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The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) Paperback – 18 Feb 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (18 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349139288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349139289
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful 'No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award.

In addition to these series, Alexander writes stand-alone books. 2014 sees publication of three new novels which fall into this area: 'The Forever Girl'; 'Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party'; and 'Emma' - a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. This year there will also be a stunning book on Edinburgh, 'A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith's Edinburgh'. Earlier stand alone novels include 'La's Orchestra Saves the World' and 'Trains and Lovers: A Hearts Journey'.

Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March of 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country.
Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Product Description


Blake may have been able to see the world in a grain of sand, but McCall Smith can encapsulate the human condition in a plate of stewed pumpkin. His talent is to see the god in small things (Sunday Times Scotland)

The magnificent Mma Ramotswe is a delightful original and a reminder of a calm, leisured way of life that still exists in parts of post-colonial Africa (Guardian)

Unalloyed pleasure (Sunday Telegraph)

A small slice of heaven (Scotsman)

Book Description

The new Botswana book from bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, this is Mma Ramotswe's fourteenth wonderful adventure.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Dec 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mma Makutsi has some happy news which may affect the future of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency but she seems reluctant to talk about it. Business at the agency seems quite slack but Mma Ramotswe has two puzzling cases to tackle. A new beauty salon has opened but it seems no one wants to visit it and someone is spreading lies about it. A lawyer wonders whether someone connected with a will she is administering is really who they say they are. Precious Ramotswe's husband - Mr J L B Maketoni - wants to be a good husband and decides to go to evening classes on the subject.

Can the characters adjust to new circumstances and can solutions be found for the current cases? This is a thoughtful and heart-warming story which demonstrates the author's marvellous knowledge of human nature. The writing is simple and down to earth but none the worse for that.

I enjoyed reading this fourteenth episode in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and it is interesting to see how the characters are growing and changing - even Charlie the apprentice mechanic - seems to be showing signs of maturity. Even the prickly Mma Makutsi is becoming just a little more mellow. Simple situations, interesting and entertaining characters and human nature at its best and at its worst - the perfect ingredients for a satisfying story.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By ACB(swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER on 27 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a delightful and worthy addition to the series, returning to the characters who continue to maintain integrity, kindness and forgiveness as paramount attributes of human nature even under difficult circumstances. A radically changing world has not yet reached Gaborone, Botswana, and the book captures the daily concerns of the protagonists perfectly. Mma Precious Ramotswe is still unassuming and perceptive with the aid of her Clovis Andersen book of detective principles, needed with her experience in the cases she has to deal with in this volume. A lawyer client asks her to look into an inheritance problem. Mma Soleti has just bought and opened the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon and engages Mma Ramotswe to investigate a major obstacle she has encountered. The other development concerns 'associate detective', Mma Makutsi who eventually takes maternity leave.

These are really activities (apart from the maternal issues) that take second place to the unhurried pace of life and the laid back dry humour and wit reflected in the marvellous dialogue that occurs particularly between the two lady protagonists and the gracious Mr J.L.B. Matekoni; words and body language that need care to avoid misinterpretation but when this does happen the results are often even more amusing.

There is nothing complex in this book and the tales are of ordinary resourceful characters who collectively provide the reader with such pleasure and enjoyment with a feel-good factor, thanks to the author's excellent writing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By marjorie lindsay on 18 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read each book in the No. I Ladies Detective Agency and I feel I have a vested interest in all the characters in the book. This latest book has, as always, been a fun read and I love the bits of wisdom that are said by some of the characters especially our Precious and not forgetting Grace Makutsi
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Park on 17 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is another well-written novel within the series and, as always, there are episodes of charm, colour and nostalgic brilliance for all to enjoy. The developments in the lives of Mme Ramotswe and her friends continue to bring a big grin to my face and 2 cases investigated were interesting and fun. However, they felt very rushed towards the end, as if McCall Smith had been asked to heavily edit the book in order to reduce its size and so there was a certain hollowness to the close of the book which was rather upsetting. If it needed editing, why not just a minor adjustment?
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover
I feel a little like a voice in the wilderness, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by the latest outing in this much loved series. Much like Precious Ramotswe herself over the course of the story, I felt like something was missing. It had the air of having been written to fulfil a contractual obligation for another instalment rather than having arisen from a central idea. I have rated it three stars, which to me is not a negative review, but a neutral one. It's not a terrible book at all, but nor does it sparkle with the wit and energy that other books in the series have had.

As the book opens, Mma Ramotswe is about to discover that her long term offsider Mma Makutsi is expecting a child. The baby arrives without much delay, which means that Mma Makutsi is absent for much of the novel. Mma Ramotswe has two cases to investigate: a series of threats against the proprietor of a new beauty salon, and a question over the identity of the heir to a large inheritance. The arrival of a baby also gives Mma Ramotswe and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni reason to think about their own family and the dynamics within it. There is also an appearance by Phuti Radiphuti's meddlesome aunt, which I enjoyed.

This is a sweet book, but as I mentioned above, it didn't really come to life for me. Usually I read the books in this series quite quickly, but I kept losing interest in this one. Both of the mysteries were quite predictable and for whatever reason the charm was largely absent.
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