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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 10
THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 10 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,...
THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 10 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,...
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  • THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 10

    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 assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea.

    In this latest installment in the endlessly entertaining series, Precious Ramotswe faces problems both personal and professional.

    The first is the potential demise of an old friend, her tiny white van. Recently, it has developed a rather troubling knock, but she dare not consult the estimable Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni for fear he may condemn the vehicle. Meanwhile, her talented assistant Mma Makutsi is plagued by the reappearance of her nemesis, Violet Sephotho, who has taken a job at the Double Comfort Furniture store whose proprietor is none other than Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Makutsi's fiancé. Finally, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency has been hired to explain the unexpected losing streak of a local football club, the Kalahari Swoopers. But with Mma Ramotswe on the case, it seems certain that everything will be resolved satisfactorily.

    From the Trade Paperback edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One Mr. Molofololo

    Traditionally built people may not look as if they are great walkers, but there was a time when Precious Ramotswe walked four miles a day. As a girl in Mochudi, all those years ago, a pupil at the school that looked down over the sprawling village below, she went to her lessons every morning on foot, joining the trickle of children that made its way up the hill, the girls in blue tunics, the boys in khaki shirts and shorts, like little soldiers. The journey from the house where she lived with her father and the older cousin who looked after her took all of an hour, except, of course, when she was lucky and managed to ride on the mule-drawn water cart that occasionally passed that way. The driver of this cart, with whom her father had worked in the gold mines as a young man, knew who she was and always slowed down to allow her to clamber up on the driver's seat beside him.

    Other children would watch enviously and try to wave down the water cart. "I cannot carry all Botswana," said the driver. "If I gave all you children a ride on my cart, then my poor mules would die. Their hearts would burst. I cannot allow that."

    "But you have Precious up there!" called out the boys. "Why is she so special?"

    The driver looked at Precious and winked. "Tell them why you are special, Precious. Explain it to them."

    The young Mma Ramotswe, barely eight, was overwhelmed by embarrassment.

    "But I am not special. I am just a girl."

    "You are the daughter of Obed Ramotswe," said the driver. "He is a great man. That is why you are riding up here."

    He was right, of course--at least in what he said about Obed Ramotswe, who was, by any standards, a fine man. At that age, Precious had only a faint inkling of what her father stood for; later on, as a young woman, she would come to understand what it was to be the daughter of Obed Ramotswe. But in those days, on the way to school, whether riding in state on the water cart or walking along the side of that dusty road with her friends, she had school to think about, with its lessons on so many subjects--the history of Botswana, from the beginning, when it was known as Khama's country, across the plains of which great lions walked, to the emergence of the new Botswana, then still a chrysalis in a dangerous world; writing lessons, with the letters of the alphabet being described in white chalk on an ancient blackboard, all whirls and loops; 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.

    The water cart, of course, did not pass very often, and so on most days there was a long trudge to school and a long walk back. Some children had an even greater journey; in one class there was a boy who walked seven miles there and seven miles back, even in the hottest of months, when the sun came down upon Botswana like a pounding fist, when the cattle huddled together under the umbrella shade of the acacia trees, not daring to wander off in search of what scraps of grass remained. This boy thought nothing of his daily journey; this is what you did if you wanted to go to school to learn the things that your parents had never had the chance to learn. And you did not complain, even if during the rainy season you might narrowly escape being struck by lightning or being washed away by the torrents that rose in the previously dry watercourses. You did not complain in that Botswana.

    Now, of course, it was different, and it was the contemplation of these differences that made Mma Ramotswe think about walking again.

    "We are becoming lazy, Mma Ramotswe," said Mma Makutsi one afternoon, as they sipped...
About the Author-
  • Alexander McCall Smith is also the author of 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 and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 10
Alexander McCall Smith
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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 10
Alexander McCall Smith
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