new friends and challenges.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    McCall Smith Delivers again

    Another delightful addition to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not my favorite in this series

    What I love about all the books in this series is that they are simple, clean, contain no sex or violence, and absolutely make me feel as if I am IN the village in Africa. The language sounds how I would imagine it would sound, and the people act in the way that I expect they would. Even if that's not accurate, it seems real. They are wonderful characters. I just didn't find this ONE particular book to be as much fun as others in the series. Overall I would recommend them for light entertainment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Simple and sweet

    The topics are rather mundane, but the author's way of approaching them is quite touching. This was one of the first times I detected any actual affection between Precious and her husband. A little more romance would be welcome. The reader is really excellent!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Time For Tea

    I loved Tea Time for the Traditionally Bulit. The characters are great and I can't wait to see what will happen to them next. This book had good moral mysteries. This is a great rainy day book. I can't wait to read the next one in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    Smith does it again!

    I've read all the books in this series and love them all. This one may be my favorite however. The characters are more fully developed and there is a spark of humor that makes for delightful reading. The setting in an African culture is a welcome change of pace. Good reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    What can I say!!

    Without a doubt the best series I have read to date. I just love the simplicity of Precious Ramotswe's love of life

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great addition!

    I have really enjoyed listening to the whole series on CD. This new one does not disappoint. Don't expect a fast-paced, exciting plot. This book is filled with quirky observations, friendship, loyalty, and appreciation of day-to-day living.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2009

    Tea Time For Many

    This book like the previous nine may well charm many into sharing tea time with its main characters, following them about as they untangle mysteries and confront all sorts of problems, personal and otherwise. Tea time is so cleverly woven into these books. It becomes a time to settle down with the characters as they catch their breath and rethink the mysteries that we're reading and wondering about. Tea time is sometimes a period of solitude for the main character as her solitary thoughts are shared with us, as she views her garden or watches the sun rise or set over her beloved Africa. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built was for me a time that I enjoyed very much just as I have enjoyed the tea times and African adventures of the previous 9 books in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    One of my favorites!

    I love the characters in this series. They are like friends. Life as it happens even if it is a slow process to find a solution. I am thrilled that it is now a series on HBO! Thanks, Alexander McCall Smith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    Just your cup of tea

    This is a perfect addition to Alexander McCall Smith's series about quite an unusual detective, Mma. Ramotswe. In rural African Botswana, she does not solve a typical who-done-it with one major crime and clues to gather for a final solution. Instead, she sips her red bush tea, while applying her peculiar Botswana wisdom and values to what her observant eyes and acute senses pick up as she goes about her daily errands. She solves mysteries which may seem insignificant, but have a profound effect on the lives--and futures--of friends and strangers alike. The characters are delightful--with humor, drama, romance, even tragedy in their lives. In this episode, Mma. Ramotswe struggles with the modern view of traditionally built women as she helps clear confusion and restore tranquility to the lives of clients who apply to the #1 Ladies Detective Agency for help.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth the wait - Mma Precious Ramotswe pulls us back into her magical world

    The latest and tenth installment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, we find the owner and proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Precious Ramotswe is approached by the proprietor of a local football team to help him discover the reason behind the team's losing streak. Though unfamiliar with the rules and world of football, Mma. Ramotswe and her prickly assistant Mma Grace Makutsi enlist the help of Mma. Ramotswe's football loving and very observant adopted son, Puso. With their gentle prodding, interviewing and powers of deduction, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is tracks down the cause of the problem.
    All the while, Mma Ramotswe is heartsick with a problem of her own. While she is happily married to Mr. J.L.B. Maketoni, one of Botswana's most talented mechanics, she is dismayed to discover that her much-loved and battered white van is finally giving out. Mma Ramotswe is loyal and recalls all the adventures with her white van. She is not ready to retire the van. She calls upon the help of Fanwell, Mr. Maketoni's second assistant, to see if the white van can be brought back to life.
    Mma. Ramotswe's assistant, Grace Makutsi is herself distracted by trouble brewing with her fiance, the owner of the Double Comfort Furniture Shop, wealthy and hardworking Mr. Phuti Radiphuti. Mr. Phuti has hired her nemesis from the Botswana Secretarial College, Violet Sephotho, as a new saleslady in his shop. Though Mr. Phuti is oblivious, Mma. Makutsi suspects that the beautiful and scheming Violet is plotting to steal him away. Mma. Makutsi searches for a way to remove the danger without alerting Mr. Phuti.
    Tea Time for the Traditionally Built does not disappoint! As the latest in the series, we are happy to find Mma. Precious Ramotswe with her gentle and kind ways unchanged. She still pays respect to the traditional ways. She generously offers help and comfort to those who need it. As she gets to know Fanwell and his circumstances, you are glad to become better acquainted with the characters in her life. The constant sense of pride in Botswana and her love for her father are woven into the narrative but the book never dips to the maudlin, folksy or cute. This book is a very enjoyable way to pass a few hours!
    I highly recommend it for fans of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, people fond of detective cozies, and someone looking for a heartwarming glimpse into another culture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Good reading

    The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is wonderful. I really enjoy the description of the characters and of Africa. It paints a picture that you can escape in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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