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No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Box Set: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls. Paperback – Box set, October 28, 2003


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No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Box Set: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls. + The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 4) + The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 5)
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Product Details

  • Series: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • Paperback: 705 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books (October 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679789758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679789758
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Smart and sassy. . . . Precious's progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once." —Los Angeles Times

"One of the most entrancing literary treats of many a year. . . . A tapestry of extraordinary nuance and richness." —The Wall Street Journal

From the Inside Flap

The first three books in Alexander MCCall Smith's beloved bestselling series, featuring Mma Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built, eminently sensible, cunning proprietor of the only ladies' detective agency in Botswana, are now available in a beautifully designed boxed set.


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).

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Customer Reviews

You can't go wrong with any of the books in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
Cottonwood the Ratlady
The stories provide the reader with an insight into social aspects of one African society rarely offered in such a caring and empathic way.
Friederike Knabe
These 3 came boxed in publication date order as a perfect Christmas present for hours of reading pleasure.
Jill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Tryon on November 8, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first book of the series started slowly because I expected a conventional mystery (Mma Ramotswe is a detective, after all). Instead, these are gentle plots that reveal characters and the modern story of Africa. The writing and, for me, unfamiliar rubrics of daily conversation in Botswana soon completely captivated me. These three novels hang together nicely and they do not seem in any sense repetitive. Characters develop and change as the series moves along. The only thing many readers say as they close the cover of the last of the three books (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, and Morality for Beautiful Girls) in this set is, "More! More!" The set will be a great Christmas present for a number of the readers on my list.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By ArtCalls2Me on April 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I loved these books! Simple and well written, I hope the series goes on and on.
I looked up the definition of Mma and Rra. If you go to [...]
you can hear the correct pronunciation by clicking the little sound symbol to the right of the words.
Basically, Mma means "Madame" and Rra means "Sir". They are pronounced exactly as they appear. The Rra has more of a rolled "r" sound, though. Mma is pronounced "Maah" and Rra is pronounced "Rrraah", both with a sharp "ah" sound at the end. I was not able to find out where these words came from originally, or if they are a shorter version of more formal words.
Happy Reading! Z
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L. Ramkey on January 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having visited Botswana a few years ago and having been a female private investigator in a past life, a friend couldn't help but introduce me to 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency'. How could I resist this one? It was a literary blessing and near spiritual experience to once again cross the Atlantic to escape the complications and experience the purity, the simplicity and the primitive beauty of Botswana. This a land where, when trees fall across the dusty, sandy roads, the tree is not removed. It's just time for the road to change its course, leaving the tree to continue its cycle through the ecosystem. Mma Precious Ramotswe and her circle of family and friends easily mimic the respectful and infectious spirit of this land. I could easily identify with her love of her homeland and her desire to preserve the freedom and justice Botswana brings to its people. Her common sense and logic, cunning ability to outfox the fox, combined with her strength of character, confidence and dogged courage make her a new literary heroine for me. Alexander McCall Smith has captured the essense of Botswana and its people perfectly through his endearing characters. I can't wait to be infused with more of Precious' wisdom and hilarious antics.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on February 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
The inspiration for the No.1 Lady Detective, Ma Ramotswe, came to McCall Smith while he observed a "traditionally built and cheerful" woman chasing a chicken in a yard in Botswana. Precious Ramotswe became the heroine of this delightful and engaging series. The box set contains the first three volumes and, as an extra treat, an African folk tale from a forthcoming collection. If you, as I did, just bought the first volume on its own, keep it to lend or give to friends and get the set right away. Mm Ramotswe's charm, humanity and her special sense of fairness will keep you entertained and your heart warmed. You will feel like the author who could not leave Ma Ramotswe at the end of the first book - "it would have been like leaving in the middle of a conversation".
The diverse cases handled by the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, while providing a thread through the books, are not really the main theme. The stories provide the reader with an insight into social aspects of one African society rarely offered in such a caring and empathic way. With great sensitivity McCall Smith explores rising conflicts between the traditional values of Botswana society and the modern influences brought from the cities across the border in South Africa. Of course, there are also the usual domestic conflicts that are the bread and butter of private detectives. Mma Ramotswe solves these with aplomb and wit, using common sense and her own version of justice. It is sometimes more important to teach the culprit a lesson and change his ways than to hand him (or her) over to the police authorities...
Through all the descriptions of her cases and daily goings on in her life, McCall Smith reveals his love for Botswana, her people and the environment.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is a treasure. It defies the usual boundaries of genre: While a work of fiction, it evokes memoir and spirit of place (eg Elspeth Huxley's Flame Trees of Thika or Rumer Godden's India stories). While the heroine solves mysteries, the emphasis is less on the mystery to be solved than on life in Botswana, the character of the resourceful and indomitable heroine, the innocence of the victims and the motivations of the perpetrators. While it is fine to read a good mystery, a good novel, a good memoir, a good travelogue--this book is all of the above. It is a truism to say
"This is a book you can't put down" but I do recommend that you abandon your workday schedule when you pick up this book as you will not want to put it down and will likely then seque into Tears of the Giraffe and McCall's other little masterpieces. It is a book that can transport you.
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