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Lisette Lecat is the ideal reader for Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. A native of South Africa (which borders Botswana and shares Setswana language roots), Lecat's perfect accents and delightful characterizations are charming and entirely believable. Smith's detective plots are always secondary to the common sense and often witty psychological and philosophical discussions and internal musings that constitute the better part of the book, but Lecat manages to keep listeners engaged and focused throughout, and to feel comfortable in the Botswanan landscape. Teaching law at Botswana University, Smith obviously developed great admiration and love for the nation and its people, and it is this that makes his detective ladies so popular. Lecat's reading will delight both veteran and new fans of the series. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 25). (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

The title of this ninth novel in the popular "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series is somewhat misleading. As usual, not all that much happens in the lives of lady detective Precious Ramotswe, her assistant Grace Makutsi, or her husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, but with these gentle tales, it is all in the telling. Will Mma Ramotswe have to sell some of her prize cattle to cover unexpected expenses? Reading each new installment set in Botswana is like spending time with old friends. While these novels are becoming more predictable and sentimental, they still brim with warmth, charm, and wonderfully sly humor not found in McCall Smith's other series set in Scotland (The Sunday Philosophy Club). These stories are not for everyone, but the many addicted could probably read a new one every year until Mma Ramotswe's cows come home. For all popular fiction collections.--Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Praise for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series
""Alexander McCall Smith's big-hearted Botswanan stories [allow] his readers to escape into a world of simple, picturesque pleasures and upstanding virtues."
--"The New York Times Book Review
""The best, most charming, honest, hilarious, and life-affirming books to appear in years."
"--The Plain Dealer
""Utterly enchanting... It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith 'mystery novel' without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart."
"--Chicago Sun-Times
""As pleasing as a cup of red bush tea."
"--Entertainment Weekly
""Beguiling, lyrical... Blessed with McCall Smith's richly detailed portraits of life in Africa and his flair for storytelling with an engaging cast of fully realized characters."
"--Los Angeles Times Book Review
""Delightful... Millions of readers around the world seem to hunger for the kindness, dignity, and humor McCall Smith celebrates in Mma Ramotswe."
"--The Oregonian

"From the Hardcover edition."

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