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No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Books In Order

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Publication Order of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Books

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tears of the Giraffe (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Morality for Beautiful Girls (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kalahari Typing School for Men (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Full Cupboard of Life (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blue Shoes and Happiness (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Miracle at Speedy Motors (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Double Comfort Safari Club (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Precious and Grace (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House of Unexpected Sisters (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Colors of All the Cattle (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
To the Land of Long Lost Friends (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to Raise an Elephant (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Joy and Light Bus Company (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Song of Comfortable Chairs (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
From a Far and Lovely Country (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Hippopotamus Hotel (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Collections

The Cleverness of Ladies (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is a series by the Scottish author, Alexander McCall Smith. The first book in the series carries the same title as the series. It was first published in 1999 by Polygon Books. The books are very popular and have been printed all over the world. They deal with a variety of issues, from women being self sufficient to the struggles facing parts of Africa today as well as many traditional problems, such as personal relationships as well as human emotions and motivations such as jealousy, greed, anger, and revenge. The last book to be published in the series is the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, published in 2013.

The agency in the series is founded by a Moswana woman in the capital of Botswana, Gaborone. Mma Precious Ramotswe is the story’s main character and detective. The books are about the adventures of characters and involve other issues and themes as well as contemporary aspects, combined with an overarching mystery archetype. The series deals with a multitude of themes, including rural ways of life specific to Southern Africa, women in non traditional and traditional occupations, urbanity, modernity, social relations in traditional African society, contemporary and traditional African belief systems, AIDS and orphans of AIDS in Africa, clinical depression, emotional intelligence, moral philosophy, virtue, ethics, domestic violence, forgiveness, and infidelity. The books have been adapted to a number of other mediums, including television movies, Internet and episodes broadcast for the radio.

Mma Precious Ramotswe us a woman who chooses to become a private detective. She is the first woman in the city to choose that profession, and the agency she opens is named in such a way that reflects her business, who is running it, and their dedication to quality. Mma wants to help others and overall make her home a better place. But she comes across many obstacles and even danger in the course of her detective work. Mma perseveres and does well with her intelligence and instinct as well as courage guiding her. The books also give a voice to the natural beauty of Botswana and Africa, along with the tradition and culture as well as people that live there.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

The book takes place in Gaborone, Botswana. The main character is a Motswana woman, the protagonist Mma Precious Ramotswe. She makes the unusual decision to become a private detective and opens up a detective agency to do so. Her character has modern and traditional aspects of Africa both reflected in her and she loves the people of her country as well as Botswana itself. Family is very important to her, as is her home country making up a large part of its culture. Part of the plot of this book is based upon the ritual killing and murder of Segametsi Mogomotsi in Mochudi in 1994. The novel also features many of the dangerous and exotic animals of Africa, describing the crocodiles and snakes. All of this is part of the danger and beauty of Africa, home to so many wild plants and animals, a unique and marvelous place where the wild life is also revered and respected.

Tears of the Giraffe

This is the second book in the mystery series. It was published in 2000. This book also takes place in Botswana and features once more the tenacious lady detective, Precious Ramotswe. In this book, the heroine has been engaged to the garage owner, Mr. Matekoni. Unfortunately for Precious, his devious maid is plotting to break them up, and attempts to frame Precious for a very bad thing. Meanwhile, Precious is helping an American woman with a case. Her son disappeared in Botswana some time ago, and she is trying to help her, all while aiding someone with a paternity case. Her beloved is very busy as well, adopting two orphans to take care of.

Precious is not a big fan of his maid, either, and notes that she has been not feeding him the way she should and on top of it, has been conducting love affairs with other men in his bed! The maid senses that Precious does not approve and that her integration into the garage owner and her boss’s life will mean her eventual dismissal and having to find another job. Whether the maid’s sneakiness will pay off is yet to be seen, but she is no fan of the female detective and will do everything she can to keep her from coming into her boss’s life and spoiling everything.

Meanwhile, Precious Ramotswe is investigating the wife of a butcher who may be having an affair. She comes upon an interesting detail when she discovers that the son of the woman has been fathered by a different man who has all the time been paying the bills for his private education. Meanwhile, a promotion is in store for Mma Makutsi, who may have a higher position waiting for her than just secretary. Meanwhile, Precious’s beloved worries that the adoption of the orphan children may alter his relationship with her, but she accepts the children just fine. They both see that the children have an aptitude for growth and to succeed, and a family dynamic begins to form between them.

Books Made Into TV and Movies

An adaptation was made in 2007 by production companies as well as the BBC and HBO. It broadcast on BBC1 Television March 23, 2008 and was directed and co-written by Anthony Minghella and Richard Curtis. It starred Jill Scott as the lady detective Precious Ramotswe and shot in Botswana. The pilot was 109 minutes long and there were six one hour episodes filmed, written and directed by other parties.

The novels were also adapted for radio, with Alexander McCall Smith adapting them himself for BBC Radio 4. A total of 27 episodes were broadcast. The first aired on September 10, 2004, and the last on February 6, 2014. The radio episodes span the first book all the way to the fourteenth book. They starred Claire Benedict in the main role of Precious Ramotswe, except in the 2010 episodes, which starred Janice Acquah.

Book Series In Order » Characters » No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

6 Responses to “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency”

  1. Fred: 2 months ago

    I started reading these books when they were first published. I loved them and would pop into Smiths eagerly awaiting the next installment like a little kid. I read the first 8 books and never saw any more so assumed the series was finished. Imagine my surprise when I read an article about Alexander McCall Smith just a couple of days ago and it said there were more than 20 books in the series. I’m so pleased and have just ordered three from Amazon.

  2. Kelly: 3 months ago

    Love this series. I go back and forth between reading and listening to the audio books done by Lisette Lecat, who seems destined to bring the characters to life. McCall Smith is an impeccable writer!

  3. Carole Soden: 12 months ago

    I actually discovered The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books when I was living in Botswana and I instantly loved them. They were as popular with the Tswana (A Motswana friend actually recommended them.) which is a testament to Alexander McColl Smith. Anyway, I have (and still am) really enjoyed them and so have the people I have recommended them to even if they know nothing about Southern Africa.

  4. Larry Branscum: 1 year ago

    Love the books. I am currently reading the series in the sequence in which they were written.

  5. Olive McKrell: 2 years ago

    I have read all but a few of the later books, I enjoyed them very much. > was delighted with the few episodes on hbomax and hoped for more. Alex McCall Smith has somehow infused his characters with such fine honed, believable and humorous characters as well as unique stories, I’m addicted to his stories.

  6. Bruce: 3 years ago

    enjoyed the earlier books
    interesting to learn of the later ones


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