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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #10)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  16,837 Ratings  ·  1,431 Reviews
The latest installment of this universally beloved and best-selling series finds Precious Ramotswe in personal need of her own formidable detection talents . . . .
Mma Ramotswe's ever-ready tiny white van has recently developed a rather disturbing noise. Of course, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni-her estimable husband and one of Botswana's most talented mechanics--is the man to turn t
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published April 21st 2009 by Pantheon Books (first published 2009)
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Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge

In this 10th book in the series, Mma Ramotswe - owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Gabarone, Botswana - has a vexing problem. Her beloved tiny white van is making ominous noises. And Mma Ramotswe's afraid her husband, the dedicated mechanic Mr. JLB Matekonii, will scrap the old van if she tells him.

Mma Ramotswe's car problems prey on her mind as she looks into the case of the losing football (soccer) team. Rra Molofololo, the team owner, is convinced a traitorous player is throwing g
4.5 stars
I love this series, and am a huge fan of McCall Smith.
Though the events take place in a detective agency, this series is as far away from murder and hard crime as any detective book can be.
Mma Ramotswe and her assistant, Mma Makutsi, form an unlikely pair of female detectives, who specialise in solving peculiar mysteries.
This time, Molofololo, the football tycoon engages the team to find out why his team is losing out every time, even to weak rivals. He suspects a mole in the team , an
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoy this series of books. I like the descriptions, the slow pace, the thoughtfulness, etc. And the stories are always interesting. There were lots of quotes I found interesting as well...

In thinking about her childhood, Mma Ramotswe pondered "arithmetic, with its puzzling multiplication tables that needed to be learned by heart--when there was so much else that the heart had to learn." (pg. 4)

As Mma Ramotswe looked up at her acacia tree and thought about how there could be a snake in
Will Byrnes
May 02, 2009 rated it liked it
The 10th in the series, if you are reading this you are already a fan. Smith maintains the same delightful level offered in the prior nine. The central mystery here concerns a soccer team and whether or not someone is throwing games. Mma Makutsi faces a personal challenge as an old rival attempts to insinuate herself between Makutsi and her fiancée. Mma Rawotswe must come to grips with the likely demise of her beloved van. Along the way we meet more of the fascinating characters that populate Sm ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"I am your sister. There was no simpler or more effective way of expressing a whole philosophy of life."

"Human hurt was like lightning; it did not choose its targets, but struck, with rough equality and little regard to position, achievement, or moral desert."

"There is plenty of work for love to do."

"It did not really matter what the relationship was; a home was a home whoever lived in it, it was the same family no matter how attenuated the links of blood and lineage."

"Until you hear the whole s
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Alexander McCall Smith has written another wonderful detective book about the Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi. McCall has such a wonderful sense of people and how they think; In simple words, he delves into their innermost reflective thoughts. As he describes in detail what people are thinking about, I find myself connecting to similar thoughts I used to have when I was younger and innocent, and had more free time to reflect upon the goodness of people and the world.

Mma Ramotswe "glanc
Mar 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspense kindly informed me that this latest in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series was available in paperback, and I started clicking. This is one temptation I don't even try to resist. Alexander McCall Smith's books are good for me—like a few days' vacation.

Once it arrived, I tried to read Tea Time for the Traditionally Built as slowly as possible, rationing myself to just a few pages a day. Although Smith is a prolific author, his books don't come out every day and—like favorite desser
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A fun, feel good book that happens to be number 10 in a fun, feel good series based in Botswana. Mma Ramotswe & Mma Makutsi never fail to bring a smile to my face. I love the culture and ambience of their Botswana. AMS' writing makes the place come alive through the eyes of natives to the country. These books are easy and quick reading.

This particular entry focuses on intrigue in a football team (soccer to us Americans). Also are problems with the "tiny white van" and Grace's nemesis Violet
Jun 29, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm addicted to this series of gentle books by Alexander McCall Smith that take place in the southern African country of Botswana. The stories are about the conflict between the traditional way of life and the emergence of modern culture that is placing strains on the people of Botswana. And in the telling of that story, throw in a gentle mystery or human problem or two and you have yourself a good read. In this book, Mms Ramotswe is asked to find out why the popular local soccer team is suddenl ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, africa, botswana
I am doing this wrong. I ought to read the books in the right order to get the full enjoyment of the character development. As it is, I was kicking myself for missing an exciting book (no idea which of the previous ones it was, but the scene was referred to in this one) with Grace Makutsi and Precious Ramotswe chasing after Violet Sephotho. How did I miss that?

Anyway, this one had Ramotswe and Makutsi grapple with football. The owner of a football club, the Kalahari Swoopers, reaches out to the
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very entertaining book in this cozy and comfortable series. These books are so easy going that you can't help enjoying them, it is like being back with long lost friends. The main mystery in this one is very light revolving around why a football team is always losing and whether there is a traitor in amongst the team. The mysteries in these books are almost secondary to life in Botswana as told by Mma Ramotswe. This book is worth reading alone for the reaction she had to her dying little van. ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
From BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama:
Written and dramatised by Alexander McCall Smith, from his hugely popular series of books set in Botswana.

Precious Ramotswe, owner of The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is about to get in over her head. She's got an important new client from the incomprehensible world of football, but she's on her own as her loyal assistant Mma Makutsi is distracted by the return of a troublesome figure from her past.

Directed by Eilidh McCreadie.

Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful! I haven't read a #1 Ladies Detective Agency novel in several years, and I had forgotten how enjoyable they are. This is one of the best. As always, I love Lisette Lecat's narration; she does all of the voices so well!
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing

Precious Ramotswe is back for another adventure as she delves into the world of football, which we Americans confusedly call soccer. She has been hired by Mr. Mologololo, the owner of the local Kalahari Swoopers, because has some serious concerns about the bad record of the team. Considering the high level of talent on the team, he things that one or more of the players is doing something to make the team lose. He hasn't been able to sort out who it is, but he thinks that Mma Ramotswe's skills a
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, africa
Can this really be the tenth installment in this endearing book series already? It can, and Smith shows no signs of flagging yet: TEA TIME FOR THE TRADITIONALLY BUILT is another whimsical and gently moving story about the various misadventures of Mma Ramotswe, the proud owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and her various friends and associates.

It's business at usual in this well-paced read as the central characters attempt to solve a football mystery: why is a local and well-respected t
Kathleen Hagen
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, by Alexander McCall Smith, A. Narrated brilliantly as usual by Lisette Lecat. Produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from Tenth book in the sries.

In this one Precious is investigating a case for the owner of the town’s football team. They keep losing games, even against teams who are not as good as theirs. He thinks someone, maybe one of the players, is cheating and selling the team out to the enemy. Precious tries to tell him she knows nothing
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is one of the authors/series (along with Janet Evanovich and John Grisham)whose books I await eagerly and insist on owning. And I am never disappointed. How I love Mma Ramotswe and this endearing cast of characters (Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, Mma Makutsi,Phuti Radiphuti, Violet Sephotho, and all the rest - it is a real treat to hear the audio version of these books - the names just roll off the tongue - so beautiful)! And it is so refreshing to read a book set in Africa in which people go about t ...more
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
As always, this was a pleasure to read. The characters have become like old friends, complete with their own particular quirks. They are so fully fleshed out that they seem as though they must be real! I can't tell you how much Mma Makutsi made me laugh out loud this time. It was also fun to finally learn more about "the younger apprentice" in Mr J L B Matekoni's garage. The cases in this installment were very benign, and sources of real amusement. I just love Alexander McCall Smith and am so th ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Even after ten books - I think I've read them all - this series still makes me go aah. In spite of the crimes to be investigated, the moral dilemmas, Charlie's fecklessness and Grace's occasional snappiness they still deal with a world that is somehow innocent, where there is faith that most people are good. Of course one can have too much of a good thing: were I to read them all in one go, the continued politeness and old-fashioned use of titles and surnames would possibly become annoying rathe ...more
Well this was a delightfully quaint and rather soft and naive little mystery that was just too 'nice' for me I think. There are a few different stories running through the pages, particularly that of the local football team that seems to be struggling of late and of the local man-eater trying to get her claws into Mma Ramotswe assistant's fiance, both of which are handled with a dainty hand. Don't get me wrong, the writing itself is good and the stories flow well and work together beautifully bu ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I give this author so many chances - three and counting, as of now - and he rains down on my hopes each time muddier than the last. I still will read at least one work from each of the series he has penned, although they're all horribly racist, reeking of infantilism and poor in prose and plot.
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
As with all in this series, this was like taking a warm bath. Ahhhh.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming, as ever. Love this series so much.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Alexander McCall Smith has done it again with his latest installment in the No. 1 Ladies Detective series, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. There are mysteries to solve, troubles with the trusty old white van, and Mma Makutsi's arch-enemy Violet Sephotho makes a dastardly reappearance.

One of the most touching parts of this novel is the deep love that Mma Ramotswe expresses for her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. At one point in the story she is worried about him driving the roads of Botswana
Laura de Leon
I didn't enjoy this as much as previous books in the series. I don't know if I was just not in the right mood for it, or if the book wasn't that compelling. All of the books have a very comfortable feel to them, like hanging out with interesting neighbors. In this book, the neighbors are having an off day.

The mystery of the under-performing football team led to some interesting observations on human nature. I think there are a lot of similar conversations happening locally as we have the mystery
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book 10 of 16 of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency casts Mma Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only private eye, in the unaccustomed role of a football (or soccer) detective. A certain Mr. Molofololo (accent on the "o"), owner of the Kalahari Swoopers, insists there must be a traitor on his team, causing it to lose games that it should win. Mma Ramotswe and her prickly associate Mma Makutsi get to work, interviewing the players and exposing jealous rivalries, suspicious debts, possible vision probl ...more
Mary Taitt
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Could a book that is slow-paced where little happens, compared, say to a Douglas Preston/Lincoln Childs crime novel, be a good book? In this case, very much so. This is a relaxed, slow-paced, pleasant, cheery and inviting novel about Precious Ramotswe, the proprietor of the Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana. It's the tenth book in a series, and I read it out of order, but I enjoyed it anyway. I thought it had a loose end, or I would have given it 5 stars instead of 4. It's an interna ...more
May 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ladies #1 Detective Agency Fans
Recommended to Bonnie by: Orginally a lady from Chicago, now myself
I love McCall Smith's books for many reasons and for each one that I read I find more joy. If this series should ever end I shall be a sad girl indeed.

Two lines I liked from this book, the first about the sky and weather, because I always love how he describes the sky of Botswana, and in fact,
I keep a running diary of his weather/sky comments: "So she said nothing, but noticed, when she looked up, that the rain clouds had moved across the sky with great speed, and now they were not far away, ov
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
As always: charming. "Exotic" as the setting may be (for someone living in Big City, USA), there's always something about these stories and the characters in them that makes it so easy to relate to. Mma Ramotswe's van plays a big role in this book, and her attachment to the decrepit old thing reminded me of my first "real" car -- a pretty but inexpensive blue convertible that I held onto for years past its prime and still cried when it finally broke past the point of repair.

I kind of love the ch
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This book was more lighthearted than several of the previous. Mma Ramotswe picks up a significant case with the local football team and quickly finds herself out of her element. Mma Matkutsi discovers her rival, Violet Sophotho, has ingratiated her way into her fiancee's business. Mma Ramotswe is lamenting the loss of her white van, and Mma Matkutsi finds new shoes can solve all sorts of problems, except making dinner.

I really enjoy the small insights and glimpses of Botswana life, the tidbits
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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 18 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)
  • 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)
  • The Double Comfort Safari Club (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, #11)

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“There is plenty of work for love to do.” 27 likes
“We are born to talk to other people, ... we are born to be sociable and to sit together with others in the shade of the acacia tree and talk about things that happened the day before. We were not born to sit in kitchens by ourselves, with nobody to chat to." Mma Ramotswe” 8 likes
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