The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Volume 2 - The Maid & Tears of the Giraffe

Starring: Claire Benedict, Janice Acquah, Joseph Marcell and Nancy Crane
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 405 67724 0
ISBN-10: 1 40567 724 4
Available 05 February 2007

Wayward daughters, missing husbands, philandering partners, curious con men - If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective, and her assistant, Mma Makutsi.
Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on a series of cases that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger...

Warm, humorous and uplifting, Alexander McCall Smith's hugely popular novels featuring Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of Botswana's only female private detective agency, have become international best-sellers, sold over seven million copies, and been translated into 26 languages. These acclaimed productions bring the exotic world of the books vividly to life.

Volume 2 in this collection includes the episodes The Maid and Tears of the Giraffe.

The Maid sees Mma Ramotswe visiting the house of the mechanic she has agreed to marry, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. But there is a shock in store for her... Back at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, there is the mystery of the erratic doctor to look into, and a 'cold case' involving an American who went missing from a communal farm.

This second volume in the series continues to follow the work and social life of Mma Ramotswe as she investigates another batch of mysteries. A lot of the humour in this episode comes from Mr J.L.B. Matekoni showing Mma Ramotswe around his house. His maid has not really kept on top of the house work and Mma Ramotswe's sarcastic comments, inferring that the house is not clean, do not go down too well. But then maybe Mr J.L.B. Matekoni should have told his maid that he was marrying Mma Ramotswe. The maid has secretly been using the house to entertain her lover, something she doesn't want to stop doing. With this in mind she hatches a plan to get rid of Mma Ramotswe.

There is also the strange doctor who seems to be two people, and the American woman who is desperate to find out the truth about her son's disappearance.

Tears of the Giraffe finds Mma Ramotswe happy with her flourishing detective agency and gentlemanly fiancé. She thinks she has everything she could possibly want - but in fact she has rather more than she had bargained for. Meanwhile, the case of the American man who disappeared ten years ago has still to be solved, and Grace Makutsi is promoted from secretary to Assistant Detective.

The second disc in this 2-disc collection continues the story lines started in The Maid. There's also more trouble in store for Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, who manages to foster two children by accident.

As you'd expect, all of the plot lines are concludes satisfactorily, and we are left wanting more. Another well written and produced release.

Pete Boomer

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