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

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  29,541 Ratings  ·  1,366 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
Sep 02, 2015 Manny marked it as to-read
Spotted this afternoon in the philosophy section of a Berlin bookshop. I didn't dare ask if it was an imaginative interpretation of the content or just a mistake.
Aug 17, 2015 Kavita rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, humour, africa
Everyone knows all about Mma Ramotswe and her No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. It's delightful, set in Botswana, and filled with the local flavours. In this book, Mma Ramotswe gets an important client from the government, JLB Matekoni is suffering from depression, Mma Makutsi gets her first solo triumph by solving a case for a huge fee. The bankrupt company is flush again!

My two facourite quotes:

This sad truth was hilariously put - "Women, as usual, were expected to behave better than men, and in
Dec 09, 2008 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 10, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it
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
Nov 15, 2015 Miz rated it really liked it
It's just such an easy series to read! It requires little effort and I enjoy it. Sure, it's not the best thing I've ever read but each book is a pallet cleaner and can be enjoyed over a couple of days. This one was no exception but (view spoiler). And yes, I've bough the next one :)
Sep 22, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it
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
Feb 11, 2011 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 25, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Apr 14, 2009 Eliece rated it it was ok
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
Yuki Shimmyo
Nov 05, 2015 Yuki Shimmyo rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
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
Mar 12, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
The two ladies continue to operate the detective agency, but now Precious' fiance is not well. She decides that her secretary will take charge of the garage while he recovers from a terrible bout of depression. Meanwhile there are many important detecting assignments to take care of, but the ladies are "up for it".

This is the third book in the series and a thoroughly enjoyable read. when I open one of these books it feels so comfortable, just like coming home.
Apr 09, 2009 Writerlibrarian rated it liked it
Shelves: read2007, mystery
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
Chance Lee
May 20, 2015 Chance Lee rated it really liked it
These are fast reads! I really enjoyed this one for a few reason. First, Mma Ramotswe ended up with a case that didn't get solved in two pages, and although it was hardly suspenseful (not that I expect suspense from these books) it at least had a curve in it, instead of a straight shot to the solution. Second, Mma Makutsi also gets a case to tackle all by herself, which is fun. And finally, but most importantly, is that Mma Makutski also must manage Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, and she's a much ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it
Another delightful outing from Mma Ramotswe and her No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. This is the 3rd book in the series and it was just as enjoyable as the first two. These books are very laid back and are like a slice of life from Botswana. In this one, Mma Ramotswe investigates the alleged poisoning of the brother of an important "Government Man" and Mma Makutsi, assistant detective is also promoted to assistant manager of the Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, when Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the owner and ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Iblena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La humanidad y sentido común de Mma Ramotswe, la han convertido en un personaje entrañable y ameno. Y sus tramas simples que hablan de gente corriente y sencilla muestran al lector la otra África, la que no suele reseñarse en los medios de comunicación.
Mar 31, 2009 Vanessa rated it really liked it
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.
Moushumi Ghosh
Yet another McCall Smith, yet another lovely trip to Botswana and Mma Ramotswe's world. I was curious about Mr. J.L.B Matekoni's 'illness' and Mma Makutsi's taking over as Acting Manager of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors which were referred to in the latter books so this book throws light on these two incidents. It is also Mma Makutsi's first case by herself. So many things happening in this book. Sadly the HBO TV series did not interpret the poisoning case as in the book. I prefer the book now to ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 20, 2008 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
This is an entry consistent with the prior two books in this delightful series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Tears of the Giraffe.The focus here is on beauty and young women. Precious helps a politician who believes that his younger brother’s beautiful young wife is poisoning him. Rawotse’s assistant gets a case of her own, in which she helps the head of a beauty pageant determine which of the finalists is a truly honest girl. Mister Matekoni, Precious’ fiancée, is suffering from depre ...more
Eva Nickelson
Jan 26, 2011 Eva Nickelson rated it it was ok
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
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
Apr 08, 2010 Jeanette rated it liked it
Shelves: books-to-swap
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
May 09, 2015 Cathleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is a "comfy" or "feel good" kinda series. I love this one the best so far! The writing is smooth and fast and easy, and the stories are wonderful and thoughtful and puts a smile on my face.
Jul 09, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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.
Julie Bettina
Mar 13, 2016 Julie Bettina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the third novel about Mma Ramotswe did not disappoint!

In Morality for Beautiful Girls, our female protagonist is coping with a new life: soon to be married with Mr. J. L. B. Matekone, she takes responsibility of his adoptive children and his business while he is taken with a disease of the mind. On top of this, she is moving office and has to deal with a difficult case, which turns out to be of a whole different nature than first presumed.

Precious Ramotswe is (still) the no. 1 lady detective
This a much bleaker story than the others. (view spoiler)

* Efficient secretary, asst detective and acting manager, Mma Makutsi
(view spoiler)
Jan 27, 2009 Endah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 2013 Sebastian rated it it was ok
"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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Morality for Beautiful Girls 1 3 Jun 21, 2012 12:50AM  
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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)
  • 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 Double Comfort Safari Club (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, #11)

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“It is sometimes easier to be happy if you don't know everything.” 511 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!” 69 likes
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