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Audio Drama Review

Book Cover

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Volume 5


Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Starring: Claire Benedict, Joseph Marcell, Nadine Marshall and Janice Acquah
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 67757 8
Available 07 January 2008

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 5 in this collection includes the episodes How to Handle Men Through the Application of Psychology and The House of Hope.

How to Handle Men Through the Application of Psychology sees Mma Ramotswe setting out to release her fiancé, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, from a terrifying obligation. The poor, naïve man, who has never been in a plane before, has managed to find himself promising Mma Potokwane that he will take part in a sponsored parachute jump. Meanwhile, a new case comes to the agency, and the ladies find themselves on a love quest.

The House of Hope finds Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi visiting some 'bad girls' as part of their mission to find a husband for their client. But Mma Ramotswe has some marriage problems of her own; when her fiancÚ seems no closer to setting a date for their wedding, she seeks the advice of a crafty friend.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's ability to avoid setting a date for the wedding is quite impressive. But then Mma Ramotswe receives some advice that, as sexist as it sounds, the wedding day is mainly for the women and not the men - who have no real interest in all the fuss. But before Mma Ramotswe can marry Mr J.L.B. Matekoni she has a surprise from her past that she needs to tackle.

For those that have been following the series, this latest addition is essential listening.


Pete Boomer

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