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The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) Hardcover – November 5, 2013

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$21.20 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency could be about to lose its #2 investigator in Smith's endearing 14th installment of the bestselling Botswana-set series (after 2012's The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection). One hardly needs the renowned deductive powers of agency head Mma Precious Ramotswe to notice the growing bulk beneath the increasingly voluminous garb of recently married second-in-command Mma Grace Makutsi. But the normally frighteningly efficient assistant stays mum as the pair try to establish whether the young nephew attempting to claim a dead man's estate is in fact an imposter. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe allows herself to be snookered into figuring out who's mounting a smear campaign against the titular beauty establishment. The two story lines work as serviceably as Mma Ramotswe's doughty white van to propel the story forward, but the book's appeal lies less in deduction than irrepressible characters, intriguing local lore, and bone-deep love of Africa. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Nov.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The titles of many of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels (this is the fourteenth) often have a wonderfully cheery tone. Think of The Full Cupboard of Life, for example, or Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. The latest title is brilliant in its hopefulness, implying, as it does, that a person may only be a mere tweak away from beauty. This hopeful attitude is exemplified by Mma Ramotswe, the owner and operator of Botswana’s only detective agency, who resolutely tackles the problems people bring to her in her small, out-of-the-way office under an acacia tree. The clients’ problems showcase the usual suspects of greed, envy, sloth—all the vices that cause trouble for others. This time, the owner of the nearest town’s new beauty salon receives a tiny thing, a feather from a ground hornbill bird. But this artifact is a traditional way of conveying hate. This is followed by a highly effective smear campaign. The other case Mma Ramotswe works on here concerns an heir to a great cattle farm who may actually be an imposter. Mma Ramotswe must track the truth alone because her assistant Mma Makutsi is absent (no plot spoiler here). As usual, these novels are only a bit about actual mysteries. They’re leisurely, wonderfully crafted descriptions of life in the agency and at home, the beauties of Botswana, and the joys, big and small, of life. This latest is, especially, a tribute to enduring friendship. --Connie Fletcher
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Product Details

  • Series: No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (Book 14)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books; 1st edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307378411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307378415
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,007 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is now Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has written more than fifty books, including a number of specialist titles, but is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has achieved bestseller status on four continents. In 2004 he was awarded British Book Awards Author of the Year and Booksellers Association Author of the Year. He lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Halldora Hreggvidsdottir on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is a verse about friendship and what most matters in life. I have read and listened to all the No. 1 Ladies' detective agencies books and enjoyed them tremendously. There is rich understanding of human nature and respect for life and Nature - a real wisdom interwoven with humor. They have all and this one included lifted my spirits and given me many moments of joy. What I enjoy in particular in the Minor adjustment beauty salon is the fact that the cases are in the background like a spice but the story of life, friendship and development of friendship is in the foreground - Alexander McCall Smith is a master of such story telling.

I must add to this that the fantastic reading of Adjoa Andoh, has added a new dimension to the No 1 books - although I have yet to listen to her reading the Minor adjustment beauty salon. I do look forward to it.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Judith Ashley Banks on October 29, 2013
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Alexander MacAll Smith has to be one of my favourite authors. When I finish his books, I want to turn around and read them again. I am entirely involved with his characters from the beginning. I sip the red bush tea with Mma Ramotswe,and the tea of Mma Makutsi, eat the fruit cake of Mma Potekama, go into the garage with the mental picture of Mr J L B Maketoni, Fanwell and Charlie underneath the vehicles they are attending. He brings a gentleness, a real feeling of respect for and with fellow humans that I readily espouse, with his help of course. His capture of the African turn of phrase, the African way of life, makes we want to go to Zebra Drive and just sit and have a chat with whoever comes along.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Aleta Detwiler on November 8, 2013
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As soon as a pre-buy was available I signed up. When it appeared on my IPad I stopped in the middle of another book to read it. Now I am finished and my heart is warm and the smile is still on my face. I love traveling to Botswana and entering the very heart-warming life of Mma Precious Ramotswe.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Gill Harris on October 12, 2013
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The usual laid back wry humour and gesture to more gentle times. I particularly like the characters' "thinking asides"...very tangential but not to the detriment of the plot. My only reserve was the two cases posed, while resolved, were done in passing, rather than in direct action with the named culprits. Not as satisfying as usual. However, always enjoy the interplay between the two women protagonists.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By cathairetic on December 19, 2013
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Mma Makutsi has become a mother with the arrival of her son and her husband Phuti Radiphuti is over the moon about it. Unfortunately, his very old-fashioned and traditional aunt moves in with them in order to make sure the baby receives proper care. I imagine most of us have a relative who sees all, knows everything and has a personality that makes vinegar seem sweet. With the aid of some helpful cobras, she finally decides to leave the new parents in peace.

Mr. J. L. B. Matakoni, husband of Mma Ramotswe decides to enroll in a course at the local university to learn how to become a modern husband, only to find himself held up as a model before the other students. Since he considers himself to be a thoroughly traditional man, this is excruciatingly embarrassing, so embarrassing that he decides not to return. Meanwhile, his apprentice Charlie falls in love with Mma Makutsi's baby boy and decides he is ready to marry and become a father! Charlie? The one who really, really needs a course to learn how to be a modern husband... !

Mma Ratmotswe deeply misses the presence and assistance of her friend Mma Makutsi. The office is just not the same without her. She resorts to visiting Mma Makutsi at home to confer with her about the two cases that are the theme of this entry in the series. One involves the inheritance of a farm... is the legatee really the nephew who inherits? And who has started an evil campaign of lies to force The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon to close its doors? What they discover on one case is shocking indeed and the other case causes them to remember to never jump to conclusions.

This book had me laughing out loud in places and as usual is filled with those snippets of wisdom and common sense that we all highlight as we read. Highly recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Thea Biesheuvel on October 24, 2013
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Alexander gets the atmosphere and concerns of the ladies absolutely right. Amongst the so-called daily concerns are bigger issues, such as working mothers and maternity leave, as well as family 'scandals'. The 'wrong side of the blanket' hasn't gone away as an issue. It is great fun to read this material and absorb its message.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Linda on November 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read and loved all the previous books in this series, but this one is a disappointment. In The Minor Adjustment, Mma Ramotswe all too often thinks about random matters in a rambling manner. Perhaps the author meant to indicate that she is not her usual self while Mma Makutsi is off having a baby, but he goes too far. What has made Mma Ramotswe an appealing and memorable character in previous books is her clear thinking about the small yet important aspects of life that are related to her cases and/or her relationships with friends and family members. In this book, the author too often makes Mma Ramotswe appear muddled - less than her usual self.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Mercier on November 12, 2013
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Certain writers have the gift of lifting the reader into what can only be called an alpha state; the books in this series are funny, charming and insightful yet the overall experience of reading them goes even beyond that; a meditative, even highly spiritual experience which can't be understated. Graceful and lovely - and fun! Read the whole series if you haven't - if you have, this is a welcome addition.
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