Precious and Grace: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (17) (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series)

by Alexander McCall Smith

Hardcover, 2016

Call number




Pantheon (2016), Edition: First Edition, 240 pages


"The delightful seventeenth installment of the ever-popular, perennially best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective, is a little short on help. The co-director of the agency, Grace Makutsi, is busy with her own case, her client none other than their erstwhile assistant, Mr. Polopetsi, who has unwittingly involved himself in a pyramid scheme. The agency's other assistant, Charlie, may also need more help than he can offer, as he is newly embroiled in a romance with a glamorous woman about whom the others have their doubts. So when a young Canadian woman approaches Mma Ramotswe with a complex case, it's up to her alone to solve it--with her signature intuition and insight, of course. The young woman spent part of her childhood in Botswana and needs help finding a long-lost acquaintance. But much time has passed, and her memory yields few clues. The difficult search--and the unexpected results--will remind them all that sometimes it's those we think we know best who most surprise us"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member arielfl
If it is October than that means a trip to Botswana to visit with my favorite literary character Precious Ramotswe and all of her friends and family. At the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Mma Ramotswe is presented with a client from Canada who who would like assistance in reconnecting with her childhood Botswana roots. Also keeping Mma Ramotswe busy is a stray dog longing for the right home and Ra Polopetsi who has become entangled with the Bernie Madoff of Botswana. With the aid of lots of Bush tea and her co manager/friend Mma Grace Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe once again helps those in need of her compassion and detective skills,

I have read all 17 of the novels in this feel good series. Each one gently imparts life lessons to the reader. The theme of this book is forgiveness. A character is hurt very deeply in the past and Mma Ramotswe shows them how freeing forgiveness can be. Another gem of wisdom from this book was shown by way of the stray dog Zebra. Mma Ramotswe observed while watching her children lavish attention on the stray that children who show care to pets are learning to love. Mma Raotswe also sagely points out that arguing takes away from tea drinking time and the less that is said the easier it is mended. Like Mma Ramotswe, I am also married to a mechanic and thus especially appreciate the character of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni and his constant vexation with his customer's cars. Over the years I have grown extremely fond of these characters and always look forward to another visit with them in Africa.
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LibraryThing member pennykaplan
Precious and Grace have the case of finding a Canadian woman's nanny when the woman returns several decades later. But what is her real motivation? Forgiveness is the theme here. This series is repitive, but so very cozy!
LibraryThing member brangwinn
Need I say more than I LOVE this series. If I’ve got a cold, they make me feel better. If I’m sad they make me happy. If I’m frustrated, they make me realize what is important in the world.
LibraryThing member etxgardener
This is the latest in Alexander McCall Smith's No.1 Ladies' Detectiver Agency series, and, as always it has served to be the perfect antidote for the distressing things I hear on the news every day. Mma Ramotswe and her faithful assistant (or is it now co-detective? Precious can never quite remember) Mma Makutsi are once again busty solving cases. And as usual, none of these are very earth shattering, but all seem to involve showing forgiveness in one way or another. A Canadian woman who was born in Botswana is looking for both her old house and her old nursemaid. Mr. Polopetsi seems to have gotten himself involved in a Ponzi scheme. The horrible Violet Esphotho has been nominated for Woman of the Year, and finally, in the most touching story in the book, Fanwell, who works at teh Tlokwweg Road Speedy Motors has become attached to a stray do he cannot keep.

How all these problems get solved just might restore your faith in the goodness of mankind. Anyone who has not acquainted themselves with this most cozy of cozy mysteries is truly missing out on something special.
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LibraryThing member ingrid98684
AMS's affection for his characters and Botswana flow through all his stories, making them shine. I am thankful he's such a prolific writer, because it means each year I get to spend time with these literary friends. Can't recommend this series, and this book in particular, highly enough.
LibraryThing member smik
These books really are the reading equivalent of comfort food. I met someone today who told me that she had "never been able to get on with them." I was surprised because for me it is the opposite: I always expect to enjoy them. They are not deep mysteries but the situations depicted them show an incredible understanding of what makes people tick, and the solutions are dispensed with just a touch of philosophy.

There are reminders always that the setting is not the West, but Botswana, a country struggling to find its place in the 21st century. Technology is changing the world. Even Precious Ramotswe's husband Mr. J.L.B Matekone comments on how much cars have changed, making them so difficult for him to repair.

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are now co-directors of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and that situation breeds its own frictions, and I enjoyed their interaction.

So if you haven't ever read these, and would like something light and cozy to read, give this series a try. But I would advise starting at the beginning.
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LibraryThing member SarahEBear
"Precious and Grace" number 17 (yes, really) in the series is another charming and easy to read cosy mystery from the Pen of Alexander McCall Smith. The women from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency are on the case again. This time, Precious and Grace are searching for the former nanny of a Canadian woman, keen to rediscover her past life in Botswana. While sorting through the lies, red tape and intrigue, Precious must also deal with a potential Ponzi scheme, snakes and a stray dog. Another delightful holiday-read from McCall Smith. Always charming.… (more)
LibraryThing member Bookish59
Precious and Grace continue to work well together mostly through Precious' kindly patience, tolerance and wisdom. Even though Grace is intelligent she is keenly sensitive to what people say, and how they say it. If those words and manners don't meet with her expectations she can easily she make a hasty and incorrect decision. Precious has learned to navigate this emotional and stubborn land mine of an employee to help Grace see the truth clearly.

Precious uses a natural, wholesome spirituality to consider those that come to her for help. She handles them and their cases with a sweet disposition, understanding and sympathy. This innate ability to think about and treat others
humanely and non-judgmentally brings to mind Louise Penny's Armand Gamache who works similarly.

Would be interesting to have them meet and establish the Caring and Thoughtful Detectives Club. Of course, their modesty would prevent them from doing it. LOL

Precious and Grace is another winner in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
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LibraryThing member hardlyhardy
The theme of finding home runs through Alexander McCall Smith's “Precious and Grace” (2016), the 17th volume in his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. So does forgiveness, or the need for forgiveness as much for the wronged as for the one who did the wrong.

This may sound like heavy stuff for a novel that seems light and fluffy when you are reading it, but that is often the case with McCall Smith's novels. There's usually a hard nut or two somewhere in his creamy mixture of chocolate and peanut butter.

A Canadian woman named Susan who spent her girlhood in Botswana comes to the detective agency asking Precious Ramotswe and Grace Makutsi to find the house where she once lived and, in particular, the woman who cared for her, someone named Rosie.

Meanwhile Fanwell, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's apprentice mechanic, returns with a stray dog. That dog, it turns out, needs a home even more than Susan does, thus giving Precious two assignments, even if only one has a fee involved.

Finding Rosie and the place where Susan grew up turn out to be relatively easy, even if the task does involve a close call with a poisonous snake. The real challenge becomes discovering why this woman wants to find Rosie and what she plans to do after she does.

What's really needed, Precious decides, is not reunion but forgiveness. Forgiveness is grace, and grace is a very precious thing.
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LibraryThing member AuthorMarion
Precious Ramotswe is the owner and principal of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency; Grace Makutski is her self-promoting sidekick/secretary/co-director. Together these two take on the problems of the townspeople of Gaborone in Botswana is a down-home, common-sense manner.

In this seventeenth book in the series, the ladies undertake the task of finding a long-lost nanny for a Canadian woman. They find her but uncover some other truths along the way. Several other perplexing situations present themselves as well – a stray dog who adopts the junior mechanic Fanwell, a business scheme that is too good to be true entangles another part-time employee, and of course there is the ever present nemesis of Grace and Precious – Violet Sephotho – who shows up in their lives once again. Altogether, another fine story with a mystery at its core.

McCall-Smith writes in a manner that is at once familiar and comforting. It is like sitting down with an old friend who tells you a personal story. Steady pacing moves the story along at a gentle rate, seeming not rushed yet revealing information at just the right moment.
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