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The Double Comfort Safari Club: 11 (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) [Paperback]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Feb 2011 No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 11)

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are called to a safari lodge in Botswana's Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest.

The Okavango makes Precious appreciate once again the beauty of her homeland: it is a paradise of teeming wildlife, majestic grasslands and sparkling water. However, it is also home to rival safari operators, fearsome crocodiles and disgruntled hippopotamuses. What's more, Mma Makutsi still does not have a date for her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti and is feeling rather tetchy herself. But Precious knows that with a little patience, just as the wide river will gently make its way round any obstacle, so will everything work out for the best in the end . . .


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (3 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349119996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349119991
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,330 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

Book Description

* Mma Ramotswe's wonderful eleventh novel

From the Back Cover

The one with the difficult aunt

The no.1 lady detectives of Botswana travel to a safari lodge in the Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest. It is a beautiful place full of dangerous, untamed creatures - some of them human. As Mma Ramotswe investigates, it becomes clear that there is another mystery right under her nose that needs solving: Mma Makutsi is troubled by her fiancé Phuti Radiphuti's reluctance to set a date for their wedding. In such matters at least, Mma Ramotswe is on familiar terrain.

'Wise, funny' The Times

'Gentle' Guardian

Discover the world of Alexander McCall Smith and his other books at alexandermccallsmith.co.uk

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, warm and fuzzy novel 4 Mar 2010
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This is the 11th installment in Alexander McCall Smith's enchanting and uplifting series about a female detective living in Botswana. It is not necessary to have read ALL the other books in the series, but if you haven't read any, this is probably not the best place to start.

The structure is very similar to others in the series, with the familiar cast of characters appearing. There are essentially four interwoven storylines. Mma Makutsi's fiance Mr Phuti Radiphuti is in an accident and she clashes with his aunt over who should nurse him back to health. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has several cases on the go. She is asked to investigate whether a husband is being unfaithful, to assist another man who has been swindled out of his money and travels with Mma Makutsi to the Okavango Delta to track down a safari guide who has been left some money in a will. However the storylines often take a backseat to discussions about teapots, new boots and the merits of the new blue van.

The book opens with Mr J L B Matekoni musing about road rage and the futility of reacting to it and it ends with Mma Ramotswe musing about how to lead a good life. "Do not complain about your life. Do not blame others for things that you have brought upon yourself. Be content with who you are and where you are, and do whatever you can to bring to others such contentment, and joy, and understanding that you have managed to find yourself."

It's a lovely, warm and fuzzy novel that lives up in every way to the others in this gorgeous series.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our favourite novelist does it again 8 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
Our favourite novelist has done it again - another magnificent Ramotswe novel. Seldom is no.2 as good as no.1, but in this case no.11 is as good as the previous ten, and all the wonderful cast of characters whom we have come to love are back and with as much enjoyment as ever.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lions and people 8 Mar 2010
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Precious Ramotswe has several interesting cases to deal with in this latest story from Botswana. There is her friend the midwife who wonders whether her husband is having an affair; the unexpected commission from America which involves her going to a safari camp to track down a guide; and her own assistant Grace Makutsi has a problem when her fiancé is injured.

As usual, common sense and old fashioned values are essential in solving the various problems. In between interesting observations on human nature Precious reflects on the beauty of her own country and the way the old fashioned values still prevail with most people. Even in her husband's garage business the unruly apprentices are calming down as they get older and more experienced at their jobs.

I love the gentle humour of this series and the way Mma Ramotswe triumphs in the end through sheer perseverance and good humour and how she steers her prickly assistant in the right direction without offending her. There are lessons for all of us in this low key novel. Very enjoyable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Traditionally built," and focused on the traditional values of Gaborone, Botswana, where she runs the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Precious Ramotswe is genuinely "nice"-always believing in the goodness inherent in even the most challenging adversary, sympathetic without being a pushover, and thoughtful and intuitive in sniffing out the motives of her clients. As relaxed and considerate as the society she appears to represent, Mma Ramotswe believes that almost any problem can be made better if it is discussed over a cup of bush tea. In this novel, the twelfth in the series, Mma Ramotswe continues to rely on her understanding of human nature and her ability to communicate to solve her clients' problems.

She also relies on her coterie of friends and acquaintances-Mma Grace Makutsi, her homely assistant, still not married to furniture store owner Phuti Radiphuti; Mr. Polopetsi, the "unqualified assistant" to her mechanic husband Mr. J. L. B. Matekone; and Mma Potokwami, the demanding woman who runs the orphan farm, where Mma Ramotswe's adopted children once lived. Once again, too, Violet Sephotho, the one character for whom it is difficult to find redeeming qualities, is creating serious problems by bewitching gullible men.

Four revolving plot lines keep the reader involved and often amused: Mma Ramotswe's husband suspects that one of his customers may be having an affair, but before long, that same woman appears in Mma Ramotswe's office, wanting help because she believes that her husband may be unfaithful. While this story is unfolding, Mma Ramotswe receives a letter from a lawyer in the US, telling her that an elderly woman who had been on a safari to the Okavango delta four years ago is now "late," and that she has left a sizable inheritance to an unknown camp guide.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A traditionally built episode 24 Mar 2010
By Alun Williams VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
After being a little disappointed by "Tea-time for the traditionally built", I was hoping the 11th helping of the No. 1 Ladies would be more to my liking, and on the whole I was not disappointed. I especially enjoyed the first few chapters - as the thoughts of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni feature strongly, and then there is an accident which makes the tone a little darker than it sometimes is. As usual Alexander McCall Smith manages to make minor incidents a prelude to some entertaining Botswanan philosophy, such as Mma Ramotswe's reception of Grace's suggestion that they should exchange the teapots used for brewing the ordinary and red-bush tea. Later on Grace manages to wangle a pair of boots on expenses, which I thought was probably an oblique comment on recent shenanigans in Westminster, but which Precious puts up with with her usual good humour. I suspect that in the next episode Grace will finally get to marry Phuti, as in this one she has to fight to keep (or rather regain) her man, not with Violet, but with an Aunt who has taken agin her and is clearly hoping to prevent the marriage. Grace does have another run-in with Violet however.

Taken as a whole I've no hesitation in giving the series 5 stars, but by now I'm perhaps a little used to the style of the books to give any particular episode 5 stars. And I did feel short-changed on a couple of occasions, when strokes of good very good fortune enable Mma Ramotswe to resolve cases satisfactorily. There were some intriguing loose ends however, for example we learn that the late-lamented little white van has gone to a "natural mechanic" in the north of Botswana so perhaps it may yet return, so I shall no doubt be looking out for the next and perhaps final instalment.
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