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The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency… (edition 2012)

by Alexander McCall Smith

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7073813,366 (3.9)66
Member:eliorajoy
Title:The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (13)
Authors:Alexander McCall Smith
Info:Pantheon (2012), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Botswana, detectives

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The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Once again, Mma Ramotswe and the gang leave me with the sense that people in Botswana are generally polite and pleasant, with a strong sense of morality, and these virtues guide their actions in most situations. I liked in this one, how AMS kind of inserted himself into the story, in the person of Clovis Andersen, in a bit of a fish out of water subplot. I'd like to see how that develops in future books. As usual, I find these stories pleasant and palatable. ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
This is the 13th installment of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and for fans of the series it won't disappoint. The investigations involve corruption and false accusations, but this time the familiar characters are at the heart of the crimes. Mma Makutsi and her new husband, Phuti, are building a house; Mma Potokwane is being pushed out of her job at the orphan farm; and Fanwell finds himself in trouble. As usual, Mma Ramotswe uses her usual gentle charm to bring everything to a successful conclusion. We also learn a little bit about why shoes are so important to Mma Makutsi.

McCall Smith paints a picture of the gentle country of Botswana in all of these books, and the familiarity always makes them an enjoyable read. Lisette Lecat is an excellent reader.

January 2015 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
When Alexander McCall Smith appeared in Clearwater, Fla., several years ago, he hinted he was thinking of introducing Clovis Andersen as a character in a future installment in his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. Andersen's name has appeared in every book in the series, but never as an actual character. He is the American author of "The Principles of Private Detection," the book Precious Ramotswe uses as her bible in the detective agency she started in Botswana with the money left to her by her father. Whenever she finds herself at a loss as to what to do, she consults this book.

"The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection," published in 2012, is the novel Smith had in mind when I heard him speak in Clearwater to an overflow crowd. (I was a part of the overflow, sitting on the library floor.) Andersen, traveling as he mourns the loss of his wife, happens to wind up in Botswana, where he makes a courtesy call on the little detective agency with the unusual name. He has never dreamed that anyone, especially someone as far away from Indiana as Botswana, would be taking his guide, which has never sold many copies, so seriously.

Soon Clovis Andersen joins Mma Ramotswe as she probes two cases that strike close to home. Mma Potokwane, who has managed the orphan farm so ably for so many years, has been dismissed from her job by a member of her board whose interests seem to be something other than the welfare of orphan children.

Then Fanwell, one of her husband's young apprentices at Speedy Motors, moonlights as a mechanic for a former classmate, and gets arrested and charged with being part of a stolen-car gang. Mma Potokwane and Fanwell may not be paying clients, but rescuing them, with a little help from Clovis Andersen, becomes her focus in this novel, another winner for the series. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Mar 20, 2015 |
After being a bit disappointed with the 12th addition to this series, I was a little bit wary stepping into McCall Smith's 13th installment of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, thinking perhaps the streak of good reads had ended. At first, I was getting a little tired of hearing about stale in-jokes like Mma Makutsi's 97 percent and was kind of irked by that character in general. But the pace quickly picked up and there were so many interesting things going on this novel that I was soon absorbed.

In The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, the newly married Mma Makutsi and Phuti make plans to build a new house together, the younger apprentice Fanwell gets roped into some shady business with an old school chum, Mma Potokwane elicits Mma Ramotswe to investigate a businessman who seems to be having undue influence on the orphan farm's board, and the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency gets a surprise visit from none other than the Principles of Private Detection author Clovis Anderson.

Unfortunately, with so much going on, some story lines did seem to fall to the wayside. While we do see a little more of Motholeli and Puso than in the last book, a subplot involving Motholeli's troubles at school is quickly forgotten (although perhaps we will see more of that in the next addition). Another subplot involving a standard "bread and butter" case of spousal cheating also seems to disappear into the background, which is too bad because it was rather interesting to see Mma. Ramotswe and Mma. Makutsi really "hitting the pavement," so to speak, as they tried to find out more for their client.

One thing I did appreciate was how much the personal and the professional crossed over in this novel. I definitely like the mysteries of each novel, although I do also like hearing about the characters' personal lives. In some past titles in the series, it felt like the book would lean too heavily toward one area or the other. This one was a perfect mix, as even the items that seemed only personal (e.g., Grace and Phuti's house) ended up having an air of mystery about them that eventually needed to be explained.

For the audiophile, Lisette Lecat was once again amazing as the audio version's reader, this time adding in a new accent to her repertoire for the Midwestern Clovis Anderson. She does such a magnificent job in really bringing the book and its characters to life.

Overall, I was pleased with this book and am eager to see what McCall Smith has planned next for these characters. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Sep 25, 2014 |
This is the first of the No.1 Ladies Detection Agency franchise books I have read. I don't know the chronology of McCall Smith's work, but having previously read, and much enjoyed, a number of his 44 Scotland Street series, this felt like an attempt to replicate the languid Bohemia of his middle class Scotland in a southern African setting, and for me it just doesn't work.
The narrative is written in black African voices but lacks the authenticity of the true native writer. I couldn't help but wonder if the somewhat fortuitous and rather inexplicable introduction into the proceedings of the token awkward white man character, Clovis Anderson, is how the author sees himself amongst his African friends, clumsy, yet revered. There are small redeeming features, some of the sub plots are interesting, such as an ongoing court case involving a stolen car and potential wrongful conviction but even there, as throughout the book, McCall Smith seems to be stuck in an old colonial mindset in describing the behaviour of all involved from the officials to the accused.
Not a book that will live long in my memory and an experience which has down graded my opinion of the quality of this author's output. ( )
  DekeDastardly | Sep 17, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andoh, AdjoaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kern, ElisabethTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McIntosh, IainCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for Hilary Neville-Towle, with gratitude.
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In Botswana, home to the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency for the problems of ladies, and others, it is customary - one might say very customary - to enquire of people whom you meet whether they have slept well.
Quotations
The verandah of the President's Hotel is not a place in which a great deal happens. This is not in any way to disparage it: it is important that there should be places where not a great deal happens because such places remind us that life is not entirely and exclusively made up of exciting or significant events. Every life needs spells of calm, every life needs expanses of time when nothing much occurs, when one may sit for several hours in the same place and gaze upon static things, upon some waxen-leafed desert plant, perhaps, or a patch of dry grass. Or a group of cattle standing under a tree for the shade, the slow, flicking movement of their tails the only indication that they are animate beasts, not rocks; or a sky across which no clouds, or perhaps only the merest wisp of white, moves.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307378403, Hardcover)

THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 13

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.
 
Precious Ramotswe is haunted by a repeated dream: a vision of a tall, strange man who waits for her beneath an acacia tree. Odd as this is, she’s far too busy to worry about it. The best apprentice at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors is in trouble with the law and stuck with the worst lawyer in Gaborone. Grace Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti are building the house of their dreams, but their builder is not completely on the up and up. And, most shockingly, Mma Potokwane, defender of Botswana’s weak and downtrodden, has been dismissed from her post as matron at the orphan farm. Can the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency help restore the beloved matron to her rightful position?
 
As wealthy and powerful influences at the orphan farm become allied against their friend, help arrives from an unexpected visitor: the tall stranger from Mma Ramotswe’s dreams, who turns out to be none other than the estimable Clovis Andersen, author of the No. 1 Ladies’ prized manual, The Principles of Private Detection. Together, Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and their teacher-turned-colleague help right this injustice and in the process discover something new about being a good detective.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Precious Ramotswe is back and, as usual, her plate is full! She's called in to tackle a mysterious disciplinary problem at her adopted daughter's school...Her infinitely trustworthy assistant, Grace Makutsi, is having trouble adjusting to wedded bliss, a problem to test even the formidable talents of Mma Ramotswe...And the estimable Clovis Andersen, author of The Principles of Private Investigation--the No. 1 Ladies' prized manual--has arrived, right there, in Botswana, on a case of his own. Bush tea anyone?"--… (more)

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