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In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #6)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  21,685 Ratings  ·  984 Reviews

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal ass
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by Pantheon (first published 2004)
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Popular Answered Questions

Lynda Mma Romotswe, later in the book, believes the intruder to be her ex-husband Note Makoti.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) The "cheerful ladies" are Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi, the women who keep Rra Matekoni's world together while he is in the depths of depression.
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall SmithThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth PetersMedicus by Ruth DownieThe Snowman by Jo Nesbø
Great Mystery Series of the 00's
1st out of 66 books — 43 voters
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieOne for the Money by Janet EvanovichDeath on the Nile by Agatha Christie
Best Detective/Mystery Series
251st out of 1,487 books — 1,736 voters

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Community Reviews

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Anne Sue
May 16, 2009 Anne Sue rated it really liked it
On page 110 and 111 I was very much able to relate to the issue Mma Ramotswe and Mma Potekwane discussed, I wrote the quotes from those pages down, for your entertainment:)

"Mma Ramotswe sighed. "We are all tempted, Mma. We are all tempted when it comes to cake." "That is true," said Mma Potekwane. "There are many temptations in this life, but cake is probably one of the biggest of them.""

""Temptation is very difficult," said Mma Ramotswe quietly. "I do not always resist it. I am not a strong wom
Jul 16, 2008 Laurel rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
There is something so comforting about this series. Even though life in Botswana is most likely very different than life in Canada, there is something about the tone or writing style that reminds me of life at my grandparent's house. I love the traditional values, the respect for people/property/manners. And most of all, I love that it is important to slow down and really be in the moment with those important to you. I know that the future installments become a little formulaic. However, every ...more
Jul 05, 2007 Marie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: justfinished
The entire #1 Ladies Detective Agency series is the most unique set of books I have ever read. I really believe McCall deserves all of the hype he gets for this series, as it has universal appeal.
Mma Ramoswe ponders the questions in life that so many of us do, (or would, if we would just slow down a bit!) But she is so human, too, and some of my favorite parts of this recent addition are the instances in which she muses about Mma Makutsi's "97 percent", but stops just shy of admitting that she i
Dec 28, 2008 Carol rated it really liked it
Whenever I am stressed, have too many deadlines, or simply have been reading too much heavy, sad stuff, I look for another in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. It is just relaxing, pleasant reading to imagine myself sitting under an acacia tree in the hot Botswana sun drinking bush tea... Although a totally different climate and history, Botswanna in a way reminds me of rural Costa Rica 20 years ago. The slow pace of life, everyone knows each other, and honesty and reputation and ethics ...more
Jan 08, 2008 Jean rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
I found this one to be more entertaining than some of the books in the series. I wouldn't recommend the "No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series to just anyone, but I admit I have enjoyed it. The landscape of Botswana is depicted beautifully, lovingly throughout.
I think some folks might NOT appreciate the idyllicism, the simplicity of characters, the repetition. The people and situations are charmingly simple (the style has been called utopian)and it really worked for me but I wonder if some migh
Apr 26, 2009 Isis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I don't know whether the books are getting better as the series continues, or if I have simply slid into the comfort zone they create for me, with all their repetition and rambling and familiarity, but it seems to me that they are becoming more thematically focused and cohesive. This book's intertwining plots center on appearance and reality, on expectations and prejudgment and how they may obscure the truth: from the book's beginning, where Mma Ramotswe, trying to stop a crime, is taken for a ...more
Nicole Marble
Dec 21, 2008 Nicole Marble rated it it was amazing
Delightful!The more I read McCall Smith, the more I look forward to reading more.
Una Tiers
Jul 13, 2016 Una Tiers rated it it was amazing
Lovely prose, gentle clever people.
Faith Spinks
Sep 27, 2014 Faith Spinks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another trip to Botswana so couldn't let it pass without another glimpse into the world of Mma Ramotswe. As always it was a delight. I love getting to be on location as I read as the books are so visual already and being there just brings it even more to life. Can't help but adopt the Botswanan accent as I read as well. :)
Anne Hawn Smith
Since so many people are writing reviews about these wonderful books and discussing the plot, I think I will talk about Africa and especially the way Mma Ramotswe feels about her home and her people. Reading these books has given me the same feeling I got from the beginning of Out of Africa and Cry, the Beloved Country. There is such a deep love of the land in these characters and I find myself wanting to be there with them. I also find myself remembering how I felt in Mississippi in the days of ...more
Nov 24, 2014 K. rated it liked it
These are cozy little reads that are really more about the characters' relationships to each other than about any mysteries taken on by the detective agency. I recently saw a documentary about Alexander McCall Smith. He confesses that he wants to present books about Africa that are not tragedies. He sets the pace slowly (as per the "cozy mystery" genre conventions). He likes to imagine himself as grounded and wise as Mma Ramotswe. He also explains how he travels from Scotland back to Botwana ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Jrobertus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a most enjoyable little novel about a large african lady who uses her inheritance to set up a detective agency. she solves small, human, mysteries in a clever way. warm, funny and thoroughly enjoyable stuff. the 6th in the series. humane, whimsical, and humorous as always. in this one, mme Ramwatsi has trouble with her 'ex', Note, and mma Maccutse finally finds a good man.
Shirley Daniels
Nov 26, 2007 Shirley Daniels rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
I love the characters of Mma Precious Ramatswe, Mma Grace Makutsi and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and have gained appreciation for Botswana and the respectful attitudes of its traditional way of life. The books in this series have brightened my evenings.
Lillian Carl
This one has a bit more plot that some of the previous ones. The apprentice Charlie is up

to no good, as usual, and when Grace and Precious follow him, they not only discover a

problem with Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's old house, they also, quite by accident, pick up Mr.

Polopetsi, a new assistant for both the garage and the agency.

Also, Precious has to confront a difficult part of her own past, while Grace, who starts

attending a dancing school, finds her future completely re-written. Of course every
Valerie K
Dec 01, 2010 Valerie K rated it it was ok
Not my favorite in this series. Some of the story lines were good, but if you took out all the repetitions within this one book itself, you could probably lose a couple chapters, and if you took out passages that are essentially repeats from other books in the series you could cut this book in half. It just starts to feel like filler to me, I'd rather the words were spent more on story and less on repeated reflections. Plus I felt like both Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are becoming more ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 09, 2013 Will Byrnes rated it it was ok
This is #6 in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Mma Rwatse lies on her bed and squeezes out a mysterious intruder who had hidden there. He flees sans pants that got caught on the bed. Is there any relationship between this stranger and the pumpkin that appears on her porch? Mma Makutsi is taking up dancing, hoping to meet a man. One of the apprentices at the car shop is dating a rich married woman and foolishly puts far too many eggs in that basket.

Smith continues along with his set of e
Joe O'c
Feb 18, 2012 Joe O'c rated it liked it
Very Good; continuing character: Precious Ramotswe; one of the apprentices seeing an older woman, a visit from Precious' ex-husband, a bicyclist hit by the van, and dance lessons for Mma Makutsi keep the detective agency busy

Jenny E.
Here you can read my review in Swedish:

Here you can see my review in English:
Sep 28, 2008 C. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: THE WORLD
Shelves: i-wish-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In this sixth entry in McCall Smith's consistently delightful series, Botswana detective Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built—and newly married—owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is saddled with a surfeit of challenging cases and personal crises.

"One might have all the things which the modern world offered, but what was the use of these if they destroyed all that which gave you strength and courage and pride in yourself and in your country?"

There has been an intruder in her home
Friederike Knabe
Oct 15, 2012 Friederike Knabe rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa, african-lit
Precious Ramotswe, Botwana's No.1 Lady Detective, is usually concerned with other people's problems and mishaps. She handles these with aplomb, common sense and, sometimes a little pressure... Her usual cheerfulness is rarely put to the test. Yet, when it comes to difficulties in her own life, she is not so well prepared. She has, after all, a position to maintain and this limits her options. Mma Makutsi is her junior in the agency, which makes her unsuitable as a confidante. And Mr J.L.B. ...more
Sep 11, 2016 Judy rated it it was amazing
Book 6 of (currently) 18.. Continuing series.

Unlike the last 2 books, I thoroughly enjoyed Mma Ramotswe's and Mma Makutsi's adventures. The appreciation to do good things and how good things come to good people. Botswana in Africa is not an ideal book setting but waking up early to see the sunrise, and winding down your day at home as the sun sets... I think that's appealing anywhere you may be. On to book 7!
Gláucia Renata
Apr 29, 2016 Gláucia Renata rated it it was amazing
Sexto volume da série Agência Número 1 de Mulheres Detetives, continua deliciosa! Como sempre, nada de acontecimentos grandiosos, tudo é muito simples e corriqueiro aqui.
Mma Ramotswe se depara com o misterioso aparecimento de uma abóbora além de um par de calças masculinas em sua casa, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni tem um problema com Charlie, o aprendiz mais velho por conta de uma rica mulher numa Mercedez-Benz, ganha um novo ajudante, Mma Makutsi resolve aprender a dançar e Note reaparece.
De ler com um e
Mar 11, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it
Even as I was reading this Alexander McCall Smith No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book, I wondered why I like reading these books so much. Nothing much every happens in them and often mysteries get left unsolved. But what I do find myself caught up in the slow pace and mannered relationships of the characters. Also, Smith conveys the landscape of Botswana so well that it's easy to imagine oneself in the middle of the scene.

In this book, Precious has to come face to face with her troublesome past
Aug 26, 2016 Lime rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heart-warming
This is what I wrote about the book at my blog after finishing it a few years ago:

I do love to read about Precious Ramotswe, the No. 1 Lady Detective of Botswana! So when book six arrived I had to have it ;) Alexander McCall Smith tells his story with warmth and humor. I laugh out load at several occasions and love the way he makes me feel like I’m a little bit there together with them all. Even though I never been to Botswana my self.

This time Mma Ramotswe have to solve several cases; one of th
Nov 18, 2008 Donna rated it it was amazing
I like how in this particular book of the series, that detective work and Mma Ramotswe’s personal life are merging. Last time I complained that there is not enough mystery in the novel. Now, many things happen to her that are actual mysteries! I also liked how she got sentimental with her "tiny white van". They're so connected! When something happened to it, she took it personally. That is so with me and my "tiny green car"! When an automobile has been with you for so long, it's a member of the ...more
Feb 29, 2012 MobileMinx rated it really liked it
After a few years break, I picked up the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series with installment six In the Company of Cheerful Ladies. This reunion with Lady Detective Precious Ramotswe immediately brought me to the warm and famiiar characters stories that originally attracted me. This story is no less compelling, though it has that Botswana pace where everything takes the time it needs and one must just wait. As the story unfolds, we have apprentices acting up, a gambling financier to find, ...more
Mar 22, 2009 Allan rated it really liked it
I'm easing through the series and found this one to be absolutely riveting. I don't recommend beginning with this book if you're starting out because it is a little out of the norm for the series. The stories of Mma Ramotswe are gentle, almost mythical in their unfolding. Nothing alarming happens, generally, but you are entranced by the events in each book, finding yourself reading slower in order to remain in the locale as long as possible. They are charming.

"In the Company of Cheerful Ladies"
Book 6 is much more a character driven plot than a mystery driven story. We are invited inside the lives of the characters and take a journey that is both fun and scary. Alexander McCall Smith even push one of his character into a corner, digged a hole and found a way for the character to bring himself or herself out of the trouble. I was a bit worried I admit when the got to that part but I shouldn't have. This is Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makusti, which I just love, especially in this, M. J.L.B ...more
An Odd1
Feb 12, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"Do not stoop to her level. You are worth more than that silly girl" p 126. Although secretary Grace Makutsi applies elsewhere, she imagines her boss Precious's advice when confronting long-time enemy Violet. The abusive first husband of Precious tries to blackmail her over her marriage to kind J.L.B. Matekoni. (view spoiler) ...more
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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)
  • 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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“A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?” 59 likes
“Mma Ramotswe sighed. 'We are all tempted, Mma. We are all tempted when it comes to cake.'

That is true,' said Mma Potokwane sadly. 'There are many temptations in this life, but cake is probably one of the biggest of them.”
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