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

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  17,392 ratings  ·  774 reviews
THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 6
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 a...more
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by Pantheon Books (first published 2004)
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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieDeath on the Nile by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieOne for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Best Detective/Mystery Series
222nd out of 1,188 books — 1,395 voters
Medicus by Ruth DownieThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyIn the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall SmithThe Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth PetersThe Snowman by Jo Nesbø
Great Mystery Series of the 00's
3rd out of 61 books — 33 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne Sue
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...more
Laurel
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 s...more
Jean
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...more
Marie
Jul 05, 2007 Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Isis
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 c...more
Carol
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
Nicole Marble
Delightful!The more I read McCall Smith, the more I look forward to reading more.
Will Byrnes
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...more
Jrobertus
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 4 of 5 stars
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...more
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
Karen
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 onc...more
Joe O'c
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

Friederike Knabe
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. Matek...more
C.
Sep 28, 2008 C. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: THE WORLD
Shelves: i-wish-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
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
Valerie K
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 inflexib...more
PurplyCookie
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...more
Lime
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
...more
Diane
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...more
MobileMinx
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, dan...more
Allan
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"...more
Writerlibrarian
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 Mateko...more
Zuzana
This was first book from this series that I picked in the library trully randomly They had this one on CDs. Sounded like a good thing to listen to on our long drive back from east coast. It truly was a pleasure. Incredibly beautiful full of good will and funny. If you ever need something to lift your spirits , this is great book. It is a mystery series so it has nice plot while also situated in Africa, which adds a nice character to the book.
I was told that it really does not matter what order...more
Gina
McCall's writing style, at least with this series, as I am not familiar with his others yet, is so refreshing. His characters are a wonderful mix of such likeable personalities but very complete with human flaws. I so enjoy McCall's, or should I say his characters' observations of our society and of human nature. One quote I'd like to remember (I wish I had recorded others) is "A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the d...more
Keli Wright
Dec 26, 2009 Keli Wright rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Keli by: my aunt
if you have not started to read this series then go get book number one of this and start reading them right now. These books are great feel good books. This was number six in the series and a great book. I liked all the stories and loved the way things were handled. I don't want to say anything else without there being spoilers. what I can say is in case you don't know these books are about a lady in Africa that has a detective agency. She is married to a mechanic and has an assistant. The book...more
Shirin
OW!Mma Ramotswe is still married to Note Mokoti and now he is back from Johannesburg to make her life difficult.

We can't really say that Mma was in a haste to marry Mr JLB Matekoni but she did pushed to marry with the help of Mma Potokwani at the orphan farm, but she had forgotten to get a divorce from Note!

Try getting out from that one.

This edition had been a fun adventure for me. Business is good. Several times did Mma Ramotswe leave work earlier and even rewarding Mma Makutsi with a bonus. Wi...more
Lucynell
Precious Ramotswe, head of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana is an angel in the body of a 'traditionally built' woman. Can anyone be so good a person, have such strong faith in goodness? It's a question I asked myself repeatedly when first making her acquaintance. She's not a caricature but she's close. It's a winning set of characters nonetheless and you warm up to them. And there's some good points made in the story, that sometimes problems tend to resolve quietly, without much int...more
Michael
"In the Company of Cheerful Ladies" is a story of a short time in Mma Ramotswe's life.

Mma Ramotswe has an appointment at a restaurant. She notices a car sideswiped another vehicle and leave the scene. When she leaves her seat to see if she can read the car's license plate, she's accused of trying to leave without paying her bill. She settles this dispute and goes home. Once there, she's surprised when she comes home after a trying day when a man crawls out from under her bed and runs away. What...more
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Life in Botswana, human relationships, goodness 14 55 Jul 19, 2014 04:14PM  
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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...
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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“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?” 39 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.”
29 likes
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