The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #8)
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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #8)

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  15,088 ratings  ·  858 reviews
In the life of Precious Ramotswe, a woman duly proud of her fine traditional build, there is rarely a dull moment, and in the latest installment in the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series there is much happening on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road. Mma Ramotswe is experiencing staffing difficulties. First Mr. J.L.B. Mate-koni asks to be put in charge of...more
Hardcover, 213 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2007)
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Donna
After quite a few years of living it, I've come to the conclusion that life is made of two things: time and attention. What I love about the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is the way the author, Alexander McCall Smith, handles both.

In The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, as in all the books in the series, the pace is lazy and relaxed. If I ever visit that part of Africa, I expect that I'll recognize the way the sun feels there, the way the dust settles on the roads after a car goes by. The um...more
Rebecca
This was a surprise eighth installment to a series that was supposed to end with seven. While I am a big fan of the series, I found this particular book to be disappointing for a number of reasons, most of them related to the plot.
As is his usual set-up, McCall Smith starts a series of mini-mysteries to be solved by the ever-resourceful Mma Ramotswe and/or her colorful assistant, Mma Makutsi. In this book, several characters get their own mystery to solve, some with more success than others....more
Lauren
This book stands out for me because of the shake-up caused by one of the main characters in the series... but it seems like things were righted appropriately and put neatly back in to place.

The case about the hospital was quite good - they already told this case on the BBC/HBO show, but they changed some of the details. I liked that it had much more depth in the books.

...and as a complete aside... I wish Mma Ramotswe's confidence, civility, and enduring optimism could be bottled up and doled ou...more
Ed
Ok, we're up to the 8th installment of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, it's pretty review-proof and/or just not a whole lot to say other than it's another perfectly pleasant literary trip to visit some perfectly pleasant friends (well, Mma Makutsi tends to get a bit crabby at times.

This time around I almost was creating a No. 1 Ladies' drinking game. Mention of Mma. Makutsi's 97% score at Secretarial School? Drink! Reference to Mma. Ramotswe's how-to book Clovis Anderson's "The Principles o...more
Graham
While THE GOOD HUSBAND OF ZEBRA DRIVE is, on the surface, a typically satisfying addition to the long-running series of Botswana-set books by Alexander McCall Smith, there's something about it that isn't quite right.

Superficially, the story is as good as ever; Smith carries out his usual attention to detail and weaves separate sub-plots together in an engaging and pacy read. The characters are drawn from real life, the human interaction and conversations are witty and engaging, and the mysteries...more
Anne Hawn Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petra X
I loved the first few books in this series but lost interest after the Full Cupboard of Life. Something about this book's cover appealed to me and I looked forward to immersing myself in Mma Ramotswe's African world again.

I didn't really enjoy the book very much, it was an effort to finish it. The writing was as good, the little plots and twists and turns as amusing, and all the familiar characters were getting on with their lives, so what was it?

To me, Mma Ramotswe was just a paper figure in...more
Holli
This was a very good book. I chose it for Book Group because Deborah, one of my colleagues, used to live in Botswana. She is bringing pictures and artifacts to Book Group and to Coffee Club. According to Deborah, McCall Smith does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Botswana.

I love the optimistic and humorous tone, the simplicity and underlying wisdom of Mma Ramotswe, and the courtesy and dignity with which the characters treat one another. I also like the repetition of phrases and imag...more
Bachyboy
I always begin a new book in this series thinking here we go again but I am quickly seduced by the gentle lilting stories and genuinely like all of the characters. Of course there are moments of conflict but we could all learn something from the way the characters deal with it.
hadashi
it’s been lovely to come back and have tea with Precious Ramotswe and her crew after a few years, now that she’s clearly shown McCall Smith that there was plenty more to her story. as usual, her deep love for Botswana and her fellow humans is what makes her so compelling, and even if the minor cast features some annoying people (with plenty of redeeming traits), one still loves spending time with them. and thankfully, the winning formula is still there: we learn simple lessons from listening to...more
Diana S
"This is the first book of this series that I've read and I loved it! I really enjoyed getting to know Mma Ramotswe and her beloved Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, and their foster children, Motholeli and Paso. Her assistant Mma Makutsi and her fiancee Phuti Radiphuti of the Double comfort Furniture Store. I also loved the descriptions of their lovely country of Botswana. I would love to go there and see the sights described in the book and drink Red Bush Tea. For a mystery, it was so enjoyable and light h...more
Rhonda
This was a satisfying addition to the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series. This could also have been titled, "Nearly Everyone Tries Something New and Discovers That Happiness Is Already At Hand." Charlie starts a new business with predictable results, Mr. J.E.B. Matakoni tries his hand at detection, and Mma. Makutsi explores freedom. One of the attractions of these books are the ruminations on how people act, their motivations, their sheer variety. But the thing I like best is the narrator! It...more
coccinella
Boh. Ecco, boh. E’ la prima parola che mi viene in mente se ripenso a questo libro. Pur parlando di investigazioni e casi da risolvere, non si tratta in senso stretto di un “giallo”, e d’altra parte io mi aspettavo più che altro un romanzo sull’Africa e sui suoi colori, sapendo che l’aspetto investigativo sarebbe rimasto a margine, pretesto per parlare della vita e dei pensieri di questa Jessica Fletcher africana. E fin qui ci siamo, perché all’ultima pagina ti scopri con addosso una tranquillit...more
Tek
In this eighth installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, the entire gang--Mma Ramotwse, Mma Makutsi and even Mr. JLB Matekoni--are working on separate cases brought to the company. While I think the case of the possible philandering husband is a staple mystery in this type of series, the way that it was handled wasn't to my satisfaction. The case is not actually SOLVED. The same can be said of Mma Makutsi's case with office supply theft in a printing company--both the general book...more
Marianne
This is the eighth book in this series. I have come to just love all the main characters. I LOVE reading their inner dialog. As with the others it is a light and easy read and just has a feel to it that makes me happy.
Kelsey Hanson
I enjoyed this book, but it seemed quite a bit slower than usual. These books are usually pretty slowly paced, but in a relaxing sort of way. This one just seemed a bit dull in parts. I continued to care for all the characters but I was pretty irritated with most of them in this book. The moral of this story is The grass is not greener on the other side. Most of the characters initially unhappy with their lives attempt something new but it doesn't go as planned. It's interesting for some like wh...more
Sara
these books are so cute. they are hard to describe. written by a guy about a woman detective agent in Botswana. No blood, no violence, just a good, simple story! love them!
Caroline
These are addictive. CAVE, LECTOR. I blame Kathleen for getting me hooked.

In this one, the whole crew starts solving mysteries. I think I should have read them in order.
Una Tiers
The second time around I still love this book. The flawless mirroring of conflict and lovely language. "Same devil, different clothes."
Skortebein
Jun 10, 2008 Skortebein rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
I learned something about Botswana and how people relate to one another in this particular area of AFrica.
Jamie
Even shorter and more insubstantial than usual for this series, but still charming.
Nranger7
This is the first book I've read by Alexander McCall Smith and I was really impressed. I have a degree in history and when I was in school I was really disappointed by the lack of African history offered. (Had great instructors from Zimbabwe and Malawi though!) I try to read novels by African writers when I can and they all seem to have an underlying sadness about them. (Can't blame them.) So this was a nice change of pace - very lighthearted and easy to read. Even though McCall Smith isn't Afri...more
Joanne
This was another heart-warming installment of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series delivered by Alexander McCall Smith. As all of our favorite characters are settling into their lives with the changes that have taken place in the previous books, many seem to feeling a bit of stagnation from the daily tasks that are becoming monotonous.

The mysteries within these series are usually so minimal, but they really help us to get to know the characters in a personal way. How they go about solving th...more
Shinn
I've realized the best way to enjoy a book in this series is at one go; it's certainly the easiest. I couldn't resist reading this piecemeal, between "heavier" books and maybe that's why I wasn't completely bowled over by this one as by the other two I've read so far. However, it's still a very enchanting book and I do welcome this opportunity to give a more balanced review of the series for a change.

The subplot with Mma Makutsi's resignation didn't really engage me; perhaps due to its brevity....more
Anna
I love the series, but like with other of my favorite book series, I don't dare to read all books at once, but rather enjoy one, then read a bunch of other books, then another... (what would be more horrible than running out of the favorite reads?)
Precious is just such a happy read (odd way to describe a mystery, isn't it?) for either when you need some happy reads to cheer you up, or when you... just need something happy, light, and bubbly. Or like a nice cup of bush tea.

This time Mmas Ramotsw...more
Krista
I didn't enjoy this eighth book in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series as much as I had the previous books. I was ready to quit in the middle of the book, but I'm glad I saw it through to the end, because the story threads were tidied up nicely and I was satisfied by the final page.

Maybe I didn't like it as much as other books in the series because everything seemed to be changing in the beginning. Mma Makutsi quit the agency and just seemed to be more mean-spirited than ever, and Mr JLB...more
Georgiana 1792

È il primo libro che leggo di Alexander Mccall Smith: mi avevano sempre colpita queste spettacolari copertine, piene di colori, di disegni africani, ma non avrei mai creduto che aprendole sarei riuscita ad immergermi davvero nell’Africa, a vivere per qualche attimo di gradevole lettura al ritmo lento, ma completamente efficiente della signora Ramotswe.
Nella Ladies' Detective Agency N°1 si vive al ritmo delle pause per il tè, quelle ufficiali e quelle ufficiose, ed i casi da risolvere sono tanti...more
Isis
I love this series. I did not love this book, which makes me kind of sad. I had two major problems with this particular volume. First, the overarching theme appeared to be "people are who they are, and there's no point trying to change who you are," which I find defeatist and unappealing. Second, nearly all of the intertwining subplots made me uncomfortable. Part of the reason is that Mma Makutsi and Mr. JLB Matekoni were acting in ways that seemed out of character to me (which of course was to...more
Becky
This book probably actually gets 3.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous this evening. :-)

I generally really enjoy the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, kind of like one enjoys a nice cup of tea in a rose garden. The books are an easy read, relaxing, and ultimately uplifting. I wouldn't say these are going to be classics, but they reliably make me feel happy after I put them down. I've never been to Botswana, but it feels like McCall Smith has captured something unique about the country and its...more
Kathy
It's been several years since I have read a book in this series. I have always enjoyed them. They center on a ladies' detective agency in Botswana, Africa, particularly on the owner, Precious Ramotswe and her cases and the people around her. They are light and easy, sometimes really funny, and sometimes have really interesting little detective cases. I must say this one wasn't as good as I remember previous ones being. It's kind of like a television show where you may like the characters, settin...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...
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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“So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?” 24 likes
“And if there's bad behaviour," Mma Potokwane went on. "If there's bad behaviour, the quickest way of stopping it is to give more love. That always works, you know. People say we must punish when there is wrongdoing, but if you punish you're only punishing yourself. And what's the point of that?” 23 likes
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