The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Volume 3 - The Chief Justice of Beauty & The Confession

Starring: Claire Benedict, Joseph Marcell, Nadine Marshell, Noma Dumezweni and Janice Acquah
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 405 67746 2
ISBN-10: 1 40567 746 5
Available 02 April 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 3 in this collection includes the episodes The Chief Justice of Beauty and The Confession.

The Chief Justice of Beauty finds the ladies hired by a beauty contest judge to check up on the integrity of the finalists in a forthcoming competition, following the embarrassing arrest for shoplifting of a previous winner. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe is worried about her fiancée, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni.

Mma Ramotswe has issues with the beauty competition as they reward thin women and not "traditionally built" ladies. There is much humour to be had as the beauty competition's organiser has to side step Mma Ramotswe's weight issues. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni also seems to know all the entries - maybe a little too well for Mma Ramotswe's liking.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni still hasn't set a date for their wedding - which is starting to worry Mma Ramotswe. After talking with Mma Makutsi, she becomes convinced that her future husband is keeping a secret from her.

The Confession sees Mma Ramotswe consulting her best friend Mma Potokwane, the matron at the orphanage, to ask for help in dealing with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. She also has a new client - Mr Molefelo, a man with a shameful past who wants Mma Ramotswe to find the two women he has wronged and ask them to forgive him.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni refuses to take his medication to ease his depression. He believes there is nothing wrong with him. Mma Potokwane agrees to help tackle this problem. Meanwhile, the storyline with Mr Molefelo is interesting as Mma Ramotswe agrees to right a couple of past wrongs. Molefelo stole from the one woman who had taken him in as her own son when he was a student and now he wants to make amends to her and the young woman whom he got pregnant.

Whether you've been following this series, or are new to it, this is a collection well worth investing your time and money in.

Pete Boomer

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