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Tea Time For The Traditionally Built Hardcover – 5 Mar 2009

161 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; First United States Edition edition (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408701030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408701034
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 22.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,583 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


* 'Adjoa Andoh reads like a dream' GUARDIAN *'[Adjoa Andoh's] melodious tones befit these heartwarming tales and she does a fantastis job of creating identifiable voices for each character' FT MAGAZINE --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* Mma Ramotswe's tenth adventure; published in Little, Brown hardback

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Occasionally I can't sleep because I lie in bed worrying. This always bemuses my husband, who usually offers well intentioned but essentially useless 2am advice like "think nice thoughts". Better advice would be to pick up one of the books in the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series. They are "warm fuzzy" reading, set in a dreamlike Botswana where the sun always shines, people have plenty of time to talk to one another and nothing gets in the way of a good cup of tea.

This is the 10th book in this delightful series. If you are new to it, count yourself lucky at the treats that you have in store, but be aware that it is best to read the books in order. (Apparently Alexander McCall Smith is contracted to write 14, so there will be more). The title refers to Mma Ramotswe, with her love of tea and her pride in her large build which some may call fat, but which she prefers to refer to as "traditionally built". While Mma Ramotswe is the central heroine, McCall Smith is now juggling a large and disparate cast of characters, each with their own dramas. Essentially this series is a soap opera - while ostensibly about a private detective, the mysteries are only a small part of the books. I was lucky enough to see Alexander McCall Smith talking about this book and he cheerfully said that he takes pride in the fact that nothing happens in his books, being of the view that there is quite enough happening in the world without authors adding to it.

Of course saying that nothing happens is an exaggeration. In this instalment, Mma Ramotswe's tiny white van has finally broken down, seemingly for good. Meanwhile Charlie the apprentice is dealing with a young lady who is claiming that her baby is his responsibility.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By I. Holder on 8 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
The tenth book in a series which shows no signs of slowing down or becoming dull or tired. Once more Mma Precious Ramotswe, a 'traditionally built' [i.e. large] lady who loves tea [and donuts] with her assistant, Mma Grace "97%" Makutsi, are required to do some private investigation [this time for the manager of a football team that is now continually losing], and on the way we find out about love ["There is plenty of work for love to do" as Bishop Mwamba says in a conversation with Mma Ramotswe], life and the transcience of all things -- and yet hope and goodness does spring eternal.
While the pace is slow in these books, which may frustrate some, I find it calming and enjoyable; while issues such as AIDS are mentioned and brought to attention, the overall theme of these books, in which the investigations do play second-fiddle, is on the general goodness of people and the joy of life. This is a worthy addition to a series I can read over and over again and enjoy more and more each time.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
So says Bishop Trevor Mwamba, while drinking tea and discussing the end of the world with lady detective Precious Ramotswe. These thoughts about the transience of all things are triggered by Mma Ramotswe's much loved but ailing "little white van", which reaches the end of the road, or more literally, the scrap yard, to be replaced by a larger, more comfortable but less lovable, blue one. In this, the tenth instalment of Alexander McCall Smith's excellent series, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Ramotswe continues to drink much redbush tea, which probably doesn't accentuate her traditional build, but she doubles her weekly consumption of doughnuts, which probably does. Her new resolution to walk to work lasts for only a short time - and a couple of blisters - as all such resolutions are wont to do.

We meet all the old characters - Mma Ramotse's strident assistant, Mma Makutsi, her mechanic husband Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, and his apprentice lazy Charlie. We are properly introduced to Fanwell, hitherto known only as "the younger apprentice", and through him McCall Smith reminds us of the ravages that AIDS has inflicted on Botswana, the one melancholy theme of the series.

The agency's major case involves an investigation into the underperformance of the football team, the Kalahari Swoopers, which give the detectives many opportunities to contemplate the differences between the sexes. As usual, Mma Ramotswe arrives at a solution that should improve the world a little. The same cannot be said of the lady detectives' encounter with Mma Makutsi's old enemy, Violet Sephotho, but with the assistance of Charlie and his lady-killing skills, she is at least seen off from her attempted seduction of the former's fiancé, Phuti Radiphuti.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Beryl Dickinson on 4 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I read the very first book in this series I passed it on to my daughter who asked, "What is it about?" errrr nothing really. "Well what happens in it?" errrr nothing much really. I had to persuade her to read it and of course she loved it. Now I can't even wait for them to come out it paperback. I splash out on the hardback, but it is well worth it as there is now a list of five people waiting for it to passed around them.
Now if I was to be asked, "What is it about?" I think I would answer that it is about behaving in a kind and thoughful manner; It is about good manners and politeness; It is about a sensible pace of life and a grasp of what really matters; it is a rest in a busy day and step into a better world for a while, and bringing some of that world back into day to day life once the pages have all been turned.
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