Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3)
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Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3)

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  24,885 ratings  ·  1,140 reviews
Botswana PI Precious Ramotswe investigates the alleged poisoning of the brother of an important government official, and the moral character of four beauty contestants. When her business has money trouble, and problems arise at at her reliable fiance Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's Speedy Motors, she finds he is more complicated then he seems.
Paperback, 227 pages
Published November 12th 2002 by Random House Anchor (first published 2001)
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Anne Hawn Smith
Reading these books is more like visiting with friends. If you are looking for action and plot, this will not really appeal to you, especially if you have read some of the others. These books are more of a slice of life.

This was one of my favorites because of the depression that overcomes Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni. It comes over him so gradually and the people who love him are so concerned for him. I could almost feel myself becoming concerned for him also. Since I suffer from depression from time t...more
Leo
And there goes another one. Reading a No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’s book is always so much fun.
In this one, the story broadens: we have Mma Ramotswe's investigations as always but also the newly promoted Assistant Detective, Mma Makutsi, whom also has to keep an eye the apprentices at Tlokweng Speedy Motors because the Agency has moved there to save costs. It’s nice to see her step out a bit of her usual secretarial activities and have her investigate on her own. That way we can switch focus fr...more
Lauren
Like so many other readers, I really enjoy McCall Smith's stories of Mma Ramotswe, and her Botswana detective service. Mma Ramotswe is a remarkable character, and I love her simple and moral nature. Yet, of the three books I have read in this series, I found _Morality for Beautiful Girls_ to be the weakest story so far.

Mma Ramotswe is pulled in many different directions in this book, and only a few of the circumstances really go anywhere. Nearly a whole chapter is devoted to a young boy that is...more
Graham
I can’t get enough of these Precious Ramotswe stories. This is the third in a series that shows no signs of flagging as yet, and indeed which seems richer, deeper and more spellbinding each novel you read.

MORALITY FOR BEAUTIFUL GIRLS follows the same template as before, although the detective cases here seem even more of an excuse to have Smith reflecting on aspects of life applicable to both Botswana and the world in general.

Here, we take a look at dysfunctional families, depression and female...more
Sarah
Book Three. As you can see, I love these books! Here are some nuggets:

"Most morality, thought Mma Ramotswe, was about doing the right thing because it had been identified as such by a long process of acceptance and observance. You simply could not create your own morality because your experience would never be enough to do so. What gives you the right to say that you know better than your ancestors? Morality is for everybody, and this means that the views of more than one person are needed to cr...more
Eliece
I'd add a half to that star if I could, but couldn't quite go to three. I really liked the first two in this series, but I guess this is why I stay away from series books as a general rule. They seem to lose appeal for me as they go along. I hate the summarizing from past books to catch you up. The characters in this are still endearing and I love the setting and the 'love of country' theme going on. I like the small moral lessons the books aim to teach and the simple writing style. This one had...more
Amy
Call it a “gentle read” or a “cozy mystery,” Morality for Beautiful Girls is a charming and easy read. Morality was written by Alexander McCall Smith, himself a fascinating character as a Rhodesian-born Scottish writer with a Ph.D. in law and a plethora of books, fiction and non, under his belt. It is the third in his series entitled The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, which feature the plucky Precious Ramotswe, her heart of gold, and the community mysteries in her beloved contemporary Botswana....more
Yuki
Jun 02, 2009 Yuki rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Although a "detective" series, I am drawn to these books for the keen observations of landscape, history, characters, and the human heart. As Precious Ramotse and increasingly her secretary and assistant Mma Makutsi go about investigating and resolving cases in a resourceful and satisfying way, I love that I can see the red dust of Botswana, feel the thirst of the land and the shade of the acacia trees, and smell the change in atmosphere when the rain comes..

One day people would no longer do th...more
Laura
This is the third, and so far my favorite, of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. As always, Alexander McCall Smith’s simple, rhythmic prose seems to echo the plodding of cattle under a warm Botswana sun, lulling you into a world that has time for repetition and tradition and courtesy. While I found the first two in the series delightful, this was more moving and satisfying. And funny!

For some reason, I find the simplistic style charming, not banal. Perhaps that’s because it reflects the rat...more
Writerlibrarian
Third novel in his Lady Detective agency. It's a lovely book, old fashioned in its slow pace, very low key plot.It's a slice of life from a world that moves at a different pace from ours. In this we meet our detective Mma Ramotswe again facing the daily chores of a business woman (her business is not making enough money to cover Mma Makutsi's raised in status and pay), an engaged to be married woman (her fiancé Mr. Matekoni is acting strangely). Mma Makutsi takes on her first case and the appren...more
Vanessa
What is not to like about Mma Ramotswe? She is able to see things for what they are. I enjoy these books. I especially enjoy that each book ties up all loose ends in a nice little bow for you by the end.
PurplyCookie
Mma Makutsi rises to her own in this volume "Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 3)". As Mma Ramtoswe feels the pinch economically and emotionally, what with money being tight in the agency and the illness of her fiance, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, she comes to rely on the unexpected talents and strength of her secretary. Mma Makutsi, with her too dark complexion and too big glasses, a less than beautiful facial features, shows true beauty in her no-nonsense approach to...more
Rebecca
Another enjoyable offering from an author I greatly admire.

Quiet writing, which only sets one up for something quite poignant or an unanticipated punch line. Here is a small example:

Mma Makutsi snorted. "You made yourself look foolish. Why are you always running after girls? Why are you always trying to impress them?"

"Because that's how I enjoy myself," said the apprentice defensively. "I like talking to girls.We have all these beautiful girls in this country and there is nobody to talk to them.
...more
Endah
Buat kamu yang baru akan pertama kali membaca serial ini–ya, ini sebuah serial terdiri dari beberapa judul, jadi sebaiknya dibaca secara urut dari buku pertamanya : Kantor Detektif Perempuan No. 1–aku ingatkan untuk bersiap diri mendapati kisah detektif yang berbeda. Kau tidak bisa berharap akan menemukan sosok perempuan super yang akan berkelahi melawan penjahat atau karakter wanita setua Miss Marple yang memecahkan misteri sembari merajut.

Mma Ramostwe bukan tipe perempuan seperti itu. Ia seora...more
Eva Nickelson
The third installment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a continuation of the downhill progression from the first one. Smith has introduced too many characters to keep the plot line simple and focus on the atmosphere and environment. Mma Ramotswe needs a list to keep track of everything that is going on, and I felt like I needed one too. Mr JKL Matacomie has depression (which was handled poorly), a little boy is found in the wild, her adopted children are settling in, her assistant is bei...more
Matt
I am not an authority on detective stories. I've read a little Sherlock Holmes, but I've only seen Agatha Christie through the eyes of the BBC. But when I pick up books from this series and always see the New York Times Book Review quote on the front, "The Miss Marple of Botswana," I start to think that Mma Ramotswe belongs in the discussion – not because she fits the mold, but because she seems to offer a different perspective within the genre.

In a sense, I think these are classic detective sto...more
Jeanette
really like this series, but im starting to have some.. issues. first off- i want to say that i really like his descriptions of africa and the people of botswana. i havent read anything on the country, so i like the insight it gives.

my issues:
the book is titled morality for beautiful girls and the description on the back cover is about a case involving beauty contest contestants. unfortunately, that case doesnt come up until page 154! that's kind of annoying.

i think that some parts are getting...more
Sebastian
"I thought it was ridiculous"

After the first two outstanding books in this series, to say this third one disappointed me would be an understatement. Most of the aspects that were charming from previous installments are missing or barely present here. For example, Rra. Matekoni is suffering from depression and as a result his participation in the story is minimal, not to mention the ridiculous way in which this situation is handled in the story. The two kids that were staying with Mma. Ramotswe w...more
Dusty
What endears this series to me and what makes me uncomfortable about it is its resounding cuteness. Plump Precious Ramotswe -- the "Miss Marple of Botswana," so the blurb on the book's front cover reads -- is indeed very cute. She drives a cute white van and solves quotidian mysteries by relying on cute traditional Motswana customs and proverbs. What bothers is me is how that cuteness bleeds into what sometimes feels to me like condescension: Precious Mma Ramotswe is not Miss Marple; she's Miss...more
Uci
Ada apa antara McCall Smith dengan wanita cantik? Kok sepertinya dia anti sekali dengan wanita-wanita cantik. Buku bagus ini agak 'ternoda' dengan kritiknya yang terus-menerus terhadap wanita cantik yang dianggapnya (sebagian besar) tidak berotak, tidak berkarakter, tidak mau bekerja keras, dan tidak punya integritas.

Meskipun demikian, saya tetap menikmati buku ketiga dari seri Kantor Detektif Wanita No. 1 ini. Saya tetap suka penggambaran indah Smith tentang Afrika yang cantik dan arif. Afrika...more
Brittany
These are very comforting and comfortable books that, nonetheless, give the reader a completely new outlook on the world.

This book (whose title is guaranteed to make your fiance laugh when he catches you reading it) covers the continuing adventures of Precious Ramotswe as she deals with a depressed fiance, and navigates the pitfalls of being an empathetic employer. In this book, the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency investiates a possible case of spousal poisoning and tests to bonafides of beauty co...more
Kathrine Holyoak
This series (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) NEVER lets me down. I space it out between other reading and return to it when I need some "dessert". Mma Romatswe is such a breath of fresh air that my twin sister and I fantasize of one day following her lead and opening a "Detective Agency" with the similar skills of "preciposity" and a traditional build. The author possesses rare skill of capturing the essence and beauty of human nature, with poetic images of Africa as a backdrop. I will defini...more
Shirin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emilie
I felt like this book really gave me more than the prior ones. Maybe because I listened to it when I was in Tanzania. BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING, I KNOW Tanzania is not Botswana, but it's freakin more similar to Botswana than Sweden if you talk about the environment.

I do have some issues everytime I read this series. Mostly the talk about the correct and traditional behaviour which some (especially younger people) nowadays lack. In this book Mma Ramotswe talked a bit about (or maybe it was the fou...more
Catherine Thompson
In Morality for Beautiful Girls, Mma Ramotswe is beset with problems. She is trying to move her office into the same space as Tklongwen Road Speedy Motors, which is a big headache. Her fiance, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, seems to have lost interest in his work, which she finds very strange. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is also falling into debt, which is why she accepts a job from a big Government man. The Government man believes that his brother's wife is trying to poison his brother so she can...more
Ramya
I finished this book with my version of bush tea and a reliving of good and loving memories of my time in Botswana around the turn of this century.

Although, it is chapter 2 that starts with night time in the Okavango outside of Maun, it is the countryside -- outside the largest urban villages (as the cities were called around 2000 due to low population & infrastructure) -- that this book reflects on the most while Precious Ramotswe, First Lady detective of Botswana, navigates life's curve b...more
Laurel Bradshaw
I loved how Mma Makutsi comes into her own in this book, being promoted not only to assistant detective, but now she is also in charge of running Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors and soon has Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's two lazy and silly assistants falling in line under her more disciplined hand. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is staying temporarily at the orphanage to recovery from a bout of depression, and becomes involved with the mysterious "wild boy" found out in the bush. Lots of the usual philosophical musing...more
Kent
I had a sense of whiplash when I finished this book because, to my way of thinking, it ended so abruptly, with several story lines dangling. Then I remembered that this was a series of books, and a sense of calm came over me. I love this series and its' main character, Precious Ramotswe, and her charming, moral, common-sense approach to life and the people she comes in contact with. On to book 4......
Dale
If you are worried about spoilers you can stop reading now.

Smith decided to temporarily do away with Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni in this episode, for reasons that are not entirely clear. It may be that he needed to make room to show the hidden talents of Grace Makutsi, who proves to be an inspired manager and a quite capable mechanic. Or maybe the author needed some way of making Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni a little unpredictable: it is probably hard to make a really decent character interesting. Anyway, it was...more
Petersong
Morality for Beautiful Girls is the third in the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I loved it as much as the first two. The book is written very simply but is full of little morals and insights into the way of life in Botswana.

This time the light shines more on Mma Makutsi and Mr J.L.B. Makatoni is sidelined with depression.
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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
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“It is sometimes easier to be happy if you don't know everything.” 444 likes
“She had a taste for sugar, however, and this meant that a doughnut or a cake might follow the sandwich. She was a traditionally built lady, after all, and she did not have to worry about dress size, unlike those poor, neurotic people who were always looking in mirrors and thinking that they were too big. What was too big, anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then the more generously sized people would just have to sit on them. Yes, that would teach them! Hah!” 57 likes
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