Regular price: £17.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

Alexander McCall Smith's hugely popular novels featuring Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of Botswana's only female private detective agency, have become international best-sellers. These acclaimed productions, complete with vibrant music, bring the exotic world of the books to life.

In these eight episodes, Mma Ramotswe takes on her first case - and a new secretary; tries to solve a bone mystery; tackles a domestic drama and a doctor's erratic behaviour; and investigates the case of a missing American. In addition, she is hired by a beauty contest judge to check the integrity of the finalists; looks for two women wronged by her client, Mr Molefelo; learns of a rival detective agency; and is commissioned by a physiotherapist to find out what her errant husband is up to. The stories included are: The Daddy; The Bone; The Maid; Tears of the Giraffe; The Chief Justice of Beauty; The Confession; The Kalahari Typing School for Men and The Admirer.

Claire Benedict stars as Mma Ramotswe, with Nadine Marshall as Mma Makutsi and Joseph Marcell as Mr JLB Matekoni.

©2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd. (P)2017 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

Critic reviews

“Opening with the joyous strains of Botswana children singing, this production never ceases to sound high-spirited and joyful.[…] Whether Mma Ramotswe is tracking down lost relations, debunking a local witch doctor, or teaching typing to fumble-fingered men (one of the silliest sound effects ever created for radio), these programs subtly introduce the listener to Botswana's culture while creating bright, unforgettable characters. Touching, rhythmic, and laugh-out-loud hilarious, these world-renowned stories are sure to delight listeners of all ages.” – ( AudioFile Magazine)
"Must-listen...beautifully cast, precisely timed, simply wonderful." ( Daily Telegraph)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the simplicity of the stories.

Love the philosophy of simple life, very clever wise characters and loads of kindness. Excellent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 15-08-17

Great performances by the actors, scripts so-so


Previously these stories were available in four separate releases, volumes 1-4:

1. The Daddy
2. The Bone
3. The Maid
4. Tears of the Giraffe
5. The Chief Justice of Beauty
6. The Confession
7. The Kalahari Typing School for Men
8. The Admirer

Whilst the script is basic and slow, a la Janet and John, and many phrases are routinely reused: Bush tea, 97%, traditionally shaped, it is actors that make this audio-drama enjoyable. Told with such warmth, this a friendly, comfortable and easy listen.

And a quick look at Wikipedia states there are 33 No.1 Ladies Detective agency stories, so hopefully we’ll see some more No.1 Ladies casebooks added to Audible in the near future.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great holiday listen

Brilliant casting and some thought provoking moments in this evocative dramatisation, I enjoyed every minute

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Just as I remember !

Really enjoyed listening to this as it was just like the television dramatization. Top class 📻🎶🎭

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J M BATE
  • surbiton,, surrey United Kingdom
  • 12-03-18

No 1 ladies detective agency

I enjoyed this book so very much. There’s something so special about Alexander McCall Smith’s humour and wisdom. He has a gentle twinkle in his eye when telling the story through Clare Benedict. If you are feeling a little low, overworked or just on holiday needing a good book, I could not recommend this series highly enough. I love the traditional music and the ambiance. All the characters ring true and one can tell that the author has lived in Botswana, knows the country, it’s people, and regards them with deep affection. I cannot wait to read the next series.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • L. Headley
  • 22-07-17

Not The Best Interpretation

Having read (and loved) all the books in this series, heard them all (and loved Lisette Lecat's reading), and watched every episode of the (all too brief) television series based on the books, I am probably too big a fan for this dramatization. It is a truncated, watered-down version of several of the stories I already know and love.
Also, while I am far from being an expert in African accents, I found the variety of accents in the production distracting. They didn't sound like the Botswana accents I've heard before--they seemed more like generic African accents.
If this is your first introduction to the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories, or if it's all you have time for, then get it. It's certainly better than no Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories! But I think that any one of the original books is a richer, more rewarding listening (or reading) experience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Diana
  • 28-11-17

Vignettes of the stories in the books

I read an unhappy review of this series of BBC radio shows based on the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but bought the audio book anyway. Letting the negative tone of the review affect my listening, the first show was terrible! awful! how could anyone destroy the perfection of this series?

Fortunately, I listened next to the second, then third, then fourth, etc. and eased into the entirely different angle these little stories played out. Yes, there is less of the inner talk and inner examinations of people, events, and ethics than in the books. But look at how many hours just one book has to allow for detail.

The actors do a great job - although I love the way the women actors allow for kindness to come through, while a couple of the male actors seemed to be overly harsh - which isn't in the books.

As I came around to this new portrayal of the series, I began to enjoy the experience. And after I finished I went back to the first in the series, with a completely different attitude and understanding of what this program is . . . . and I loved it.

I looked up this BBC program and it appears there are more in the series - I hope Audible will include them soon.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robin M.
  • 14-07-18

A glimpse of Botswana

Beautifully read, love hearing the authentic "accented" English and local music interludes. I've just returned from Botswana, and the book brought back the experience of the gentle and purposeful Batswana, and the Kalari landscapes of bush, villages, and simple-to-developing economy. The cases in each chapter show deep insights into human nature, and a main character who is a strong woman that all of us can appreciate. The author truly loves Botswana, and the book was like another trip to that country but told by someone who must have spent a lifetime getting to know it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 17-06-18

Different but still delightful

The adaptation carries the spirit of the book without being a word for word transcription. McCall Smith keeps the stories moving briskly and the radio program style is fresh and interesting. I’ve loved the book series, the film interpretation and now this.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • PETE
  • 04-12-17

Did not like

After having watched on tv, and listened to those plots from the
original books listening to this
version was not satisfactory.