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The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

By: Alexander McCall Smith
Narrated by: full cast, Janice Acquah, Nadine Marshall, Claire Benedict, Joseph Marcell, Ben Onwukwe
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Publisher's Summary

The collected radio adaptations of Alexander McCall Smith's hugely popular novels, dramatised by the author himself.

When Precious Ramotswe receives an inheritance from her father, she decides to set up Botswana's very first private detective agency—'for the problems of ladies, and others'. Aided by the loyal, resourceful Grace Makutsi, and multiple cups of red bush tea, she sets out to investigate cases including missing husbands, wayward wives, unscrupulous con artists and unexpected deaths.

She may not be an old-school investigator like her idol, Clovis Andersen, but her warm heart, empathetic nature and common-sense approach enable her to solve the most curious of mysteries—and win the heart of gentle motor mechanic Mr JLB Matekoni....

Included here are all 35 stories from the acclaimed BBC radio series, written and adapted by Alexander McCall Smith from his own internationally bestselling books. These charming dramatisations are brought to life with vibrant, evocative African music and a first-rate cast, including Claire Benedict and Janice Acquah as Mma Ramotswe, Nadine Marshall as Mma Makutsi and Joseph Marcell and Ben Onwukwe as Mr JLB Matekoni.

Written and dramatised by Alexander McCall Smith

Produced and directed by Gaynor MacFarlane, Kirsty Williams and Eilidh McCreadie


Mma Ramotswe - Claire Benedict/Janice Acquah

Mma Makutsi - Nadine Marshall

Mr JLB Matekoni - Joseph Marcell/Ben Onwukwe

Mr Polopetsi - Paterson Joseph/Steve Toussaint

Mma Potokwani - Janice Acquah/Adjoa Andoh/Sarah Niles

Phuti Radiphuti - Nyasha Hatendi/Jude Akuwidike

Violet Sephotho - Anna Bengo/Sarah Niles

Charlie - Jude Akuwudike/Tyronne Lewis/Maynard Eziashi

Fanwell - Beru Tessema/Kedar Williams-Stirling

With: Gbemisola Ikumelo, Bhasker Patel, Ben Thomas, Peter Gevisser, Heather Imani, Tehmina Sacranie, Nancy Crane, Noma Dumezweni, Chuk Iwuji, Alibe Parsons, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Willie Jonah, William Gaminara, Aicha Kossoko, Don Warrington, Danny Sapani, Ndidi Ama, Ayesha Antoine, Sam Dale, Naomi Taylor, Mo Sesay, Babou Ceesay, Obi Abili, Eleanor Crooks, Kulvinder Ghir, Sudha Bhuchar, Amaka Okafor, Kai Francis-Lewis, Jason Barnett, Clare Perkins, Barbara Barnes, Saffron Coomber, Lorna Gayle, Debbie Korlay

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 10 September 2004-23 September 2019

Episode list:

The Daddy

The Bone

The Maid

Tears of the Giraffe

The Chief Justice of Beauty

The Confession

The Kalahari Typing School for Men

The Admirer

How to Handle Men through the Application of Psychology

House of Hope

The Return of Note

The Ceremony

There Is No Such Thing as Free Food

The Best Profession for a Blackmailer

A Very Rude Woman

Talking Shoes

The Miracle at Speedy Motors

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

The Seller of Beds

An Exceptionally Wicked Lady

Canoeing for Ladies

A Late Van Just Glimpsed

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding

A Man from a Far Place

The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection

The Modern Husband Course

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

The Handsome Man's Deluxe Café

The Dish of Yesterday

This Is Not A Rubbish Boy

The Woman Who Walked In Sunshine

The Fat Cattle Club

Precious and Grace

House of Unexpected Sisters

The Colours of All the Cattle

©2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Opening with the joyous strains of Botswana children singing, this production never ceases to sound high-spirited and joyful.[...] Whether Mma Ramotswe is tracking down lost relations, debunking a local witch doctor, or teaching typing to fumble-fingered men (one of the silliest sound effects ever created for radio), these programs subtly introduce the listener to Botswana's culture while creating bright, unforgettable characters. Touching, rhythmic, and laugh-out-loud hilarious, these world-renowned stories are sure to delight listeners of all ages." (AudioFile Magazine)

"Must-listen...beautifully cast, precisely timed, simply wonderful." (Daily Telegraph)

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