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The Handsome Man's de Luxe Cafe: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (15) Hardcover – 28 Oct 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 314 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon Books (28 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307911543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307911544
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.6 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (314 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Amusing . . . An escape from life's woes [as well] as a suggestion for how to make the whole deal more palatable." "--The Boston Globe"
"McCall Smith's accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities." "--Newsday"
"McCall Smith is a vivid observer and an elegant writer, honoring Botswanan customs and culture . . . Like the best traditions, this series is one we hope will endure." "--The Plain Dealer"
"Endearing . . . The long-running series has lost none of its gentleness or its love for Botswana." "--The Christian Science Monitor
"
"Alexander McCall Smith is a prolific, popular, and wonderfully peculiar writer. His capacity to deliver quality new installments . . . is unrivalled by any other modern writer." "--The Independent (London)"

"McCall Smith's depictions of the sights and sounds of Botswana and his overarching theme of compassion make this novel radiant . . . Humor runs rampant, as always, except in the darkest situations . . . Calling Precious Ramotswe, owner and chief investigator of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana, a detective doesn't do her justice. 'Problem solver extraordinaire' would be much better. Mma Ramotswe takes on one or two true mysteries per novel, it's true, but she also treats a whole range of human difficulties as they come her way, finding good solutions through her wisdom, kindness, and tact." --"Booklist" (starred review)
"Enjoyable . . . Series fans will be moved by a supporting character's growth, and newcomers will be charmed by the gentle humor."--"Publishers Weekly"
"Amusing . . . An escape from life's woes [as well] as a suggestion for how to make the whole deal more palatable." "--The Boston Globe"
"McCall Smith's accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities." "--Newsday"
"McCall Smith is a vivid observer and an elegant writer, honoring Botswanan customs and culture . . . Like the best traditions, this series is one we hope will endure." "--The Plain Dealer"
"Endearing . . . The long-running series has lost none of its gentleness or its love for Botswana." "--The Christian Science Monitor
"
"Alexander McCall Smith is a prolific, popular, and wonderfully peculiar writer. His capacity to deliver quality new installments . . . is unrivalled by any other modern writer." "--The Independent (London)"

McCall Smith s depictions of the sights and sounds of Botswana and his overarching theme of compassion make this novel radiant . . . Humor runs rampant, as always, except in the darkest situations . . . Calling Precious Ramotswe, owner and chief investigator of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana, a detective doesn t do her justice. Problem solver extraordinaire would be much better. Mma Ramotswe takes on one or two true mysteries per novel, it s true, but she also treats a whole range of human difficulties as they come her way, finding good solutions through her wisdom, kindness, and tact. "Booklist" (starred review)
Enjoyable . . . Series fans will be moved by a supporting character s growth, and newcomers will be charmed by the gentle humor. "Publishers Weekly"
Amusing . . . An escape from life s woes [as well] as a suggestion for how to make the whole deal more palatable. " The Boston Globe"
McCall Smith s accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities. " Newsday"
McCall Smith is a vivid observer and an elegant writer, honoring Botswanan customs and culture . . .Like the best traditions, this series is one we hope will endure. " The Plain Dealer"
Endearing . . . The long-running series has lost none of its gentleness or its love for Botswana. " The Christian Science Monitor
"
Alexander McCall Smith is a prolific, popular, and wonderfully peculiar writer. His capacity to deliver quality new installments . . . is unrivalled by any other modern writer. " The Independent(London)""

Book Description

The new Botswana book from bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, this is Mma Ramotswe's fifteenth wonderful adventure. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a most welcome addition to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. From the opening pages, the atmosphere of Botswana returns with the familiar, comfortable and friendly characters. No chance of them sitting back, however. Mma Ramotswe is discussing her ambitious junior partner, Mma Makutsi, with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. Mma Makutsi now has a 6 month old child. Forever ambitious, she is planning to open a restaurant, 'The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe', 'for the fashionable people'. Her husband, Phuti, is not convinced as he is not particularly handsome or fashionable and realises the building and staffing problems required, plus the inevitable personal anguish it will produce. In addition, his wife wants to continue with her detective work. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni is always diplomatic and polite as he remarks to his wife, 'Sometimes you have to be cautious about promoting people. Once you promote them you can't demote them'. Multi-tasking loyalties enter the discussion.

Mma Precious Ramotswe, meanwhile, is acquiring new cases. Mr Sengupta and his sister Miss Rose have taken in a fellow Indian who has seemingly lost her memory. Mr J.L.B Matekoni is not convinced of her authenticity. She also has an investigation concerning a possible corrupt hotel manager. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni has his own problems. He cannot afford to continue to employ his likeable garage mechanic, Charlie. He is rescued by his wife who offers Charlie employment in her agency, although she, likewise cannot afford it. Aided by her unshakable belief in Clovis Andersen's guide, 'The Principles Of Private Detection' plus the wisdom of respected orphanage supremo and saviour, Mme Potokanawi, Charlie is put on the Sengupta case, demonstrating his untapped talents.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Business is not actually booming for the detective agency or for the garage business and Mr J L B Maketoni can no longer afford to pay both his staff and Charlie has to go. Precious has taken on a case that she is really not at all sure about and her assistant - now partner - Grace Makutsi has decided to open a café.

Will things improve for all the businesses concerned and can Precious solve the case of the woman who apparently has lost her memory without getting into trouble with the immigration authorities. There are plenty of life lessons to be learned in this thoughtful but amusing episode in the life of the number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

I do like this series which are really modern morality tales. Yes the writing is simple and straightforward but how to get on with the other people in your life is the same however sophisticated and grown up you think you are.

I didn't think this latest story was quite as good as previous ones but then sometimes they improve on second reading. I always find them amusing with plenty of food for thought and insight into human behaviour and motivation, If you want something gentle in the mystery line then you could do worse than read this. While it helps to understand the series characters if you've read previous books in the series they don't have to be read in order and can be read as standalone novels.
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Format: Hardcover
“There was also enough light, Mma Ramotswe reflected, to see that the world was not always a place of pain and loss, but a place where our simple human affairs – those matters that for all their pettiness still sometimes confounded us – were not insoluble, were not without the possibility of resolution.”

The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café is the fifteenth book in the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Scottish author, Alexander McCall Smith. Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi are faced with a puzzling case: Mr Senagupta, proprietor of Senagupta Office Supplies, and his sister, Miss Rose, want the Ladies to discover the identity of a woman who has arrived at their house with no idea of who she is, or where she’s from. But Mma Ramostwe suspects there is more to this case than just amnesia.

Grace is about to embark on a new challenge. Already a wife to Phuti Radiphuti, and mother to Itumelang Clovis Radiphuti, and a partner in the Detective Agency, she now has a lease on the shop that is to become the Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café. But while Grace extends, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni has to downsize, and Charlie, still without any qualifications, becomes the unfortunate casualty.

This instalment sees the tiny white van getting dented (twice!), Mma Ramotswe selling cattle for a good cause; Mma Potokwani solving two tricky problems, Mma Makutsi failing to follow the advice of her shoes, Violet Sepotho living up to her nasty reputation, Mma Ramotswe reminded of her first marriage, Charlie embarking on a seemingly unlikely career, Mma Makutsi helping to advance the career of a smart young girl and the formation of an unexpected partnership.
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I have read every one of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I have felt the the last few books haven't been up to the standard of the earlier ones.
I felt this book was written on autopilot all the main characters were here but the plot was thin and quite predictable.
Mma Makutsi was very very irritating in this book she didn't seem to have her usual quirky charm. In fact most of the characters seemed washed out and somehow diminished.
I never thought I'd give a Ladies Detective Agency book a two star review but given the fact that I had to slog my way through it two stars it has to be.
I wonder if maybe it's time to wave a found farewell to our friends in Botswana sooner that than see them become a sad parody of themselves .
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