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

by Alexander McCall Smith

Hardcover, 2005

Call number




Pantheon (2005), 240 pages


Handling a busy case load at The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and contending with an intruder in her home, Mma Ramotswe has plenty on her mind. So when her unfortunate past returns to haunt her, she is happy her husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is distracted as well. It seems one of his apprentices at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors has raced off with an older, wealthy woman.

User reviews

LibraryThing member John5918
Another delightful tale showcasing the best of Africa, in which our traditionally-built heroine and her entourage resolve various problems in a very African way. The past comes back to haunt Precious Ramotswe, but she deals with it through common sense and relationships - the African way. In many respects the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series could be viewed as a fictional textbook on restorative justice.… (more)
LibraryThing member MisterJJones
This book is actually the sixth in a series, but can easily be read out of sequence. It features Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's foremost lady detective, investigating a linked series of mysteries. A strange intruder in her house, her huband's apprentice involved with a married worman, and a wrongly imprisoned pharmacist all vie for attention against a backdrop of African domesticity.

This is a very nice book, something you could safely reccomend to your maiden aunt. Everyone is very polite, no blood is shed, and everything ends happily. It makes for a pleasant, undemanding, read. This is not great literature, but it whiles away a lazy afternoon. Three stars.
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LibraryThing member dotholden
Relief flooded over me as I read the first chapter of In the Company of Cheerful Ladies! I have loved The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency from the very beginning but I could not even finish the last one, The Full Cupboard of Life, it just didn't grab me at all. So then I was really worried that I had gone off the series or that McCall Smith's writing style had changed but everything was okay when I read this one, I think that it is probably my favourite out of the whole series.
Precious Ramotswe is now married to Mr J.L.B. Maketoni of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors and both of their businesses are doing very well. There are some small cases for the ladies to solve along the way but this book is more about the central characters and what is going on with their lives. Precious Ramotswe has a collision in her white van with a man on a bicycle and this brings a new friend into all their lives; Precious also has a very unwanted visitor from her past who has to be dealt with in her own special way. Meanwhile Mma Makutsi (she is my favourite character) has a spectacular row with Charlie, the apprentice over a tea-pot and he quits his job. However angry Mma Makutsi is she still helps out her friend when he gets himself into trouble with a very rich, Mercedes-Benz driving girl friend. My favourite part of the book was the story line following Mma Makutsi who decides to take up dancing lessons; she meets a very shy man at class who takes a particular shine to her and we follow them through the book.
I love the simplicity of Alexander McCall Smith's series; the characters are so warm and the messages in the book are so relevant to all of us. I am not sure what happened with the last one but I am so glad that I didn't give up on them, I shall be getting the next one as soon as possible.
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LibraryThing member CaroTheLibrarian
This was a re-read for me so that I could read the next in the series. Precious Ramotswe, her family and friends are back in this the sixth in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Enjoyable as ever, we meet a couple of new characters and lots of familiar ones from the previous books.

If you've never read them before, start at the beginning. Highly recommended for a light-hearted loving look at life in Botswana.… (more)
LibraryThing member reading_fox
A busy and sucessful time for the garage and the agency - so much so that they have to hire new staff. Mma Makutsi starts to exercise her new found financial independance and goes to a dancing class - and it is in the writing of these trivial details that Smith's joy of africa really comes through. Mma Makutsi may only have a couple of rooms and a cold tap, but such comforts have raised the standard of her life, and you can just feel through the words the joy that can be had with so little in the way of material posessions and how even a slight increase can make a big difference.

Read learn and take note.

After Re-read: It's still delightful. Lightly sketched characters and places, bring to life the details of living in peace in Africa. Observations about the trivial side of life - and also about those deeper undercurrants that drive all of us, and the consequences of our actions. Note reappears in this, and Mma Ramotswe has to deal with her feelings. More emotional than some in this series it really is enjoyable.
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LibraryThing member WittyreaderLI
Come and grab a cup of African Bush Tea as you read the latest installment of Mma Romotswe's Detective Agency. I really thought this was a nice, pleasant read. My only complaint is that this particular book didn't have practically any mysteries, which I found rather odd. However, it really fits well into the series and it builds on the characters we already know and love while adding new ones!… (more)
LibraryThing member bibliophile26
I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series; sitting down with these books is like drinking a mug of delicious hot cocoa on a cold winter day (a nice image since it has been 90 degree days for as long as I can remember). This one was mostly about Mma Makutsi (the secretary/assistant detective) attending dance classes and finding love there.… (more)
LibraryThing member coricouture
My mother-in-law gave me a set of books from this series. This is the first book, and I enjoyed it very much.

I knew nothing about Botswana before reading this book, and was fascinated to learn about its history as a country. It's not the Africa one might expect, or that we read about so often in the news. In this book, anyway, Botswana is a comfortable and peaceful place.

The book's protagonist, Precious Ramotswe is strong, independent, wiley, smart, and endearing all at once. I will certainly read more from this series.

Thanks, Shirley, for introducing me!
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LibraryThing member dsc73277
This has turned out to be my favourite so far in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Like most, if not all, of McCall Smith's fictional writings it offers an escape to a world in which kind-hearted decency prevails.
LibraryThing member riverwillow
Mma Ramotswe, Grace Makutsi and Mr. J. L. B. Matekone feel like old friends that I haven't seen for a while and I've enjoyed the chance to catch on the events of their lives. Mma Ramotswe has a lot to deal with in this book, and yet she still manages to do so in her gentle, unassuming way.
LibraryThing member readingrat
Another enjoyable installment in this series.
LibraryThing member Schmerguls
I read the first book in this series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, on June 3, 2005, and found it very pleasant reading. But I never followed up on that reading, till now when my daughter Laurie lent me this, the 6th volume in the series. I was immediately struck by how quickly the author arouses one's interest in the happenings to the admirable central character in the series, a lady detective in Botswana. It is a very pleasant account, with surges of concern for the good people involved. Remnds me of Barbara Pym, in an African setting. I should have read the books between the first volume and this one, I suppose, but that did not detract from enjoying this very enjoyable and pleasant volume. I can see why the series is so popular.… (more)
LibraryThing member jepeters333
Handling a busy case load at The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and contending with an intruder in her home, Mma Ramotswe has plenty on her mind. So when her unfortunate past returns to haunt her, she is happy her husband Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, is distracted as well. It seems one of his apprentices at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors has raced off with an older, wealthy woman.… (more)
LibraryThing member verenka
Funny, witty, intelligent, as always. Although I must say i'm a bit disappointed, that the morale of the story seems to be that Mma Makutsi needs to take the awkward shy guy, because she just isn't pretty enough. But that's probably my own paranoid interpretation and not intended that way.
LibraryThing member OzzieJello
All the books in this series are a delight. I read all of them straight through, one after the other, stopping only because I'm waiting for my copy of "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive" to arrive. If it were possible to actually spend some time with the main characters, it would be a pleasure. I'd even try redbush tea.
LibraryThing member ffortsa
Number 6 in the Precious Ramotswe series, in which her past catches up with her, and the future shows its face to Mma Makutsi. More serious than the previous books, but just as charming and sensitive.
LibraryThing member KApplebaum
Yet another fun, light read from Alexander McCall Smith.
LibraryThing member Neale
Another great story in the series - this one had a few more things happening but less mystery involved. Enjoyable and consistent series.
LibraryThing member chmessing
Again, a fun read. Disappointed that the very first "problem" is never really solved.
LibraryThing member teckelvik
When I was paying for this book, the clerk told me that they are his favorites, because when you read them, you feel like there are good people in the world. I would say that he was exactly right. Nothing particularly happens in this book, and the beginning puzzle isn't solved (maybe it's in the next book?) but spending time with the good, gentle people who inhabit the world of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency makes me happy and relaxed. These are books that I actually buy to keep and re-read, which isn't all that common.… (more)
LibraryThing member isabelx
She looked out into the garden, and the night. It was warm and the moon was almost full, throwing shadows of the acacia, the mopipi tree, of shrubs that had no name. Mma Ramotswe liked to walk in her garden in the evening, taking care to move slowly and with firm tread; those whose crept about at night risked stepping on a snake if they were not careful, as snakes move out of our way only if they feel vibrations in the ground. A light person - a person of non-traditional build, for example - was at far greater risk of being bitten by a snake for that very reason. That was another argument, of course, for maintaining traditional build - consideration for snakes, and safety too.

In this, the last of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, Mma Makutsi takes dancing lessons, Charlie the older apprentice takes up with a married woman, Tlokweng Speedy motors and the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency take on a new employee, and an act of omission from her past comes back to haunt Mma Ramotswe.

I hope that Alexander McCall Smith's other books are as enjoyable as this series.
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LibraryThing member Figgles
Continues the stories of Ma Ramotswe and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and their employees and friends. Gentle, delightful and humane.
LibraryThing member Lilian78
Relaxing and fun, light hearted but always moral, the latest in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series lives up to its predecessors.
LibraryThing member mbmackay
Another volume in the Ladies Detective Agency series, and more of the same gentle pace and home-spun philosophy of life. Always a good read, and always a nice interlude between heavier books. Read July 2009
LibraryThing member lkernagh
Best installment so far in this series! Interestingly, while the detective agency does have a case to solve, for the most part this installment is more about the personal lives of the main characters. McCall Smith continues to bring reflections on the ever changing culture of Botswana as the country continues to modernize/industrialize and adopt more first world values, not all of which are worthy of adoption. The secret from Mma Ramotswe's past even caused me to give a small gasp, I found it to be so unexpected!

Overall, continuing to enjoy this cozy/comfort detective series filled with social and moral insights.
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