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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
Cover of The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 8
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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.

There is rarely a dull moment in the life of Precious Ramotswe, and on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road many changes are afoot. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni wants be put in charge of a case involving an errant husband, and Mma Makutsi is considering leaving the agency, taking her near perfect score on the Botswana Secretarial College typing exam with her. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has been asked to investigate a series of unexpected deaths at the hospital in Mochudi. Along the way, she encounters other tricky mysteries, and once again displays her undying love for Botswana, a country of which she is justly proud.

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.

There is rarely a dull moment in the life of Precious Ramotswe, and on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road many changes are afoot. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni wants be put in charge of a case involving an errant husband, and Mma Makutsi is considering leaving the agency, taking her near perfect score on the Botswana Secretarial College typing exam with her. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has been asked to investigate a series of unexpected deaths at the hospital in Mochudi. Along the way, she encounters other tricky mysteries, and once again displays her undying love for Botswana, a country of which she is justly proud.

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  • OverDrive Read
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Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.2
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    5

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Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter One: A Very Rude Person

    It is useful, people generally agree, for a wife to wake up before her husband. Mma Ramotswe always rose from her bed an hour or so before Mr J.L.B. Matekoni—a good thing for a wife to do because it affords time to accomplish at least some of the day’s tasks. But it is also a good thing for those wives whose husbands are inclined to be irritable first thing in the morning—and by all accounts there are many of them, rather too many, in fact. If the wives of such men are up and about first, the husbands can be left to be ill-tempered by themselves—not that Mr J.L.B. Matekoni was ever like that; on the contrary, he was the most good-natured and gracious of men, rarely raising his voice, except occasionally when dealing with his two incorrigible apprentices at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And anybody, no matter how even-tempered he might be, would have been inclined to raise his voice with such feckless young men. This had been demonstrated by Mma Makutsi, who tended to shout at the apprentices for very little reason, even when one of them made a simple request, such as asking the time of day.

    “You don’t have to shout at me like that,” complained Charlie, the older of the two. “All I asked was what time it was. That was all. And you shout four o’clock like that. Do you think I’m deaf?”

    Mma Makutsi stood her ground. “It’s because I know you so well,” she retorted. “When you ask the time, it’s because you can’t wait to stop working. You want me to say five o’clock, don’t you? And then you would drop everything and rush off to see some girl or other, wouldn’t you? Don’t look so injured. I know what you do.”

    Mma Ramotswe thought of this encounter as she hauled herself out of bed and stretched. Glancing behind her, she saw the inert form of her husband under the blankets, his head half covered by the pillow, which was how he liked to sleep, as if to block out the world and its noise. She smiled. Mr J.L.B. Matekoni had a tendency to talk in his sleep—not complete sentences, as one of Mma Ramotswe’s cousins had done when she was young, but odd words and expressions, clues each of them to the dream he was having at the time. Just after she had woken up and while she was still lying there watching the light grow behind the curtains, he had muttered something about brake drums. So that was what he dreamed about, she thought—such were the dreams of a mechanic; dreams of brakes and clutches and spark plugs. Most wives fondly hoped that their husbands dreamed about them, but they did not. Men dreamed about cars, it would seem.

    Mma Ramotswe shivered. There were those who imagined that Botswana was always warm, but they had never experienced the winter months there—those months when the sun seemed to have business elsewhere and shone only weakly on southern Africa. They were just coming to the end of winter now, and there were signs of the return of warmth, but the mornings and the evenings could still be bitterly cold, as this particular morning was. Cold air, great invisible clouds of it, would sweep up from the south-east, from the distant Drakensberg Mountains and from the southern oceans beyond; air that seemed to love rolling over the wide spaces of Botswana, cold air under a high sun.

    Once in the kitchen, with a blanket wrapped about her waist, Mma Ramotswe switched on Radio Botswana in time for the opening chorus of the national anthem and the recording of cattle bells with which the radio started the day. This was a constant in her life, something...
About the Author-
  • Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the huge international phenomenon, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and The Sunday Philosophy Club series. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana and at Edinburgh University. He lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra). His website is www.alexandermccallsmith.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 26, 2007
    Smith once again combines a loving depiction of ordinary life in modern Botswana with memorable characters and an engaging mystery in the eighth installment in his beloved No. 1 Ladies Detective series (after Blue Shoes and Happiness
    ). Dr. Cronje, who's half Xhosa and half Afrikaner, consults Smith's sleuth, the gentle and insightful Precious Ramotswe, because patients at his hospital who have occupied a particular bed have been dying mysteriously at the same time of day. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's recently engaged assistant, Grace Makutsi, threatens to break their longstanding association. Mma Ramotswe must adjust their relationship in order to retain Mma Makutsi's services. The author's subtlety of touch and humane portrayal of figures at all levels of society will continue to win him new readers even as his deepening of the ties binding the main figures will satisfy those who have followed the lady detectives from their first recorded case.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2007
    Scotsman McCall Smith's best-selling novels featuring "traditionally built" Botswana sleuth Precious Ramotswe continue to resonate with poignancy, wisdom, and wit. Fans of the series will appreciate the deeper characterizations in this eighth entry, particularly that of Mma Ramotswe's bespectacled assistant, Mma Makutsi, whose professional priorities seem to shift after her engagement to a wealthy man. McCall Smith (whose vast opus includes the Isabel Dalhousie, 44 Scotland Street, and Portuguese Irregular Verb series) serves up a compelling mystery, too, involving a series of patients who have died at the same time of the week in the same hospital bed. This time around, Mma Ramotswe's devoted husband (and first-class mechanic) J. L. B. Matekoni also tries his hand at the detective business, catering to a rude client who suspects her husband of infidelity. The case prompts Mr. Matekoni to wonder whether he's exciting enough for his cherished wife. Of course, no matter what dramas the day brings, Mma Ramotswe always has time to enjoy a cup of red bush tea and revel in the beauty of her native land. Peace and prosperity prevail in Botswana, where McCall Smith, who was born in Zimbabwe, spent time as a professor of law. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is his love letter to a country whose salubrious climate is matched by the warmth and humanity of its people.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2007, American Library Association.)

  • The Miami Herald

    "McCall Smith's fans seem to hunger for the kindness, dignity and humor he celebrates in Mma Ramotswe, and this book will not disappoint them." --The Oregonian "As pleasing as a cup of red bush tea." --Entertainment Weekly "Delightful. . . . Everybody gets into the detective act in the latest entry in the sweet series that revolves around the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." --USA Today "Not since the early books in the series have the land and its people been so lovingly and lyrically described."

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 8
Alexander McCall Smith
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