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This short book consists of a brief essay from the author about how he came to write the first book - never dreaming it would become so popular - together with two short stories featuring Precious Ramotswe - star of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

I remember reading the first book not long after it was published and thoroughly enjoying it. The book and its sequels seemed to provide a much more positive look at human nature and human behaviour and they provide a nice dose of the feel good factor. These two stories - short though they are - are no exception. An enjoyable read for those who are suffering withdrawal symptoms waiting for the next book in the series.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 6 September 2013
This entertaining short book contains the author's account of his conception of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency after being invited to Botswana University to help set up a new law programme, and how he fell in love with the country and it's people. He had little difficulty writing the 1st book from the women he had met, resourceful and intelligent. He has just completed his 14th book after 15 years. Also included are two tales that have nothing to do with solving cases. The first is an invitation to Mma Ramotswe to talk on 'The Problem Of Men', to a ladies' group, managed with ingenuity. The second is 'The Shape of Ladies' where she discusses the happiness of women who have a traditional build, like herself. Mma Makutsi, her assistant, questions this and it ends up with a diet challenge that affects everyone including Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. This is a reminder, if ever one was needed, of the pleasure the author has given us with his characters and their wonderful dialogue, with the detective agency set against the beautiful background of Gaberone in Botswana. An enjoyable quick read.
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on 1 January 2014
Although it only took me about 20 minutes to read the book it was time well spent. As usual with Mma Ramotswe stories I end up with that feel good factor - the world seems a better place. It was very interesting to read Alexander McCall Smith's background and inspiration for writing the Detective Agency books too.
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on 9 September 2013
As advised in the title, this is indeed a slice, at about 21 pages, but is excellent value for 99p. It's always good when an author takes the time not only to explain how the character came about, but also what his intentions are throughout the series - it's all too frequent that one comes across soi-disant 'experts' telling the reader that what an author says he meant was, of course, not what was meant at all, and that subliminally...

The introduction by Alexander McCall Smith is just as fascinating as the two short stories which follow. 'The Problem of Men' is an extremely astute and very brief but telling discussion led by Mma Ramotswe when invited to talk to the Ladies' Club of Gabarone on the topic 'The Problem with Men'. 'The Shape of Ladies' is extremely topical in the women's pages of magazines, and rather disturbing for Mma Ramotswe, who is contentedly 'traditionally built' until her assistant - who, I've noticed recently, is definitely getting a little too full of herself since her marriage (and she was bad enough before, with her 97%) - suggests that Mma Ramotswe might not have the willpower to go on a diet. The suffering which ensues is luckily also brought to an end by that same secretary!

The stories are simple, yet profound, and this little book is just as enjoyable as the full length tales. Perhaps the world would be a lot more peaceful and people considerably more contented if they could follow Mma Ramotswe's philosophy.
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on 19 September 2013
The Slice of No 1 Celebration Storybook - Alexander McCall Smith

This was just a bit of fun from Mma Ramotswe. She has to give a talk to the local ladies club and her subject is The Problem Of Men. In her preparations for the speech, she goes through all the scenarios of men that she's caught cheating, but then she looks at Mr J L B Matekoni and realises that she can't give a negative talk.

Unfortunately, Mma Makutsi can't help but tell Mma Ramotswe that she is fat! This leads to Mma Ramotswe going on a diet!!!

Just a very short taster for us before the next book comes out. I can never criticise anything written about this larger than life character. Our wait for the next instalment in her life is due in October and I'm waiting in anticipation!!
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on 25 October 2013
A great read and entices you to read every thing else up and coming in the seriesI thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 7 March 2014
Perfectly good stories, but I suppose I missed the usual full novel. Still a way to get a fix of Mma Ramotswe.
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on 23 July 2014
A lovely little "taster" between the main courses of AMS's books. I adore the No 1 Ladies' and I do hope there will be more of them. They are joyous, delightful and life-affirming books that should be on everyone's reading list.
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on 29 December 2013
I gave this 5stars because I love the series of books and if I ever get the chance would love to visit Botswana and go to all the places mentioned. If anyone has not read any of the books let this be a taster. Long live Men Ramotswe.
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on 3 November 2013
This didn't cost much and so I suppose I shouldn't have expected much. I have read all the other No 1 detective Agency books but this one is so short I felt it was over before I knew it. Of course it was just as well written but just too short.
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