Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #10) share button
Alexander McCall Smith
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.32 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)
Pages 240
Publisher Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication Date March 2010
ISBN 9780307277473
Book ISBN 10 030727747X
About Book


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 Barnes & Noble

Most private eyes roaming crime fiction spend their days and nights chasing murderers and kidnappers. Precious Ramotswe, the "traditionally built" proprietor of Botswana's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, devotes her time to matters quite different. In the tenth installment of her walkabouts, Mma Ramotswe tracks down her husband's stolen white van and solves the case of a talented local soccer team that just can't win. These alleged crimes test her formidable talents in ways far more fascinating than any bloody act of mayhem could. A warm cup of red bush tea, to be consumed slowly.

Publishers Weekly

Once again, Precious Ramotswe uses her insights into human nature to unravel problems big and small in Smith's charming 10th novel to feature Botswana's No. 1 lady detective (after The Miracle at Speedy Motors). Leungo Molofololo, the owner of the Kalahari Swoopers, a local soccer team with a lot of athletic talent, suspects a traitor on the squad is deliberately sabotaging games for an unknown reason. Despite her complete ignorance of the sport, Mma Ramotswe agrees to look into the matter. She and her prickly assistant, Grace Makutsi, attend a match and begin interviewing the players in an effort to solve what amounts to the book's main mystery. The soccer inquiry, though, is secondary to a major event in Mma Ramotswe's life-the impending demise of the little white van she's used for many years that's much more than a machine to her. Fans can look forward to the debut of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency on HBO on March 29. (Apr.)

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Kirkus Reviews

Mma Precious Ramotswe wrestles with a timeless problem-to cling to the old or embrace the new-in her tenth adventure. Mr. Leungo Molofololo, the latest client of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has a big problem. The soccer team he owns, the Kalahari Swoopers, has stopped winning. Someone on the team, he tells Mma Ramotswe, is throwing the matches, and he wants her to find out who. Despite her complete ignorance of the game and her client's failure to pay a retainer, Botswana's preeminent detective conscientiously begins interviewing Swoopers to find out who is the rotten link. As usual in this much-honored series (The Miracle at Speedy Motors, 2008, etc.), however, the real action lies elsewhere. Sharp-tongued assistant detective Grace Makutsi's engagement is imperiled when her fiance, Mr. Phuti Radiphuti, hires her old nemesis, mantrap Violet Sephotho, to sell beds at his furniture store. Struggling to keep her man, Mma Makutsi has to decide between buying food and indulging in a pair of faux-alligator shoes. Mma Ramotswe's beloved little white van seems to be "sick at heart." Should she report its condition to her husband, auto salesman Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who'll surely want to replace it, or try to get one of his apprentices to fix it behind his back?Episodes in Smith's series, like those in a long-running sitcom, have stopped competing with each other as better or worse and instead have gelled into a self-contained world into which audiences enter with pleasure and gratitude. Here's more of the same.