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The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #14)

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  6,824 ratings  ·  1,293 reviews
Modern ideas get tangled up with traditional ones in the latest intriguing installment in the beloved, best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward ma
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2013)
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pati The Associate Detective who received 97% from the Botswana Secretarial College and now works for Precious Ramotswe at the No. 1 Ladies Detective…moreThe Associate Detective who received 97% from the Botswana Secretarial College and now works for Precious Ramotswe at the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Africa. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sonia
This might be the most sentimental book of the series and that's fine with me. I especially liked the scene when Grace and Precious are admiring the new arrival. I laughed out loud at Rra Matekoni's first night at the "modern husband" class. Some of the other reviewers complained about this series not being relevant to modern western life. Really? Do we not have warm feelings towards each other and our homes? Do we always have to dwell on the modern, usually nasty, world? I need these books like ...more
Susan Johnson
I cannot tell you how much I love this series. It's true there's not much of a mystery but so what. There's plenty of other good things including the birth of Mma Makutsi's child who has such a wonderful name, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's attempt to be a better husband, and the appreciation of friendship. Throughout all of the story is the love of Botswana and when you close the book you'll feel better than you did when you started.
Jennifer
It is hard to imagine that I first met Precious Ramotswe 15 years ago, when reading The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Each time I visit this cast of characters, I smile with the familiarity of their interactions and read aloud the amusing passages to anyone who will listen. The honesty with which they approach life, the way in which they embrace simple pleasures is inspiring. In this latest edition in the series, themes of friendship and loyalty are explored. Characters grapple with traditio ...more
Marianne
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is the fourteenth book in the popular Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by British author, Alexander McCall Smith. Botswana’s first female private detective has a few interesting cases to solve: a solicitor asks her to verify the identity of a young man who is the beneficiary of a will; and the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is subject to threats and slander from an unknown quarter. All the more challenging for Mma Ramotswe, as Mma Makutsi ...more
Julia
I feel a little like a voice in the wilderness, but I was distinctly underwhelmed by the latest outing in this much loved series. Much like Precious Ramotswe herself over the course of the story, I felt like something was missing. It had the air of having been written to fulfil a contractual obligation for another instalment rather than having arisen from a central idea. I have rated it three stars, which to me is not a negative review, but a neutral one. It's not a terrible book at all, but nor ...more
Ann Sloan
Know that, no matter how bleak things seem or how sad you may be, after reading a No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book, life and the world will seem much better. With genuine warmth, sympathy, and wit, Alexander McCall Smith can be counted on to explore difficult questions about life, marriage, parenthood, grief, and the importance of the traditions that influence and guide our lives.
Modern ideas get tangled up with traditional ones in the fourteenth installment in the much-loved, best-selling No
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Jan Rice
"She is innocent."

"Why, Rra?"

"Because, in general, people are, Mma, unless there is good reason to suspect otherwise. Only in books and films are they not, Mma. In real life it is different, I think."


In this 14th outing of Mma Precious Ramotswe and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, there are a number of important themes, including (as per above) the judgment of guilt and innocence. As always in this series, the overall attitude is one of kindness. I think, however, there were just a fe
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Andie
This is the 14th installment in the No.1 Lies Detective Agency series that has to be the coziest of cozy mystery stories. In fact, I'm not sure that these little vignettes of life in Botswana even qualify as mysteries. Instead they seem more to serve as ruminations on the life philosophy of Precious Ramotswe, the founder and chief detective of the agency. In this installment Mma Ramotswe has to discover whether or not a young man is, indeed who he says he is and if he truly is the rightful heir ...more
Annette
What do I love about the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency book series? To start with, I love the reoccuring themes of cake, red bush tea, shoes (talking shoes at that)and many references to "becoming late". There is the orphan farm and a strong love of home and country -- in this case, Botswana.

But to top it all off, this book has polished babies, husbands in need of modernization and a mention of the head of the No. 1 Men's Philandering Agency.

I love the words and phrases that come out of McCall S
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Anne
Disappointing. Not on a par with all the other books in the series which I have enjoyed so much. Felt like something was missing throughout. Won't stop me from reading the next book in the hopes that this is a one off for McCall Smith.
Dorothy
Reading a No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel is like being in the presence of an old and well-known, well-loved friend. It's a warm hug from a someone who knows just when you really need that hug.

These books are classified as mysteries, but they might as easily be called philosophy, because they are filled with Precious Ramotswe's ruminations on life, on what makes people behave as they do, on her beloved Botswana, on Africa.

All of the "mysteries" that she is called on to solve are, at their
...more
Irene
One of the best Mma Ramotswe novels so far. They just keep getting better and better! I love these novels because I am simply in love with the characters and the fact that the author shows his own respect and admiration for the people/history/animals/land of Botswana where he taught medical ethics at the University of Botswana (and is actually one of the co-founders of the University itself)where he lived for many years. Mccall-Smith has first hand experience from growing up partly in Africa and ...more
Matt Mctaggart
This is the first No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency I have read, in fact it is the first of Alexander McCall Smith that I have read, and so I will leave it to others to review The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon in the context of its series.

Considering the novel without the weight of 15 years' developments, I find it to be a warm, sincere story that falls short on authenticity or relevance.
I haven't been to Botswana, so like most readers I have to take the descriptions of the country and it's people
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Barbara
Mma Precious Ramotse is indeed a precious personality. Her assistant Grace Makutsi may be expecting a baby, but she is saying nothing. Her her typical way Precious Ramotse solves problems because she is astute at reading people. Her observations of daily life always amuse me. One example, is she muses about the traditional way of mothers carrying babies on their backs in contrast with the modern style of carrying babies in front. Carried in front, what happens if the mother falls, as she'll land ...more
Anthony Bidulka
Alexander McCall Smith dares not to be different with his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels, and I'm happy about that. Some things shouldn't change. This, the 14th in the series, has the same lyrical, charming, simple, almost sleepy feel as the first. This isn't really about solving crime, but more about Precious and Mma Makutsi sitting in their little office drinking bush tea and commenting on the world, how things have changed in modern day Botswana and how some things never change, like h ...more
Mardie
Dec 02, 2013 Mardie added it
Another delightful tale. Always so modestly told. The mysteries and their resolutions are almost afterthoughts. They are part of the story and very entertaining. But it is Mma Ramotswe's keen observations about the people she shares her life with that
make the book hard to put down. Mma Ramotswe and her friends and family are so lovingly portrayed. Even the bad guys aren't all bad. Well, maybe one is. I am so very fond of Mma Ramotswe. I feel like she is someone with whom I would be very comfort
...more
Pam
This series gets better with each book, and the ending here was so heartfelt and satisfying. I hope that doesn't mean it's the last one!

Memorable quotes:
"There was no reason why one should always be on the move. That was half the trouble with the world, she thought: not enough people took the time to sit down for a few minutes and look up at the sky or whatever was before you... You did not have to sit for long; even a few minutes was enough to remind you that if you spent your life rushing abo
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Damaskcat
Mma Makutsi has some happy news which may affect the future of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency but she seems reluctant to talk about it. Business at the agency seems quite slack but Mma Ramotswe has two puzzling cases to tackle. A new beauty salon has opened but it seems no one wants to visit it and someone is spreading lies about it. A lawyer wonders whether someone connected with a will she is administering is really who they say they are. Precious Ramotswe’s husband – Mr J L B Maketoni – wan ...more
Ivonne Rovira
May 03, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: armchair travelers and people who think they don't like cozies
Botswana’s only lady detective — probably only detective of either sex — Precious Ramotswe returns in The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon to the delight of longtime fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s coziest of cozy mysteries. In this book, the 14th in the series that began with The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Precious investigates a long-lost nephew who seeks to claim his late uncle’s estate. Is he truly the dead farmer’s nephew, or an imposter? The estate’s astute lawyer, Mma Sheba, firmly bel ...more
Ariel
Usually the new book in this series is released in April which happens to be my birthday month making it my annual gift to myself. My only complaint is that I had to wait until November to get it. In this installment we find Mma Ramotswe presented with two new mysteries, a character assassination against a beauty parlor and a nephew who may or may not be heir to a farm. Mma Ramotswe is on her own for the most part because Mma Makutsi is on maternity leave and she keenly misses her dear friend. M ...more
Cindy
I've read all of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. Not sure why. Not much happens. And absolutely nothing happens fast. They are full of tidbits of wisdom. Wait ... that's why I read them! No rush; nothing too bad is going to happen; and I get so spend a few hours with some wonderful people. Thanks Alexander McCall Smith for continuing Mma Ramotswe's quiet adventures.
Susan W
Another stunning installment of this series. I actually have been listening to this series on CD and the narration by Lisette Lecat is second to none. Her reading is melodic, easy to listen to and definitely pleasing on the ear. By listening to the story on CD I don't have to struggle through the Botswana names but rather I can sit back (ok, drive between the lines as I commute to work and back) and hear all about Mma. Ramotswe's adventures with Mma Makutsi.

In this installment a special new char
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Karen
Reading a new installment in this series is like visiting with an old friend.
Dianna Linder
Love these simple, uplifting books.
Madhulika Liddle
I'll admit that while I read a lot of detective and crime fiction, much of it is either classic—Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers are favourites of mine—or, more often than not, historical detective fiction. One of the few contemporary detectives, though, whom I love unconditionally and whose adventures I always look forward to is Precious Ramotswe, the 'traditionally built' detective of Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

In the fourteenth book, The Min
...more
Carol
This book might appear to be about a newborn baby, but on every level it is about friendship, about rearranging a relationship that expands from business to personal. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi remind me of Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel Lynde in Anne of Green Gables.

Any book by Alexander McCall Smith will have his trademark humor. There were three snort-and-holler moments in this book. I don’t want to give them away, but prepare yourself for horse laughs.

Only to the extent that they reveal human
...more
Jill Furedy
These books just make me happy. Especially considering I just put down The Radiance of Tomorrow, which was a much more depressing story of African village life. There is the same slow story telling pace, the leisurely language and actions. There are good and kind people who try to conduct themselves respectfully and honorably. These books are never about the mystery...that's not why I read them. I read them to spend time with Precious and J.L.B. and Grace and the myriad family and friends surrou ...more
PJ
I listened to this book on CD. What a FUN way to "read" this book. The accents are lovely. My sister spent 30 years in Africa as a missionary and I went to visit her twice. Not in Botswana, but still, the accents are similar. The characters are even more dear to me now that I can hear their "voices". I rated this book at a 4 because of how much I enjoyed it. I don't give 5's unless the book is just over the top spectacular!!

A very dear, librarian friend recommended this series to me when I was a
...more
Kelsey Hanson
Well, it's official. I made through an entire series of twelve books in less than a year. Now what? This book had more warm and fuzzy feelings than many of the other ones though that could be because of Mma Makutsi's baby. The mysteries of this novel were also a bit more tricky than previous ones and had better twists that I didn't predict. It was also nice to see Mr. JLB Matekone going way out his comfort zone in an attempt to become a "modern husband" for Mma Ramotswe. Mr. JLB Matekone can som ...more
Margaret
I've been behind in reading this series for several years now, so when I won a copy of this through a Goodreads Giveaway in 2013, I sent it to my mom, who was up to date on the series. Overall, she said it was good but not quite as good as the previous ones.

It's been a year and a half too since I got this ARC, so to be frank my mother's review might be the only one I get out of this. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books are good, just not my cup of tea right now.
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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 16 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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“There was no need for words, for there are times when words can only hint at what the heart would wish to say.” 4 likes
“Sometimes it was important simply to get out. It did not matter where you went, as long as you got out of the office, or the kitchen, or any other place where duty required you to be, and went to some place that you did not have to be.” 1 likes
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