Try an audiobook on us

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 1
Narrated by: Hilary Neville
Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective.

Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit, and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J.L.B. Maketoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors.

And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger.

Delightfully different, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency offers a captivating glimpse of an unusual world.

Click here to see all the titles in our Alexander McCall Smith collection.
©1998 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2003 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    91
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    74
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than on television!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this Audiobook, having already watched the series on television. It captivated my attention and I found jobs to do that allowed me time to finish listening to it. The story gave a view into a totally different world to mine which I found fascinating.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Awful narration

Having listened to the incomparable Adjoa Andoh narrate the rest of the series, it was a bitter disappointed to discover that Hilary Neville is incapable of even pronouncing 'Gabarone' correctly. I was unable to listen for more that 2 minutes and regret my purchase immensely!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Pleasant Renewal of an Old Aquaintance

I loved listening to this recording. I was a fan of the original book and having re-aquainted myself with it I realise that these characters/stories were just made to be read aloud. It was a bargain too, well worth the price.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Lovely homely book

I really enjoyed this and am planning on getting the next one. It is a homely story that you can listen to whenever. You warm to the character she is a good woman and makes you like her straight away. The book is set in Botswana and reflects all the good things about the country.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

The voice

While very precise and correct, an African accent would have clinched it! I watched the TV series and either actress would have been excellent to listen to!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

a book of Africa<br />

I like the stories very much but would have preferred them spoken by the narrator from the BBC with the authentic African voice

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nick
  • Kent UK
  • 12-07-18

Relaxing and pleasant listen

A little slow to get going as the first half was mainly about her family and upbringing. Nicely narrated and a good mix of different cases to solve at the end

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
  • 06-04-10

Brilliant

This book was sooo good I blasted through it in one day - also had to find places to go and things to do in order to listen to it all.... captivating...

The TV series spin off of the books are good fun but this is insightful too... well worth a download.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Beautifully read, a real re elation

Bought this as a recommendation and didn’t regret it. The reading took you to the warmth of Africa as well as the warmth of the character.

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

Smashing

There is no doubt that Alexander McCall Smith can write a book that is the most sublime experience to read. It's like a hot chocolate, in front of a warm fire, on a cold winter's day. There is nothing to dislike about The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. The stories are divine, they conjure the most wonderful imagery until the reader feels they are actually in Botswana. Mma Ramotse is a fabulous character and I love every single book in the series. However, as is my habit, I haven't listened to the stories in order, and further on the books are narrated by Adjoa Andoh. Hilary Neville did a perfectly good job narrating, but Adjoa Andoh really brings the book alive. If I hadn't heard her narration, I'd have not had any issue with Ms Neville's performance, but I have. I will be buying more of the series, but only books narrated by Ms Andoh, as she really brings something very special to the audio version. Well worth a listen, it's a real treat.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 25-06-10

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Lovely book, easy to listen to, very entertaining. Innocent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Russell Phillips
  • 07-03-12

An enjoyable listen

Had heard of a number of others who had read/listened to this book, so although the title had originally put me off, I decided to try it myself.

I was glad I did - this was a thoroughly enjoyable story and the narrator did a good job of bringing it to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Yashica
  • 29-07-10

Innocent... refreshing

Definitely agree - easy listening! Being from South Africa, is was a good reflection of "ubuntu" and the lead characters approach to detecting was, at many times, cute!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Pavel
  • 21-10-10

Slow story

somehow I couldn't believe a word from 'the lady'. Very black and white, all men are cheaters or stupid.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful