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The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #13)
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The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #13)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  8,388 ratings  ·  1,388 reviews
In Botswana, Precious's assistant detective Grace's new husband Phuti suggests Academy name to Clovis Andersen, visiting author of their constant reference. Their three puzzles are: mechanic apprentice Fanwell fixes stolen car, board member Ditso fires orphan mother Potokwane, and Phuti's builder is bankrupt, yet builds himself the best.
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published 2012 by Pantheon
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This book is like going out to tea with a couple of great aunts who always give you a cheque as a present. The pair of them sit there reminiscing about old times and their old friends. And you sit there, taking tea with them, nibbling the fairy cakes, smiling and nodding in all the right places to the stories you've heard year after year. After tea, they rise to leave and as you kiss their papery cheeks goodbye, one of them presses a generous cheque into your hand, the pay-off. Only this time, i ...more
I love these gentle mysteries set in Botswana. I love the slightly slower pace of life, the obtuseness of Grace Makutsi, the single-mindedness of Mma Potokwane, the fact that we still don't know what the J.L.B. stands for in the name of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, and the wisdom and kindness of Precious Ramotswe, the owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency!
Jan 08, 2013 Carol. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: serious McCall fans only
Although I finished this book in about a day, I've been stuck on this review for weeks. Could it be that I've moved on from the series? Could it be that McCall Smith is starting to repeat himself? Has he lost his magic?

Yes, yes, and yes, along with the added discomfort of lingering weirdness for reading a book written by an old Scottish white dude about a middle-aged African woman from Botswana. There's just something that smacks of being interpreted and romanticized by the Other that doesn't se
Margaret Sankey
This series is really comfort food--the beloved sleuths of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency of Botswana take on several cases--apprentice mechanic Fanwell is in trouble for unwittingly assisting in car theft (and he has the world's worst lawyer), newlywed Grace and her husband wrangle with a crooked builder to get their house finished, a nouveau riche philanthropist wants to fire the long-time director of the orphan farm and there's an unexpected visit by Clovis Anderson, midwestern author of t ...more
It's so easy for a long-running series to get stale, but somehow, Mr. Smith has avoided that pitfall with these stories of Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and Mr. J.L.B. Matakoni. This latest installment is just as fresh as the first with some new characters being introduced (Thomas, Mr. Ditso, and the famed Clovis Andersen!), old antagonists making appearances (Violet Sephotho, Phuti's aunt), and of course the well-loved familiar cast of characters (Mma Potokwane, Charlie, Fanwell, Phuti Radiphuti). ...more
Una Tiers
Brilliant, delightful and now my favorite Alexander McCall Smith book. His analysis of the truth and description of Africa are gentle and fun, making the reader linger. The shoes of Mma. Makutsi have a new feature.
Mal Warwick
An Exceptional Tale of Botswana's #1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Many years ago, when I was pretending to be a science fiction writer, I got to know a famous figure in the genre. Though he himself never admitted as much, I was told that he had worked himself through a prestigious college in the 1950s by turning out shelves-full of sci-fi novels at a penny a word. He rented an office near campus and would show up every weekday morning at 9, remove the cover of his typewriter, and begin typing — nonst
Jan Rice
Last October or November I won a couple of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, and even though there were no obligations, I nevertheless felt obligated to "catch up" on this series, so here's the next-to-last.

It's not hard to read these books. In fact, for me each book is like several thousand of dollars worth of therapy (which, given today's prices, may be less than you think). I'm just saying McCall Smith has a gift of framing comments in a very positive manner. He voices what, from a posit
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I have probably read 10 or 12 McCall Smith books. Can't say that this one stands out from the crowd but the "No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series definitely does (a whole order of magnitude above "the Isabel Dalhousie" series or "the Portuguese Irregular Verbs" or "the 44 Scotland Street" series.

One thing I noticed as I read this book, which I expect applies to McCall Smith's other Botswana books as well, and may apply accross the board to African speach: almost everything that is said, is said
Take a slow, deep breath, curl up in your favorite chair with a hot drink and prepare to enjoy another satisfying meal of literary comfort food. The latest instalment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series may not win any new converts, but it will most definitely not disappoint its fans. All the familiar characters are back and their stories are woven in with little musings on subjects like always doing your best or the value of taking time out just to sit, gaze upon static things and be c ...more
Having read all of the other No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels, I thought this one fell short. Maybe it's because the mysteries weren't solved as the book went along, but kind of all together in a hurry at the end. Maybe it's because Violet Sephotho didn't really make an appearance. Mma Makutsi's house wasn't finished at the end even though the teaser on the inside front flap made the house building out to be a big dramatic part of the book and it wasn't. I got a bit lost in the long musings ...more
Jill Furedy
The Limpopo Academy had better make a repeat appearance, because with the appearance of Clovis Anderson, I was looking forward to seeing what the academy had to offer and who would take the classes. But it ended up as an idea that was never developed. I would love to see Charlie take the classes, as he's clearly not a great mechanic, and would drive any instructor crazy, which would be amusing (but who knows, he might be good at this!). And Grace's ambition does seem to lead to her not being hap ...more
Nancy Brisson
In the midst of mass shootings and too many 90-degree days and droughts and fires and all the other worries that plague our lives (when we let them) it is so nice to escape once again to Gaberone, Botswana with Mma Romotswe, Mma Makutsi, and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and their friends and families where, although there are problems, they usually have a much more human scale than those facing us in more metropolitan environments. The newest book in this big-hearted series is called The Limpopo Academy ...more
David Stone
Another comfortable addition to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. At this point, I can practically finish McCall Smith's sentences, and it is that cozy familiarity with the characters and what they will think, say and do that makes me love reading these novels. I never imagined, however, that the great Clovis Anderson would turn out to be American. Any self published writer will develop a soft spot for that great detective in the course of this book. This installment does not involve wor ...more
I find these stories to be a welcome change of pace - they are told at a gentle pace and perhaps it is romanticizing the country but it is to be hoped that these books give you the feel of the heart of Botswana. I may never get there in person, but I think that these novels allow me to sit down and read them and be transported to Gabarone. These novels are the voice of Precious Ramotswe, now an old friend, and we are going sit down with a cup of bush tea while she tells me how she resolved the l ...more
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels solve problems but only after several cups of tea. In fact, we learn that Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi (of the 97% success rate at the secretarial school) estimate they drink one hundred cups a week!

There are the problems of life, along with the usual surprises. A reader of this series knows Clovis Andersen wrote the main manual they can quote extensively. In the magic of books he appears in Botswana! His wife is late (their word for dead) and he is pin
I just happened to take a detour, a beautiful detour, into Botswana. I stayed there a couple of weeks (long enough to drink up 13 delicious books) soak up the sun and scenery, and get well reacquainted with some old friends to hear their latest joys & woes.

They've really buoyed me up, made me laugh, filled me with their beauty, kindness goodness, humanity. 13 books and there's still fresh stories to tell and the same feeling of love shared....broadcasted, in fact.

McCall Smith...regarding
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I always enjoy a good Precious Ramotswe novel. They're a quick,light read with a touch of humour, and usually well written and enjoyable. This one presents the mysteries of life more close to home, as it is now Precious' friends and relations who need her help and expertise. As usual, she sorts it all out with little effort. I did wonder, however, how she could make sure that a corrupt official would not renege on his promise to do better--if she can pull that one off, I'm sure more than one gov ...more
As always, this series makes me laugh out loud at our human foibles! Wouldn't it be nice if life were reflective, slow paced and agreeable as it is in Botswana. Do we take time to think about our neighbors, friends and coworkers? Do we recognize that they may have troubles and concerns in their lives? I doubt that we do. We are all so busy with our own lives in this modern, rush and succeed world that we don't take time to ponder how others are doing! Do we remember to do the right thing as Thom ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Bea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cozy mystery lovers or anyone with an interest in Africa or heartfelt stories
I've listened to all the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books and I think the latest is one of the very best. Mma Ramotswe has a prophetic dream about meeting someone she knows well and yet is a stranger. Her dream comes true and that's just the start of at least four intertwining mini-mysteries. I ended the book with a tear in my eye and sorry that I'll have to wait another year for the next one. I cannot recommend Lisette Lecat, the narrator of the audiobooks too highly.
#13 No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series - cozy mystery

Each of these gems is like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. Gentle truths are revealed through the characters' daily lives, or through the cases Mma Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi (now Mrs. Phuti Radiphuti) investigate.

Mma Ramotswe's husband, J.L.B. Makekoni owns Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors auto repair shop, which shares space with the detective agency. He is assisted in his shop by two apprentice mechanics, Fanwell and Charlie, both of whom w
Kelsey Hanson
This book has a slow start (Yes I know that's pretty much a give in for this series) but this one was especially slow and took me longer than usual to get into. I still enjoyed it especially because Mma Ramotswe gets to meet her hero Clovis Anderson. I really liked the addition of Mr. Anderson and how he is impacted by the Botswana characters. In a strange way, Anderson is a lot like the reader and welcomed into Botswana even though he knows very little about the culture.

That being said, there w
Mar 23, 2013 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda, Carey
From BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama:
Written and dramatised by Alexander McCall Smith, from his popular series of books.

I just flat out enjoy his books and I always listen to them - I believe they have the same narrator and I just love her voice and accent. Easy to listen to and there is always a happy ending.
Peggy Freudenthal
Man, he's phoning it in now! Condescension and colonialism, Oh, aren't those dark people cute in their naivete. I stopped reading 20 pages from the end.
Carol Royce Owen
Since I follow Alexander McCall Smith on Facebook, I was anxious when I heard that a new installment to the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was coming out. Then, once it did, wouldn't you know it - I had no time to read it! It sat on my bed stand, calling to me, enticing me to stay up late hours (even though I knew I couldn't afford to) just as Mma Makutski's shoes mock her.
Finally this weekend vacation came, and I fell upon the book eager to see what lay ahead for Precious JLB, Motholeli, Puso,
Peggy Z
Another enjoyable light mystery in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series set in Botswana, Africa. The author writes mostly short (under 300 pages) stories in different series and this series has a very special place in my reading heart as The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1) by Alexander McCall Smithwas my first introduction to his writing.

This time Precious Ramotswe and her assistant, Grace Makutsi (who is now married to Phuti Radiphuti), are investigating a board member of the orphan's home who is trying to oust Mma Silvia Potokwane, the head of the
Cindy Crawford
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books are not for those looking for page-turning thrillers to race through, eager to see what happens next. These books are better suited for those looking to take a long rambling walk, who are willing to take a turn off the original path and wander around down side trails, eyes and ears open and alert for the small wonders that can be seem when we slow down and notice.

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection fits the pattern established in the previous books, s
For those of you that are fans of Mma Ramotswe and the Number 1 Ladies Detective agency, this is the series latest offering. So much happens in this book; and as in all the books, things happen slowly. Yet the fact that nothing is rushed is what makes these books so special. One treat is an unexpected visit to Mma Ramotswe by the revered Clovis Anderson, author of the "Principles of Private Detection", the handbook that inspired Ramotswe to start a detective agency. Not only does he visit, but h ...more
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The first book was the worst book I've ever read 16 84 Apr 27, 2014 11:15AM  
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...

Other Books in the Series

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1)
  • Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2)
  • Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3)
  • The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4)
  • The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #5)
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #6)
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #7)
  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #8)
  • The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency #9)
  • Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #10)
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1) Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2) Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3) The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4) The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #5)

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“Men are very sensitive, Mma Makutsi. You would not always think it to look at them, but they are. They do not like you to point out that they are wrong, even when they are. That is the way things are, Mma--it just is.” 5 likes
“Mma Makutsi pondered this. "Why are there fewer and fewer gentlemen, Mma Ramotswe?"
"It is our fault, Mma. It is the fault of ladies."
"Why is that?"
"Because we have allowed men to stop behaving as gentlemen, and when you allow people to do what they wish, then that is what they do. They stop doing the things they need to do." She looked at Mma Makutsi across the steering wheel. "That is well known, I think, Mma. That is well known.”
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