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The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #9)

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4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,284 Ratings  ·  1,138 Reviews
Under the endless skies of Botswana, there is always something Mma Ramotswe can do to help someone and here she finds herself assisting a woman looking for her family. The problem is the woman doesn't know her real name or whether any of her family members are still alive. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi is the recipient of a beautiful new bed that causes more than a few sleepless ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Pantheon (first published 2008)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Host by Stephenie MeyerThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Best Books of 2008
63rd out of 1,530 books — 6,857 voters
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Best Cozy Mystery Series
266th out of 1,356 books — 1,481 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Christi
Jan 06, 2016 Christi rated it really liked it
To read a book in this series is to take a mini-vacation. The world seems calmer, the people more noble and kind, the pace of life relaxingly slow. The mysteries that form the plot of this novel -- and its companions in the series -- are beside the point. It's the time spent with Mma Ramotswe, her loyal and ambitious assistants, her humble and soft-spoken husband, and the strong-willed matron of the orphan farm which matter. After sitting for a while with Mma Ramotswe (with or without a cup of b ...more
Wendy
Dec 31, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing
"Mrs. Moffat had taken her hand for comfort, and they had sat there in silence for awhile. Sometimes it seemed as if the world itself was broken, that there was something wrong with all of us, something broken in such a way that it might not be put together again; but the holding of hands, human hand in human hand, could help, could make the world seem less broken."

This was my most favorite book of the series, and I sincerely hope it won't be the last one.

I really enjoyed the development of the
...more
Jessica
Aug 12, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who enjoy the cadence of language. I cannot get the rhythm of the writing out of my head.
Recommended to Jessica by: NPR
These books surprised me, because most detectives investigate murders and stuff, and I hate murder mysteries. A lot. (Sorry, Jen. I love you!)
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, though, are just consistently feel-good, introspective character studies and pools of knowledge about human nature. On top of that, they are really fast to read, and finishing a book always makes me feel good about myself.
I don't read them in order, so don't let this review fool you--I haven't read them all. Eventually I wil
...more
Petar X
May 05, 2015 Petar X rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Another feel-good book about the no. 1 lady detective, Precious Ramotswe and her slightly off-kilter assistant Mma Makutse set in Botswana. The plots are irrelevant, the many characters are beautifully-drawn and the author's love of Botswana shines through. Indeed, one of the pleasures of this series of books, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is revisiting the interesting characters that populate the stories, much like meeting old friends and have a slice of fruit cake, a cup of tea and a cha ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 09, 2013 Will Byrnes rated it it was ok
This is another slow-moving tale of Precious Rawotse, her assistant, Mma Makutsi, her husband, and others in the continuing cast. As usual, not much goes on, but we get to spend a little more time with comfortable personalities and continue our slow look at Smith’s idea of Botswana. In this one, Precious tries to find the true history of a woman who had been an orphan. Mma Makutsi must contend with her desire for a large, fancy bed, and leaving it out in the rain when it doesn’t fit into her hom ...more
Judie
Jun 11, 2009 Judie rated it it was amazing
I started reading and the cadence of the words started up in my mind. I skim a lot, but this is one series that I read every word. To skip anything would spoil it. I love these books!
Jeanne
Apr 29, 2008 Jeanne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and people who enjoy "gentle" reads
Shelves: mystery, africa
Mma Ramotswe is back, and so is the quiet, gentle, easy reading, courtesy of Alexander McCall Smith.

As usual, there really is no big mystery for the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but that hardly matters. Precious Ramotswe tries to track down a woman's relatives, Mma Makutsi gets a new (and unusual) bed, and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni hopes for a miracle when he takes his daughter to a doctor in Johannesburg.

There's nothing complex about this novel, which makes it a nice "in between" reading choice. I
...more
Graham
The ninth entry in Alexander McCall Smith's perennially popular Ladies' Detective Agency stories is much like the previous instalment, THE GOOD HUSBAND OF ZEBRA DRIVE. It's ably written, of course, and much like settling into a comfy, much-favoured armchair; by now you know exactly what's going to happen: not much plot, not much detective work, lots of characterisation, plenty of gentle humour and situations that explore the human mind.

Unfortunately, I had a bone of contention with this one whic
...more
Dorothy
Apr 18, 2009 Dorothy rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
I love this series by Alexander McCall Smith. Each entry is charming, witty, and compassionate in its understanding of human frailties and human relationships. Each one is such a pleasure to read that the reader dreads coming to the end.

The mysteries that Precious Ramotswe solves are not grand and important mysteries involving murder, theft, and drugs. They are the every day mysteries that people struggle with. Who were my real parents? Who is writing threatening letters and why? Is this man rea
...more
Jenn
May 24, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was charmed immediately by Alexander McCall Smith's character Precious Ramotswe in his first book "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency". Since reading that first book several years ago I have eagerly inhaled all the books in that series including his latest "Miracle at Speedy Motors".

"Miracle at Speedy Motors" continues in the same languid vein of the previous books. We follow Mma Ramotswe throughout her adventures in Botswana and at her place of business right next to Speedy Motors on the Tlokw
...more
Larisha
May 11, 2011 Larisha rated it really liked it
In this ninth novel in the Alexander McCall Smith series, Precious Ramotswe, the "traditionally built" proprietor of the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gaborone, Botswana, receives a threatening letter: "Fat lady: you watch out! And you too, the one with the big glasses." Mma Ramotswe and her assistant, Grace Makutsi, of the big glasses, are startled by this letter, and Mma Ramotswe even begins to believe that she is being followed. As the two women deal with their business and their lives, the ...more
Wendy
Apr 08, 2016 Wendy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Another heartwarming story involving Mma Ramotswe and all the other characters in the series. A bit uneventful, but a quick, comfort read.
Favorite quote: "Sometimes it seemed as if the world itself was broken, that there was something wrong with all of us, something broken in such a way that it might not be put together again; but the holding of hands, human hand in human hand, could help, could make the world seem less broken."
Shelah
Sep 09, 2008 Shelah rated it really liked it
Yet another installment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. This time Mma Ramotswe and her cast of characters destroy a heart-shaped bed, and reunite a long-separated brother and sister.

I always pick up these books at the library, and then put off reading them, because I think I'm not going to like them. And while it's true that seem almost too innocent, too hopeful, I usually decide, like I did with The Miracle at Speedy Motors, that occasionally, reading about Mma Ramotswe's Botswana is jus
...more
Sandy
Apr 03, 2009 Sandy rated it liked it
What I like about the No. 1 Ladies Detective series are the snapshots of ordinariness that it gives (ordinariness in Botswana, that is). I liked the first one the best--seemed a little more in-depth on Botswana. Precious Ramotswe is less of a detective in the usual murder-mayhem sense and more a person who helps people with their problems. If you're looking for a mystery, probably Nancy Drew has more suspense. But they are pleasant reads for those times when you just want to smile. And there's a ...more
Teri-k
May 05, 2016 Teri-k rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another lovely addition to the series. These are not books that grab me from the first sentence and won't let me put them down. Instead I read a chapter or two a day, enjoying spending some time with Mma Ramotswe, Mr. Matekoni and the others in a place where life moves more slowly and there's always time for a cup of hot tea. This particular book deals a bit with the difficulties of relationships and the importance of honesty between people. I very much enjoyed it.
Stig
Apr 20, 2009 Stig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel - I love these books. I know this is not much of a review, but the characters are great, things happen at a leisurely pace and the mysteries are not solved through violence, but through common sense and knowledge of human nature. A real feel-good read. My current Sunday evening treat is watching this series on BBC1.
Beth
Apr 08, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another quaint and soothing read in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. The "mystery" isn't really the point in these books, it's the characters, their issues, and how they get lovingly solved that hooks readers like me on the books.
Anne Hawn Smith
This is another wonderful book by Alexander McCall Smith. I feel like I know the characters and every new book is a visit home to find out how things are with my "family" in Botswana. Again, the books are not about solving a mystery. I think the mystery is a philosophical vehicle for the author's ideas and people with the children of his heart. Although some find these to be lightweight, I have a different take on them. Throughout literature, characters have been created that transcend their boo ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Miracle at Speedy Motors: a No. 1 Ladies Detectives mystery, by Alexander McCall Smith, narrator, as always, is Lisette Lecat. Produced by recorded Books, downloaded from audible.com.

Lisette Lecat has read all of the No. 1 Ladies Detectives mysteries. I can’t imagine them read by anyone else. Lecat is from South Africa, which, to my untrained ear at least, makes her accent work for Botswana.

In this book, Precious Ramotzwe has a new client who wants to find out who her real parents were as s
...more
David
Jun 21, 2008 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, library
The further adventures of Mma Ramotswe & Mma Makutsi of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective agency, et al. This installment involves tragedy with a new bed, threatening letters to the agency, the possibility of a medical miracle for Motholeli, and a search for a client's lost family.

Alexander McCall Smith delivers more of what we love in these stories. They are not revolutionary, and that is not what we expect. We love the stories of Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni because they are full of the
...more
Bea
Sep 01, 2012 Bea rated it really liked it
I find the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books to be fun, light reads. These books take me out of my usual rat race. They slow my pace down and teach me about human beings from another's insightful perspective - Mma Ramotswe's, the detective of the agency. In this story the reader learns more about her home life - husband, two adopted children, her garden - and about her agency - located attached to her husband's car shop, her assitant's personal life and about some of the worker's at her husba ...more
Judy
Nov 22, 2008 Judy rated it liked it
A thin plot, quickly read, no car chases. Why do I read the books in this series? Easy. Precious Ramotswe--a woman of "traditional build"--approaches life with optimism and a spirit that allows her to enjoy her blessings and the simple pleasures of life. In the 12 hour days and the constant demands on my time, that's refreshing. And even Mma Ramotswe longs for a earlier, simpler time in Botswana. Maybe this progressive, modern world that has reached its tenacles into Africa is destroying a bette ...more
David
Nov 22, 2008 David rated it really liked it
This is the 9th in the series which began with "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency." I warn you - do NOT read ANY of these books. You'll probably find them simple and mundane. However, please DO listen to the audiobook versions! The stories "come alive" in the superb voice of the reader who has done the whole series. I've enjoyed every one, and look forward to each new release. The stories are set in Botswana, and Mma Ramotswe continues to solve simple "mysteries" while she deals with her husband ...more
Heather
Feb 19, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
I don't know if anyone ever reads my reviews, BUT if you are, may I just say, I LOVE this series? It's so nice to read something so clean, thought provoking, and just pleasant. These are NOT thrillers, you do not sit all day with your nose in them to finish. Well, maybe just at the end when investigations start to come together. They're beautiful books to be though BECAUSE they don't hold me. Each chapter is a story unto itself. I CAN put the book down and go to sleep at night. That is a comfort ...more
Bachyboy
Jul 04, 2015 Bachyboy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like settling down on the couch at the end of a hard day with your slippers and a cup of tea. I felt right at home slipping into another in the series and love the measured, considered writing style and characters.
Michele
Jul 29, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
This wonderful series continues to enchant me, as Mma Ramotswe clears up a series of life's mysteries, and shares her insightful understanding of life's priorities with grace and charm. Thus, she is understanding as her husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni uses precious family resources in a pursuit she knows is likely to be fruitless, as her friend and assistant detective, Mma Makutsi struggles with the challenge of dealing with a very bad decision she has made, and as her quest to help a client find he ...more
Chet
Jul 04, 2015 Chet rated it really liked it
A nice read of the challenges facing the families of the detective agency. A doctor promises to cure the girl in the wheelchair and Mma Makutsi buys a bed with unfortunate results. A family mystery gets solved.
Margaret
May 08, 2011 Margaret rated it it was amazing
The world slows to a snail's pace.. conversations, explanations, observations and thoughts are all carefully considered. This is the world of Mma Ramotswe and her friends. To us who live in a fast-paced world, we sigh at this as our conversations and words tumble out easily and often without too much thought. We move quickly and are so easily bored. We do not consider for too long the precious things, but long for them when they are gone. We chase painful thoughts from our mind and go on to the ...more
Wendy
Mar 21, 2009 Wendy rated it really liked it
This is another in the gently funny and endearingly sweet series on Mma Precious Ramotswe, first lady detective of Gabarone, Botswana and her friends . For a lift in spirit and amusing read, I heartily recommend it.
One of my favorite descriptions in contemporary literture is Smith's of Mma Ramotswe as a "traditionally built woman" and the never disappointing internal musing of Mma Ramotswe are delightful..
It is a perfect read for a long airline trip (light enough and short enough but full of f
...more
Kerrie
Apr 08, 2016 Kerrie rated it did not like it
Meh. A few chuckles but ultimately too slow to keep reading.
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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 17 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)
  • Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #10)
  • The Double Comfort Safari Club (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, #11)

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“The telling of a story, like virtually everything in this life, was always made all the easier by a cup of tea.” 88 likes
“...great things may come from moments of nothingness.” 37 likes
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