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The Miracle at Speedy Motors
Cover of The Miracle at Speedy Motors
The Miracle at Speedy Motors
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 9
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Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

Under the endless skies of Botswana, there is always something Mma Ramotswe can do to help someone and here she finds herself assisting a woman looking for her family. The problem is the woman doesn't know her real name or whether any of her family members are still alive. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi is the recipient of a beautiful new bed that causes more than a few sleepless nights. And, at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has come under the influence of a doctor promising a miracle cure for his daughter's medical condition, which Mma Ramotswe finds hard to accept. Nonetheless, Precious Ramotswe handles these things in her usual compassionate and good-natured way, while always finding time for a cup of red bush tea.

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

Under the endless skies of Botswana, there is always something Mma Ramotswe can do to help someone and here she finds herself assisting a woman looking for her family. The problem is the woman doesn't know her real name or whether any of her family members are still alive. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi is the recipient of a beautiful new bed that causes more than a few sleepless nights. And, at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has come under the influence of a doctor promising a miracle cure for his daughter's medical condition, which Mma Ramotswe finds hard to accept. Nonetheless, Precious Ramotswe handles these things in her usual compassionate and good-natured way, while always finding time for a cup of red bush tea.

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Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.0
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One We Are All Care of One Another

    The correct address of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's foremost solver of problems—in the sense that this was where she could be found between eight in the morning and five in the afternoon, except when she was not there—was The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, c/o Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Gaborone, Botswana. The "care of" was a matter of some disagreement between Mma Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi, her assistant and "right-hand lady," as she put it. Mma Makutsi, with all the dignity of one who had received ninety-seven per cent in the final examinations of the Botswana Secretarial College, took the view that to say that the agency was care of Speedy Motors was to diminish its importance, even if it was true that the agency occupied a small office at the side of the garage. Those who really counted in this life, she maintained, were usually not care of anybody.

    "We are the ones they come looking for," she argued, with perhaps less than perfect logic. "When people come to this place, Mma, they look for us, not for the garage. The garage customers all know where the garage is. So our name should be first in the address, not the other way round, Mma. If anything, Speedy Motors should be care of us."

    She looked at Mma Ramotswe as she said this, and then quickly added: "That is not to say that Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and his garage are not important, Mma. That is not to say such a thing. It is just a question of . . ."

    Mma Ramotswe waited for her assistant to complete the sentence, but nothing further came. That was the trouble with Mma Makutsi, she thought; she left things hanging in the air, often the most important things. What was it a question of? It must be a question of status, she decided; Mma Makutsi could be very prickly about that. There had been that business about her being described as "senior secretary" when she had only been in the job for a couple of months and when there was nobody junior to her in the firm; in fact, when there was nobody else at all in the firm. Then, once she had been promoted to assistant detective, it had not been long before she had asked when she could expect to be an "associate detective." That promotion had come, as had her earlier advancement, at a time when Mma Ramotswe had been feeling guilty about something or other and had felt the need to smooth ruffled feathers. But now that she was an associate detective it was difficult to see what the next step could be. She had a suspicion that Mma Makutsi hankered after the title of "chief detective"—a suspicion which was founded on Mma Ramotswe's having found in the waste-paper basket a crumpled piece of paper on which Mma Makutsi had been trying out new signatures. Not only were there several attempts at Mma Grace Radiphuti, Radiphuti being the surname of her fiancé, Phuti, but there was also a scrawled signature, Grace Makutsi, under which she had written Chief Detective.

    Mma Ramotswe had re-crumpled the paper and tossed it back into the basket. She felt bad about having read it in the first place; one should not look uninvited at the papers of another, even if they have been discarded. And it was entirely understandable, normal even, that an engaged woman should practise the signature she will use after her marriage. Indeed, Mma Ramotswe suspected that most women secretly experimented with a new signature shortly after meeting a man they looked upon with favour—even if that man had not expressed any interest in them. A handsome and eligible man might expect to have his name tried out in this way by many women who fancied themselves on his arm, and there...
About the Author-
  • 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 is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 25, 2008
    Precious Ramotswe, “Botswana's foremost solver of problems,” is used to handling mostly straightforward domestic cases, which makes a series of anonymous letters threatening her and her prickly assistant, Grace Makutsi, all the more disturbing in Smith's triumphant ninth No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel (after The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
    ). The search for whoever penned the letters coincides with a new commission: Manka Sebina, whose birth parents gave her up as a child, hires the agency to track down any living relatives. Both problems afford Mma Ramotswe ample opportunity to display her winning blend of insight into others' motivations and an endearingly naïve belief in the best in human nature. Significant, if incremental, developments in the lives of the community Smith has lovingly created over the course of the series will intrigue old fans. Immediately accessible to newcomers, this entry will prompt them to seek out the earlier books.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2008
    The title of this ninth novel in the popular "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series is somewhat misleading. As usual, not all that much happens in the lives of lady detective Precious Ramotswe, her assistant Grace Makutsi, or her husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, but with these gentle tales, it is all in the telling. Will Mma Ramotswe have to sell some of her prize cattle to cover unexpected expenses? Reading each new installment set in Botswana is like spending time with old friends. While these novels are becoming more predictable and sentimental, they still brim with warmth, charm, and wonderfully sly humor not found in McCall Smith's other series set in Scotland ("The Sunday Philosophy Club"). These stories are not for everyone, but the many addicted could probably read a new one every year until Mma Ramotswe's cows come home. For all popular fiction collections.Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 1, 2008
    The ninth installment in McCall Smiths beloved No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series finds Botswanan Precious Ramotswe musing upon more mysteries of life. Theres the woman desperately searching for her family, with not a clue where to start. She claims that her late mother is not her birth mother, but Mma Ramotswe isnt so sure. Associate detective Grace Makutsi (whom readers will remember for her large spectacles and stellar 97 percent score on the Botswana Secretarial College exam) is restless over damage to a new bed purchased by her fianc', Phuti Radiphuti. (She and the well-mannered Mr. Radiphuti had been unable to resist that heart-shaped velvet headboard.) Mma Ramotswe also receives some threatening letters, which seem to have come from a most unlikely source. Finally, Mma Ramotswes husband, talented car mechanic and model citizen Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, meets a doctor who just may have a cure for adopted daughter Motholelis spinal condition. (Other experts have told the young girl shed be wheelchair-bound for life.) While hope springs eternal, Mma Ramotswe doesnt share the unabashed optimism of her spouse. Scotsman McCall Smith, who also pens the Isabel Dalhousie, 44 Scotland Street, and Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, conveys his deep admiration for Botswana (where he once lived and helped establish a school of law at the university) on every page of this warm, wise, whimsical novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

  • The New York Times Book Review

    "Irresistible -- there will indeed be miracles."

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer "Charming, warmly affecting. . . . As comfy cozy as can be."
  • The Star-Telegram
    "A fitting part of the tiny miracle the entire series has been."
  • The Plain Dealer "The best, most charming, honest, hilarious, and life-affirming books to appear in years."
  • Chicago Sun-Times "Utterly enchanting... It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith 'mystery novel' without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart."
  • Entertainment Weekly "As pleasing as a cup of red bush tea."
  • Los Angeles Times Book Review "Beguiling, lyrical... Blessed with McCall Smith's richly detailed portraits of life in Africa and his flair for storytelling with an engaging cast of fully realized characters."
  • The Oregonian

    "Delightful... Millions of readers around the world seem to hunger for the kindness, dignity, and humor McCall Smith celebrates in Mma Ramotswe."
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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 9
Alexander McCall Smith
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