Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #2)

( 117 )

Overview

The No.1 Ladies´ Detective Agency introduced the world to the one and only Precious Ramotswe -the engaging and sassy owner of Botswana´s only detective agency. In Tears of the Giraffe Mma Ramotswe faces a new challenge: resolving a mother´s pain for her son who is long lost on the African plains. Mma Ramotswe´s own impending marriage to the most gentlemanly of men, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, the promotion of Mma´s secretary to the dizzy heights of Assistant Detective, and the arrival of new members to the Matekoni ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.18
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (665) from $1.99   
  • New (45) from $1.99   
  • Used (620) from $1.99   
Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #2)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

The No.1 Ladies´ Detective Agency introduced the world to the one and only Precious Ramotswe -the engaging and sassy owner of Botswana´s only detective agency. In Tears of the Giraffe Mma Ramotswe faces a new challenge: resolving a mother´s pain for her son who is long lost on the African plains. Mma Ramotswe´s own impending marriage to the most gentlemanly of men, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, the promotion of Mma´s secretary to the dizzy heights of Assistant Detective, and the arrival of new members to the Matekoni family, all brew up the most humorous and charmingly entertaining of tales.Acclaim for The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency: "The author´s prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision. 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." - Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph "The most entertaining read of the year." -The Guardian "An African 'Miss Marple´ . . . superb." -Sunday Times One of the "International Books of the Year and the Millennium" -Times Literary Supplement
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) offers the second .... installment of his dignified, humorous Botswanan series. In Tears of the Giraffe, PI Precious Ramotswe tracks a missing American man whose widowed mother appeals to Ramotswe; meanwhile, the imperturbable detective is endangered at home by her fiance's resentful maid. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“The Miss Marple of Botswana.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Smart and sassy . . . Precious’ progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once.” –Los Angeles Times

“I haven’t read anything with such unalloyed pleasure for a long time.” –Anthony Daniels, The Sunday Telegraph

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400031351
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/3/2002
  • Series: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 143,551
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith is a professor of medical law at Edinburgh University. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is the author of over fifty books on a wide range of subjects, including specialist titles such as Forensic Aspects of Sleep and The Criminal Law of Botswana, children's books such as The Perfect Hamburger, and a collection of stories called Portuguese Irregular Verbs.

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.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's House

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, found it difficult to believe that Mma Ramotswe, the accomplished founder of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, had agreed to marry him. It was at the second time of asking; the first posing of the question, which had required immense courage on his part, had brought forth a refusal--gentle, and regretful--but a refusal nonetheless. After that, he had assumed that Mma Ramotswe would never remarry; that her brief and disastrous marriage to Note Mokoti, trumpeter and jazz aficionado, had persuaded her that marriage was nothing but a recipe for sorrow and suffering. After all, she was an independent-minded woman, with a business to run, and a comfortable house of her own in Zebra Drive. Why, he wondered, should a woman like that take on a man, when a man could prove to be difficult to manage once vows were exchanged and he had settled himself in her house? No, if he were in Mma Ramotswe's shoes, then he might well decline an offer of marriage, even from somebody as eminently reasonable and respectable as himself.

But then, on that noumenal evening, sitting with him on her verandah after he had spent the afternoon fixing her tiny white van, she had said yes. And she had given this answer in such a simple, unambiguously kind way, that he had been confirmed in his belief that she was one of the very best women in Botswana. That evening, when he returned home to his house near the old Defence Force Club, he had reflected on the enormity of his good fortune. Here he was, in his mid-forties, a man who had until that point been unable to find a suitable wife, now blessedwith the hand of the one woman whom he admired more than any other. Such remarkable good fortune was almost inconceivable, and he wondered whether he would suddenly wake up from the delicious dream into which he seemed to have wandered.

Yet it was true. The next morning, when he turned on his bedside radio to hear the familiar sound of cattle bells with which Radio Botswana prefaced its morning broadcast, he realised that it had indeed happened and that unless she had changed her mind overnight, he was a man engaged to be married.

He looked at his watch. It was six o'clock, and the first light of the day was on the thorn tree outside his bedroom window. Smoke from morning fires, the fine wood smoke that sharpened the appetite, would soon be in the air, and he would hear the sound of people on the paths that criss-crossed the bush near his house; shouts of children on their way to school; men going sleepy-eyed to their work in the town; women calling out to one another; Africa waking up and starting the day. People arose early, but it would be best to wait an hour or so before he telephoned Mma Ramotswe, which would give her time to get up and make her morning cup of bush tea. Once she had done that, he knew that she liked to sit outside for half an hour or so and watch the birds on her patch of grass. There were hoopoes, with their black and white stripes, pecking at insects like little mechanical toys, and the strutting ring-neck doves, engaged in their constant wooing. Mma Ramotswe liked birds, and perhaps, if she were interested, he could build her an aviary. They could breed doves, maybe, or even, as some people did, something bigger, such as buzzards, though what they would do with buzzards once they had bred them was not clear. They ate snakes, of course, and that would be useful, but a dog was just as good a means of keeping snakes out of the yard.

When he was a boy out at Molepolole, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni had owned a dog which had established itself as a legendary snake-catcher. It was a thin brown animal, with one or two white patches, and a broken tail. He had found it, abandoned and half-starved, at the edge of the village, and had taken it home to live with him at his grandmother's house. She had been unwilling to waste food on an animal that had no apparent function, but he had won her round and the dog had stayed. Within a few weeks it had proved its usefulness, killing three snakes in the yard and one in a neighbour's melon patch. From then on, its reputation was assured, and if anybody was having trouble with snakes they would ask Mr J.L.B. Matekoni to bring his dog round to deal with the problem.

The dog was preternaturally quick. Snakes, when they saw it coming, seemed to know that they were in mortal danger. The dog, hair bristling and eyes bright with excitement, would move towards the snake with a curious gait, as if it were standing on the tips of its claws. Then, when it was within a few feet of its quarry, it would utter a low growl, which the snake would sense as a vibration in the ground. Momentarily confused, the snake would usually begin to slide away, and it was at this point that the dog would launch itself forward and nip the snake neatly behind the head. This broke its back, and the struggle was over.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni knew that such dogs never reached old age. If they survived to the age of seven or eight, their reactions began to slow and the odds shifted slowly in favour of the snake. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's dog eventually fell victim to a banded cobra, and died within minutes of the bite. There was no dog who could replace him, but now . . . Well, this was just another possibility that opened up. They could buy a dog and choose its name together. Indeed, he would suggest that she choose both the dog and the name, as he was keen that Mma Ramotswe should not feel that he was trying to take all the decisions. In fact, he would be happy to take as few decisions as possible. She was a very competent woman, and he had complete confidence in her ability to run their life together, as long as she did not try to involve him in her detective business. That was simply not what he had in mind. She was the detective; he was the mechanic. That was how matters should remain.

He telephoned shortly before seven. Mma Ramotswe seemed pleased to hear from him and asked him, as was polite in the Setswana language, whether he had slept well.

"I slept very well," said Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. "I dreamed all the night about that clever and beautiful woman who has agreed to marry me."

He paused. If she was going to announce a change of mind, then this was the time that she might be expected to do it.

Mma Ramotswe laughed. "I never remember what I dream," she said. "But if I did, then I am sure that I would remember dreaming about that first-class mechanic who is going to be my husband one day."

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni smiled with relief. She had not thought better of it, and they were still engaged.

"Today we must go to the President Hotel for lunch," he said. "We shall have to celebrate this important matter."

Mma Ramotswe agreed. She would be ready at twelve o'clock and afterwards, if it was convenient, perhaps he would allow her to visit his house to see what it was like. There would be two houses now, and they would have to choose one. Her house on Zebra Drive had many good qualities, but it was rather close to the centre of town and there was a case for being farther away. His house, near the old airfield, had a larger yard and was undoubtedly quieter, but was not far from the prison and was there not an overgrown graveyard nearby? That was a major factor; if she were alone in the house at night for any reason, it would not do to be too close to a graveyard. Not that Mma Ramotswe was superstitious; her theology was conventional and had little room for unquiet spirits and the like, and yet, and yet . . .

In Mma Ramotswe's view there was God, Modimo, who lived in the sky, more or less directly above Africa. God was extremely understanding, particularly of people like herself, but to break his rules, as so many people did with complete disregard, was to invite retribution. When they died, good people, such as Mma Ramotswe's father, Obed Ramotswe, were undoubtedly welcomed by God. The fate of the others was unclear, but they were sent to some terrible place--perhaps a bit like Nigeria, she thought--and when they acknowledged their wrongdoing they would be forgiven.

God had been kind to her, thought Mma Ramotswe. He had given her a happy childhood, even if her mother had been taken from her when she was a baby. She had been looked after by her father and her kind cousin and they had taught her what it was to give love--love which she had in turn given, over those few precious days, to her tiny baby. When the child's battle for life had ended, she had briefly wondered why God had done this to her, but in time she had understood. Now his kindness to her was manifest again, this time in the appearance of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, a good kind, man. God had sent her a husband.

After their celebration lunch in the President Hotel--a lunch at which Mr J.L.B. Matekoni ate two large steaks and Mma Ramotswe, who had a sweet tooth, dipped into rather more ice cream than she had originally intended--they drove off in Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's pickup truck to inspect his house.

"It is not a very tidy house," said Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, anxiously. "I try to keep it tidy, but that is a difficult thing for a man. There is a maid who comes in, but she makes it worse, I think. She is a very untidy woman."

"We can keep the woman who works for me," said Mma Ramotswe. "She is very good at everything. Ironing. Cleaning. Polishing. She is one of the best people in Botswana for all these tasks. We can find some other work for your person."

"And there are some rooms in this house that have got motor parts in them," added Mr J.L.B. Matekoni hurriedly. "Sometimes I have not had enough room at the garage and have had to store them in the house--interesting engines that I might need some day."

Mma Ramotswe said nothing. She now knew why Mr J.L.B. Matekoni had never invited her to the house before. His office at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors was bad enough, with all that grease and those calendars that the parts suppliers sent him. They were ridiculous calendars, in her view, with all those far-too-thin ladies sitting on tyres and leaning against cars. Those ladies were useless for everything. They would not be good for having children, and not one of them looked as if she had her school certificate, or even her standard six. They were useless, good-time girls, who only made men all hot and bothered, and that was no good to anybody. If only men knew what fools of them these bad girls made; but they did not know it and it was hopeless trying to point it out to them.

They arrived at the entrance to his driveway and Mma Ramotswe sat in the car while Mr J.L.B. Matekoni pushed open the silver-painted gate. She noted that the dustbin had been pushed open by dogs and that scraps of paper and other rubbish were lying about. If she were to move here--if--that would soon he stopped. In traditional Botswana society, keeping the yard in good order was a woman's responsibility, and she would certainly not wish to be associated with a yard like this.

They parked in front of the stoop, under a rough car shelter that Mr J.L.B. Matekoni had fashioned out of shade-netting. It was a large house by modern standards, built in a day when builders had no reason to worry about space. There was the whole of Africa in those days, most of it unused, and nobody bothered to save space. Now it was different, and people had begun to worry about cities and how they gobbled up the bush surrounding them. This house, a low, rather gloomy bungalow under a corrugated-tin roof, had been built for a colonial official in Protectorate days. The outer walls were plastered and whitewashed, and the floors were polished red cement, laid out in large squares. Such floors always seemed cool on the feet in the hot months, although for real comfort it was hard to better the beaten mud or cattle dung of traditional floors.

Mma Ramotswe looked about her. They were in the living room, into which the front door gave immediate entrance. There was a heavy suite of furniture--expensive in its day--but now looking distinctly down-at-heel. The chairs, which had wide wooden arms, were upholstered in red, and there was a table of black hardwood on which an empty glass and an ashtray stood. On the walls there was picture of a mountain, painted on dark velvet, a wooden kudu-head, and a small picture of Nelson Mandela. The whole effect was perfectly pleasing, thought Mma Ramotswe, although it certainly had that forlorn look so characteristic of an unmarried man's room.

"This is a very fine room," observed Mma Ramotswe.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni beamed with pleasure. "I try to keep this room tidy," he said. "It is important to have a special room for important visitors."

"Do you have any important visitors?" asked Mma Ramotswe.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni frowned. "There have been none so far," he said. "But it is always possible."

"Yes," agreed Mma Ramotswe. "One never knows."

She looked over her shoulder, towards a door that led into the rest of the house.

"The other rooms are that way?" she asked politely.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni nodded. "That is the not-so-tidy part of the house," he said. "Perhaps we should look at it some other time."

Mma Ramotswe shook her head and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni realised that there was no escape. This was part and parcel of marriage, he assumed; there could be no secrets--everything had to be laid bare.

Copyright 2002 by Alexander McCall Smith
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. What distinguishes Tears of the Giraffe from most other mysteries? What qualities make it such a charming and affirmative book? In what ways does Mma Ramotswe differ from such archetypal detectives as Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, and Philip Marlowe?

2. Mrs. Curtain says that when she first came to Africa, she had “the usual ideas about it—a hotchpotch of images of big game and savannah and Kilimanjaro rising out of the cloud . . . famines and civil wars and potbellied, half-naked children staring at the camera, sunk in hopelessness” [p. 27]. How does her experience of Africa alter these ideas? Why does she feel that “everything about my own country seemed so shoddy and superficial when held up against what I saw in Africa” [p. 29]? What deeper and truer understanding of Africa does the novel itself offer readers who might share Mrs. Curtain’s preconceptions?

3. Mma Ramotswe knows that Mrs. Curtain’s case—finding out what happened to her son ten years ago—is what is referred to in The Principles of Private Detection as “a stale enquiry” [p. 61]. Why does she accept the case, in spite of that? What special empathy does she feel for Mrs. Curtain?

4. When Mr J.L.B. Matekoni wonders why his apprentice mechanics take everything for granted, a friend explains, “Young people these days cannot show enthusiasm. . . . It’s not considered smart to be enthusiastic” [pp. 80-81]. Is this an accurate observation? Where else does the novel demonstrate this kind of understanding of human behavior?

5. Why does Mr J.L.B. Matekoni allow himself to be talked into adopting the orphans? What specific memory enables him to open his heart to them? What does this act say about his character?

6. Mma Ramotswe thinks that “the Americans were very clever; they sent rockets into space and invented machines which could think more quickly than any human being alive, but all this cleverness could also make them blind” [p. 113]. What is it that she thinks Americans are blind to? Is she right? How do her own values differ from those of mainstream America?

7. Tears of the Giraffe poses some difficult moral dilemmas for Mma Ramotswe. Should one always tell the truth, or is lying sometimes the better choice? Does a moral end justify immoral means? Which cases raise these questions? How do Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi answer them?

8. When Mma Ramotswe prepares her accounts for the end of the financial year, she finds that “she had not made a lot of money, but she had not made a loss, and she had been happy and entertained. That counted for infinitely more than a vigorously healthy balance sheet. In fact, she thought, annual accounts should include an item specifically headed Happiness, alongside expenses and receipts and the like. That figure in her accounts would be a very large one, she thought” [p. 225]. What enables Mma Ramotswe to live happily? How would most American CEOs and CFOs respond to the accounting innovation she suggests in the above passage?

9. How is Mma Ramotswe able to solve the mystery of Mrs. Curtain’s son’s disappearance? What role does her intuition play in figuring out what happened to him? Why is this information so important for Mrs. Curtain?

10. When Mma Potokwane tells Mr J.L.B. Matekoni that their pump makes a noise, “as if it is in pain,” he replies that “engines do feel pain. . . . They tell us of their pain by making a noise” [p. 77]. Later, he tells his apprentice, “you cannot force metal. . . . If you force metal, it fights back” [p. 198]. What do these statements reveal about Mr J.L.B. Matekoni’s character? About his approach to being a mechanic? Are his assertions merely fanciful or do they reveal some deeper truth about the relationship between the human and the inanimate world?

11. One of Mma Makutsi’s classmates at the Botswana Secretarial College tells her that “men choose women for jobs on the basis of their looks. They choose the beautiful ones and give them jobs. To the others, they say: We are very sorry. All the jobs have gone” [p. 109]. In what ways does Tears of the Giraffe suggest ways around the stifling roles dictated by “brute biology”? What examples does it provide of girls and women overcoming the restrictions placed on them and assuming traditionally male roles?

12. The housemother of the orphanage explains to Motholeli, “We must look after other people. . . . Other people are our brothers and sisters. If they are unhappy, then we are unhappy. If they are hungry, then we are hungry” [p. 124]. In what ways does the novel demonstrate this ethic in action? How is this way of relating to other people different from the starker examples of American individualism?

13. In what ways are Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and Mma Ramotswe well-suited to each other? How do they treat each other in the novel? How do they complement each other?

14. In what ways is Tears of the Giraffe as much about family relationships as it is about solving crimes? How does the novel provide emotionally satisfying resolutions to the parental pain that both Mrs. Curtain and Mma Ramotswe have suffered?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 118 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2005

    Superb and refreshing: 5+

    What a superb story McCall Smith tells in Tears of the Giraffe, and how beautifully he tells it. His No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is fast becoming one of my favorites. Simply told, gently written, and charming in its descriptions of the people and places in the Botswana of Precious Ramotswe, makes McCall Smith's approach to storytelling unique and refreshing. Mma Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only woman detective, and owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has agreed to marry Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. However, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's maid, Florence Peko, is not at all happy with the news and conjures up some plans of her own for Mma Ramotswe. The main plot surrounds Mma Ramotswe's search for the son of an American woman who had been missing for ten years. The woman, Andrea Curtin, does not expect her son to be alive, but she does want to know what happened to him. Mrs (no period) Curtin's husband is now dead, and all previous efforts to find her son have failed, so she pays a visit to the agency. Add to that the troubles of Mr Letsenyane Badule who wants to know if his wife is having an affair, and we have the thrust of the book. Then there are the orphans, two of whom become very important in the lives of Mma Ramotswe and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its simple, straight-forward language, and its portrayal of the qualities of the Batswana (refers to the people), kept me enthralled. I was particularly struck by the fact that Mma Ramotswe and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni were always referred to by this formal reference. More familiar forenames were never used. My only concern in reading this book was whether or not I was pronouncing names and places correctly-places like the Makadikadi Salt Pans, the town of Molepolole, and the names Tlokweng, Letsenyane and Sonqkwena, to name a few. If you read it, you will love it. Carolyn Rowe Hill

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 5, 2005

    Tears of the Giraffe: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series

    A fast flowing story set in Africa, Tears of the Giraffe is one of the best books I have read. With good values expressed through characters that are lively, this book showed a beautiful side of Africa, where commitment is held sacred, where love is deep and hospitality is the norm. Fast paced and hilarious, this book hooked me all the more to the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2012

    This is another great read from Alexander McCall

    I am more than ever excited about this series. It really brings me into Botswana Africa. The characters are wonderful and fun to follow through all thier adventures.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    wonderful one-evening read

    Every bit as good as the first of the series. Simple, funny, memorable characters and prose. I recommend this series to all the readers I know. I tell them it is the African equivalent of 'Murder, She Wrote', one of my favorite TV series of all time. Smith's straight-forward style is endearing, and lets the characters do the heavy lifting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2011

    5 out of five

    I enjoyed book one, but Tears if the Giraffe had more emotion, plot twists and cultural insights. A touching book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Tears of the Giraffe is amazing! The second in the series of "The No. 1 Ladies Dective Agency" series is a winner.

    Open the book and step away from who you are and where you are.
    This book is the second in the series and in the first book you are introduced to the characters with a few simple plots to be solved.
    In this, the second book, you are finding the characters to be a little more complex and the detective work even more challenging.
    You can almost feel the sun on your skin and the warmth of the breezes as you step away from home and into Africa.
    The characters are lovable and interesting, without a dull day amongst them.
    The book is both a study of compassion and of the land in which the story takes place.
    Reading this book has brought laughter and tears and a strong desire to step away and into Africa.
    Beautifully written and I am definately compelled to finish the series.
    I am reading the third in the series now. I think I shall miss them when I have read them all. Thanks goodness I bought the books, as I think that I will start over from the beginning one day. For, one day, I may need a journey into Africa again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 13, 2004

    Even better than the first!

    You still have the read the first one to get all the background on her family and Daddy, but the second one really kicks this series into high gear!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2014

    I don't understand all of the poor ratings on this with no comme

    I don't understand all of the poor ratings on this with no comments. If you didn't like it, what didn't you like about it? Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. I have been thinking about reading one of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books for a long time and I found this one in a Little Free Library. I am very happy that I picked it up. I read it all in one day, I had to see how it turned out. I really enjoyed some of the things that were written about Africa and the culture. A friend had spent some time there as a nurse and so the story really reflected what she had shared after being there for 3 years. I definitely recommend this book. It is an easy read and very interesting.

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

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Loved it!

    Stayed interesting through the book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    I highly recommend this book!

    The characters are deep and believable, and yet from another dimension, beyond my ordinary experience. The plot seems ordinary and then becomes unique and engaging.

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

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Krisy

    I hav tan skin im skinny play basketball softball track football i have wavy dark brown hair n big milk choclate eyes

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 27, 2013

    READ THIS PLEASE HELP ME

    Does anyone know a jake or dc

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

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Skyler to zack

    Im white and portoricon. Im 14 i have black long straight hair with pink at end. I wanna party. I do cheerleading soccer tennis softball the most. Im tan and skinny. Big ti.ts and a.zz i am wearing a blue tinktop and black jean bootyshorts. *just to make it clear im taken but i wanna party*

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

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Jae

    Okay cool

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    excellent read,now I want to go to Botswana!

    The descriptions are incredibly vivid!

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

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Questioner

    Is it sad ;(

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2011

    If you loved the TV series...

    The books are even better! You're given more background, making the story line even more lively.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 17, 2011

    Great simple series

    Simple, light detective stories. No murders yet. O have read two. They make excellent rwading to teach simple lessons about life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An insightful fun story continues

    I'm really enjoying this book series. Mysteries solved in creative ways through the insight of a thoughtful woman. An easy way to learn about one example of African modern culture.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    A great escape

    I was not into this series until I started watching the HBO series with Jill Scott. I started reading the books because just one hour a week wasn't enough for me. The books are great! I get lost in the writing and the story and I love imagining the scenery and I find it to be a WONDERFUL escape from my life. Mr. Smith writes as if we are actually there and participating in the story. I really enjoy it! I gotta read the rest of the series I can't wait!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 118 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)