Summary and book reviews of In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

In The Company of Cheerful Ladies

by Alexander McCall Smith

In The Company of Cheerful Ladies
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 240 pages

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Book Summary

Mma Ramotswe's normally unshakable composure is rattled when a visitor forces her to confront a secret from her past.

In the newest addition to the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the charming and ever-resourceful Precious Ramotswe finds herself overly beset by problems. She is already busier than usual at the detective agency when added to her concerns are a strange intruder in her house on Zebra Drive and the baffling appearance of a pumpkin. And then there is Mma Makutsi, who decides to treat herself to dance lessons, only to be partnered with a man who seems to have two left feet. Nor are things running quite as smoothly as they usually do at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. Mma Ramotswe’s husband, the estimable Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is overburdened with work even before one of his apprentices runs off with a wealthy woman. But what finally rattles Mma Ramotswe’s normally unshakable composure is a visitor who forces her to confront a secret from her past. . . .

All this unfolds against the sunlit background of Mma Ramotswe’s beloved homeland, Botswana–a land of empty spaces, echoing skies, and an endless supply of soothing bush tea.

Chapter One
Honesty, Tea, and Things in the Kitchen

Mma Ramotswe was sitting alone in her favourite café, on the edge of the shopping centre at the Gaborone end of the Tlokweng Road. It was a Saturday, the day that she preferred above all others, a day on which one might do as much or as little as one liked, a day to have lunch with a friend at the President Hotel, or, as on that day, to sit by oneself and think about the events of the week and the state of the world. This café was a good place to be, for several reasons. Firstly, there was the view, that of a stand of eucalyptus trees with foliage of a comforting dark green which made a sound like the sea when the wind blew through the leaves. Or that, at least, was the sound which Mma Ramotswe imagined the sea to make. She had never seen the ocean, which was far away from land--locked Botswana; far away across the deserts of Namibia, across the red sands and the dry mountains. But she could imagine...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
The introduction, discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and author biography that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of Alexander McCall Smith’s In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, the sixth novel in the acclaimed No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

ABOUT THIS BOOK
Now married to Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, Precious Ramotswe has moved the office of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to Tlokweng Road. The story opens with Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi struggling to keep up with their investigative work, while Mr J. L. B. Matekoni is similarly burdened with the success of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. When Charlie, one of the apprentices at the garage, suddenly quits, Mma Ramotswe ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Amid the hilarious scenarios and quiet revelations are luminous descriptions of Botswana, land of wide-open spaces and endless blue skies.

Kirkus Reviews

The finest hour yet for Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency....Smith maintains the most civilized standards in the annals of detective fiction. But now, for the first time, he plots as if he actually means it.

Booklist - Allison Block

Starred Review. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and quietly profound, these life-affirming mysteries are fine company, indeed.

Reader Reviews

Chiranjoy Das

Delightful...
The author has a deep understanding of the Botswana society, traditions and its people. The subtle humor and the excellent flow of the story kept me spellbound. It is among the best books that I have read.

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