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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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6503514,827 (3.9)56
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 35 (next | show all)
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 |
Another wonderful book about Botswana. I just love the pace of their life. The ending was a surprise. I hope we see more of Clovis Anderson in future books. ( )
  annertan | Jul 31, 2014 |
This, 13th book in the 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series, is almost a whirlwind with so many things happening to the central characters and occurring so close to home. This story has a lot of heart. ( )
  MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book more than the previous two. There seemed to be more at stake. I think the mysteries are beginning to be more mysterious. My favorite part was meeting Clovis Anderson! I could read this one again, easily. ( )
  MrsLee | Jan 14, 2014 |
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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:36 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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