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The Good Husband Of Zebra Drive (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) [Paperback]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

7 Feb 2008

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.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Good Husband Of Zebra Drive (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) + The Miracle At Speedy Motors (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) + Blue Shoes And Happiness (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, Vol-7)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; First Paperback Edition edition (7 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034911773X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349117737
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

Product Description


Simple, elegantly written and gently insightful (THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Perfect escapist fiction (THE TIMES)

There is a timelessness to the tales, yet they are also of the moment . . . His talent is to see the god in small things (SUNDAY TIMES SCOTLAND)

This is delicious, light-hearted stuff and I love it - my only criticism is that these books are just not long enough (THE LADY)

Book Description

The eighth instalment of Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series

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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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Scots Lass TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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4 of 4 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great book of goings on!
Published 1 day ago by C. F. Dubery
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 8 days ago by Miss M.C.Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on .
I've loved every one of the number one Ladies Detective Agency . This did not disappoint . What a great story teller. Waiting for September . Read more
Published 24 days ago by Marie Ismay
4.0 out of 5 stars No1 Ladies detective
Like all of the series, the book takes a gently humorous and wryly philosophical look at life through the eyes of Mma Ramotswe and co.
Published 1 month ago by JayTee
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet
The cases in the book are not the most invigorating but the relationship between the characters is so exciting and gripping in this one, that there is no doubt in my mind that this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Katie Diss
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant books
Brilliant books, by a fantastic author. I couldn't recommend them more highly. They're an easy read and leave you wanting more, a must read!
Published 3 months ago by Zed
5.0 out of 5 stars Good series to read
Was collecting the entire series, so good they were. Excellent read - following the TV series so are warmly recommended
Published 4 months ago by khj
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as ever
Prompt delivery by Amazon. I'm sure fans of McCall Smith will enjoy. As someone who has lived in West Africa off and on for a good many years I feel I can relate much more to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars the ladies no 1 detective agency
these books could go on for ever, as each one poses complicated problems for Mme. Ramotswe , they seem to be never ending but always a happy end is in sight. lovely stories
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. F. Blecke
5.0 out of 5 stars DIre Straits
I had this to make up the balance of money for an order and have enjoyed the mix of tracks on the CD.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
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