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The Good Husband Of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Book 8) [Kindle Edition]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As winter turns to spring across the red earth, acacia trees and slow green rivers of Botswana, all is not quite as it should be on Zebra Drive, home to Mma Ramotswe and her beloved husband Mr J. L. B. Matekoni. At the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency there are the usual number of cases to be pursued, from persistent theft at Teenie Magama's printing works to the rather more serious case of three suspicious deaths at the Mochudi hospital, but there is discontent among the ranks. It is bad enough that Mr Matekoni's apprentice Charlie is off on another escapade and Mma Makutsi's impending marriage threatens her happy working relationship with Mma Ramotswe. And when - in trying to prove himself a worthy husband - Mr J. L. B. Matekoni himself decides to try a little detective work, disaster looms . . .
Tender, witty and wise, the latest instalment in the lives of Alexander McCall's Smith's extended Botswana family instructs us with familiar modesty in the importance of trust, love, not judging by appearances and what really makes a good husband.

Books In This Series (15 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description


    Simply, elegantly written and gently insightful (The GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

    There is a timelessness to the tales, yet they are also of the moment (Sunday TIMES SCOTLAND)

    [Andoh's] melodious tones befit these heartwarming tales and she does a fantastic job of creating identifiable voices for each character (FT MAGAZINE)

    Adjoa Andoh reads like a dream (GUARDIAN)

    Sunday Times Scotland

    'There is a timelessness to the tales, yet they are also of the

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 778 KB
    • Print Length: 242 pages
    • Publisher: Abacus (2 Oct. 2008)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B002TZ3CR2
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    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.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Three stumbling steps 11 Jun. 2007
    By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
    Mma Grace Makutsi enjoys shopping. New dresses are a fine thing to buy, but for Grace, shoes are nearly an obsession. While most people are limited in their available shopping times, Grace has a bit more flexibility. One day, she follows her impulse to visit the shops. What follows is a cascade of events with unexpected results. Among other things, it brings on a clash with her employer, Mma Precious Ramotswe of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The confrontation is rather intense for two such mild-mannered ladies, but the success of the business may be at stake - as well as the type of lifepath each lady will follow. Grace makes a decision regarding her future. It's the first of several mis-steps that occur in this tale.

    McCall Smith may have reached a new peak with this book. Each character seems enlarged through this volume - particularly when compared to the earlier works. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, proprietor of the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors facility - which also houses the Agency - takes on a richer role here. As Precious' husband, he is challenged as never before, as a man and as a mentor. The author grants him more introspective opportunities, and we learn even more about him than the earlier books conveyed. Even Charlie the apprentice mechanic becomes something more than just an aggravation to both Mr Matekoni and Grace. For one thing, Charlie has also determined to enlarge his role - in unexpected ways. It, too, proves a difficult, almost tragic, step in the wrong direction.

    The "mysteries" the Agency must resolve are of the usual type. There is the suspected unfaithful husband. A printing shop is being victimised by one of its own employees. And in distant Mochudi, patients in the local hospital have died under mysterious circumstances.
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    46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars The ladies are still No, 1 among detectives 7 Mar. 2007
    Once more we are back in Botswana in the company of Mma Ramotswe, the 'traditonally built' proprietor of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. Mma Ramotswe is, as always, kind and tolerant and understanding as she unravells yet another mystery. Her husband, Mr J.L. B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokwong Road Speedy Motors, decides he wants to do a little detecting for a change, so Mma Ramotswe, with some misgivings, allows him to take on a case. Naturally, things don't go quite as expected.

    Mma Ramotswe's assistant, Mma Makutsi, is as always somewhat less charitable and more abrasive than her employer, and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's two apprentices are as feckless as ever.

    As usual, there are no murders or violent happenings, and nobody is really very wicked. Botswana is vividly evoked, so that you can almost see what Mma Ramotswe sees, and understand her passionate love of her country. A trip to Botswana with Mma Ramotswe is always a pleasure.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Back to the old familiar! 16 Jun. 2008
    I have been a big fan of AMS Botswana series ever since the first book, and have read them all in order. I shall probably continue to do so, simply because I have become addicted to their feel-good nature and total lack of intellectual challenge. However I have to say that as the series progresses they no longer offer anything new, although Grace Makutsi makes me howl with laughter.

    I was going to say that this book makes a great holiday read, though having taken days to get through it on my recent holiday to Turkey I'm going to revise that. My progress was slowed by the fact that the events around the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency this time round failed to grab my attention quite as much as people-watching on the beach or nattering by the pool, so I would instead recommend this latest for a dreary winter's night when to be reminded of sunshine, warmth and community will be a real tonic.
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    25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    Welcome back to the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency - where the lives of the staff cause more problems for Mma Ramotswe then the cases her clients bring her. In fact, to any fan of detective fiction on TV or in books, the solution to the case that Mma Romotswe undertakes herself is all too familiar - yet the outcome at the end of the book is as warm and compassionate as fans of this series have come to expect.

    Meanwhile, Charlie the apprentice has an idea for a business of his own - a taxi service for female clients only - but will Mr J L B Matekoni give his blessing to such a scheme? Should he insist that the apprentice-ship is completed first? And what of Mr J L B Matekoni's own attempts at detective work? He fails to warm to his first client, a rude woman - will this affect the work he undertakes on her behalf?

    And Mma Makutsi - she of the 97% grade from the Typing School? Could a misunderstanding with her boss and friend really cause her to resign and seek alternative work?

    Everything that readers have come to expect is contained in this new book. The gentle pace of life, the descriptions of the landscape, the Red Bush Tea drinking are beautifully laid before us like a feast. For new readers the story will unfold at a steady rate - and established fans will welcome another dip into the lives and case-loads of some well loved friends.

    So, get into that little white van, stock up on Red Bush tea and rich fruit cake, and return to Alexander McCall Smith's glorious Botswana.
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