Read The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith Lisette Lecat Online


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 bThere 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....

Title : The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781428125483
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 503 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive Reviews

  • Donna
    2019-06-12 04:51

    After quite a few years of living it, I've come to the conclusion that life is made of two things: time and attention. What I love about the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is the way the author, Alexander McCall Smith, handles both.In The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, as in all the books in the series, the pace is lazy and relaxed. If I ever visit that part of Africa, I expect that I'll recognize the way the sun feels there, the way the dust settles on the roads after a car goes by. The umbrella-like trees and the dignified, enduring cattle will seem familiar. Mma Ramotswe, the central character, notices these things, and I've spent many happy hours gazing at Africa through her eyes.In this book, Mma ponders the mysteries of life and concludes that it is made of big things and small things. The big things, good and bad, are writ large, impossible to ignore. So it's essential to notice and find joy in the small things: "small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter."I recommend this book as a small vacation from life's big concerns. It goes well with an evening of leisure and a nice, hot cup of red bush tea.

  • Ed
    2019-05-26 00:52

    Ok, we're up to the 8th installment of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, it's pretty review-proof and/or just not a whole lot to say other than it's another perfectly pleasant literary trip to visit some perfectly pleasant friends (well, Mma Makutsi tends to get a bit crabby at times. This time around I almost was creating a No. 1 Ladies' drinking game. Mention of Mma. Makutsi's 97% score at Secretarial School? Drink! Reference to Mma. Ramotswe's how-to book Clovis Anderson's "The Principles of Private Detection"? Drink! A woman being described as "traditionally built"? Drink! And to send us over the edge... any mention of tea drinking (and make it a double if it's bush tea)? Drink! Drink! Drink!Readers know exactly what they're getting when they open one of these books, so it is hard to find any quibbles or, on the flip side, muster up any extra excitement. I'd still say this was an above average installment with a lot of the regulars getting their own little subplots. 3.5 stars, but with the usual guilty pleasure/literary palate cleanser round down to 3 stars.

  • Lauren
    2019-06-08 00:12

    This book stands out for me because of the shake-up caused by one of the main characters in the series... but it seems like things were righted appropriately and put neatly back in to place.The case about the hospital was quite good - they already told this case on the BBC/HBO show, but they changed some of the details. I liked that it had much more depth in the books. ...and as a complete aside... I wish Mma Ramotswe's confidence, civility, and enduring optimism could be bottled up and doled out to the masses.

  • Laura
    2019-06-11 23:53

    Second Read:One of the best things about 2017, for me, has been rereading this series by Alexander McCall Smith. If you find yourself needing a book that will give you something to chew on but is mostly about human interaction, community, civility, kindness and humor, with a good dose of culture, then there is a very long series here that will fill the bill. 17 volumes so far, and a new one coming out next month. There were a few surprises in this volume I didn't expect, I love the characters more the more I read about them, and this is a very rare series in that it gets better as it goes. The first volume is more like a book of interconnected short stories and is by far the weakest. It gets better and better, I promise. Lisette Lecat narrates each audiobook and her performance can't be outdone. She changes voices convincingly and thoughtfully, and her voice paired with this series is a match made in heaven. Do yourself a favor and give this series a try. I've already read most of them twice and I'm getting ready to buy the entire series. I know that I will read them again and again. I can't say this about very many books!First Read:4.5 stars. Best of the series so far. Really enjoyed this one.

  • Trelawn
    2019-06-06 04:09

    The tone of this book changed a little with resignations, new endeavours and people evaluating their position in life. I enjoyed the change, it makes the books more real to me. People don't follow the same path happily all the time. They question, they deviate. I really love this series and am glad there are 8 books left to go, I'll miss Mma Ramotswe and her words of wisdom.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-14 06:46

    This was a surprise eighth installment to a series that was supposed to end with seven. While I am a big fan of the series, I found this particular book to be disappointing for a number of reasons, most of them related to the plot. As is his usual set-up, McCall Smith starts a series of mini-mysteries to be solved by the ever-resourceful Mma Ramotswe and/or her colorful assistant, Mma Makutsi. In this book, several characters get their own mystery to solve, some with more success than others. Some of the plot lines break down, only to be gathered up hastily with weak explanations. There is also a lack of continuity between some of the story lines. While the subplots have some definite leaks, the author's painting of the characters continues to be what makes these books so good. The reader learns a bit more about Mr. JLB Matekoni, although the mystery behind his depression remains as such. Mma Makutsi continues to have enjoyable dialogues with her shoes as she prepares for the next phase in her life. The children, Motholeli and Puso, make only brief appearances, as does Phuti Radiphuti. There are still a few open loops in the tale of Mma Ramotswe and cohorts, so the author might not be finished with the series. Should there be a next installment, however, I hope that McCall Smith finds a fresh supply of creative plot lines.

  • Wendy
    2019-05-29 03:06

    This one moved along a little slowly for me. I did enjoy the addition of some conflict between Mma R and Mma M - it made their relationship seem more genuine. Poor Charlie! He always seems to get into trouble.

  • Betsy
    2019-05-29 01:59

    This is a book about mistaken impressions. Everybody seems to make one, some regret theirs, but others are too arrogant to admit they can be wrong. It's not the best book in the series, but there are some insights that are valuable. Mr. Matekoni shows his weakness by continuing to enable Charlie, but finally admits to himself that he is no detective. Now, if he would just stand up to Mma Potokwane, but then Mma Ramotswe enables her as well. Strengths and weaknesses make the world of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency go round.

  • Graham
    2019-06-03 06:54

    While THE GOOD HUSBAND OF ZEBRA DRIVE is, on the surface, a typically satisfying addition to the long-running series of Botswana-set books by Alexander McCall Smith, there's something about it that isn't quite right.Superficially, the story is as good as ever; Smith carries out his usual attention to detail and weaves separate sub-plots together in an engaging and pacy read. The characters are drawn from real life, the human interaction and conversations are witty and engaging, and the mysteries are suitably mysterious.But somehow this isn't as good as previous instalments, and the contrast may be greater because the previous entry, BLUE SHOES AND HAPPINESS, was one of my all-time favourites. But while that story was fairly idyllic, THE GOOD HUSBAND OF ZEBRA DRIVE tells a darker story. The characters seem more unhappy, the world more harshly realistic, and the novel as a whole just isn't as much fun.I also get the impression that this book was written at speed to a deadline, because a lot of the plotting is overly predictable. At least one sub-plot (Mr J. L. B. Matekoni's detection) hinges on a twist so obvious as to be overstated, while another (the hospital case) is openly copied from a famous news story of a few years ago. While I've enjoyed all the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books thus far, and while this one was mildly entertaining, this is the first time I've felt that the stories might be running out of steam. We'll see how the next book goes...

  • Petra X
    2019-05-19 07:46

    I loved the first few books in this series but lost interest after the Full Cupboard of Life. Something about this book's cover appealed to me and I looked forward to immersing myself in Mma Ramotswe's African world again. I didn't really enjoy the book very much, it was an effort to finish it. The writing was as good, the little plots and twists and turns as amusing, and all the familiar characters were getting on with their lives, so what was it? To me, Mma Ramotswe was just a paper figure in this book. There was scarcely a mention of her home life - no more than two or three cursory mentions of her children, just one reminiscence of her childhood life with her beloved father and nothing at all on her traditional African figure that figures so largely in other books. Nothing much either on interplay between her and anyone much except Mma Makutsi. Various other characters, such as Mma Potokwane, she of the commanding presence and orphanage, were just drawn briefly into the book to further one of the stories, but did not figure herself. Some books you read for plot, some you read for the characters and this book was just weak tea, ordinary tea, no more strong bush tea to be poured into a cup to be sipped slowly, with enjoyment.

  • Diana S
    2019-06-03 01:57

    "This is the first book of this series that I've read and I loved it! I really enjoyed getting to know Mma Ramotswe and her beloved Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, and their foster children, Motholeli and Paso. Her assistant Mma Makutsi and her fiancee Phuti Radiphuti of the Double comfort Furniture Store. I also loved the descriptions of their lovely country of Botswana. I would love to go there and see the sights described in the book and drink Red Bush Tea. For a mystery, it was so enjoyable and light hearted that I caught myself smiling a lot while reading through the pages.Look out, Book one! I'll be reading you soon"! :D

  • Faith Spinks
    2019-06-15 04:56

    One of the things I really love about these books is how so much happens and yet so little really changes. This book was another great example of this with 2 resignations, 3 coincidental deaths in a hospital, and the red bush tea bags having run out at morning tea time! Yet we still end the book in that peaceful and thoughtful way that Mma Ramotswe has!One highlight for me reading this was as I traveled out of Botswana and arrived in South Africa I was greeted at the airport lounge by a less abrupt and somewhat prettier Zmma Makuti... But oh! It was those glasses! Felt like I was still totally immersed in the world of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency!

  • Lori
    2019-06-09 08:10

    Alexander McCall Smith's stories are perfect for when one is tired of reading. You read his gently-paced books secure in the knowledge that, even though there may be moments of mild drama, nothing very horrible will happen and everything will be alright in the end. The solution to one of the mysteries was obvious from the start, but you do not expect intricate plots from ASM; the charm of ASM's books lies in the humanity of his writing, the goodness of the characters and the beauty of the setting. Best read with a cup of (bush) tea and slice of cake in hand.

  • Robert
    2019-06-16 03:55

    After reading some "serious" stuff, it's always a relief and a joy to pick up the next (for me) Alexander McCall Smith and just ENJOY reading again. How does he do it? How does he keep it up? This one (NOT his latest - I had missed it) is better than some others. The story is complex (3 investigations going on at once) and the beloved characters do some "unusual" things - particularly Mma Makutsi and Charlie. The simple and beautiful writing could be maudlin, but then he puts in a quick and sharp turn. It almost makes me want to go see Botswana.

  • Bachyboy
    2019-05-20 00:51

    I always begin a new book in this series thinking here we go again but I am quickly seduced by the gentle lilting stories and genuinely like all of the characters. Of course there are moments of conflict but we could all learn something from the way the characters deal with it.

  • David
    2019-05-22 05:04

    This isn't a bad one for the series. I don't think it added much new, but I did have fun with it. Not my favorite, but not my least favorite either. Just good fun.

  • Gláucia Renata
    2019-06-09 08:13

    Oitavo livro da deliciosa série AN1MD. Cinco estrelas de puro entretenimento, nada mais que ótimos momentos de leitura tão aconchegante quanto uma xícara de chá... de roibos se possível.Como sempre nada de tão extraordinário na agência, mas foi tão legal ver o Sr. J.L.B. Matekoni dar uma de detetive lidando com uma cliente rude.O caso das mortes no hospital teve um desfecho delicado.Fiquei com muita pena de Charlie, o aprendiz mais velho e sua malfadada Agência Número 1 de Táxi Para Mulheres.E me levou a pensar o day off de Mma Makutsi que, tendo finalmente um dia todo para si, sem trabalho e outras obrigações, ficou sem saber o que fazer com tanto tempo livre que acabou fazendo... nada! Isso sempre acontece comigo. Histórico de leitura01/05/2017"Muitas vezes encontramos pessoas fazendo o oposto do que elas realmente gostariam de fazer. Havia guardas de prisão gentis, enfermeiras nada amigáveis, professores ignorantes e inúteis...""As pessoas geralmente concordam, ser melhor que a esposa acorde antes de seus maridos."

  • Holli
    2019-06-11 03:03

    This was a very good book. I chose it for Book Group because Deborah, one of my colleagues, used to live in Botswana. She is bringing pictures and artifacts to Book Group and to Coffee Club. According to Deborah, McCall Smith does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Botswana. I love the optimistic and humorous tone, the simplicity and underlying wisdom of Mma Ramotswe, and the courtesy and dignity with which the characters treat one another. I also like the repetition of phrases and images: a lady of traditional build; the tiny white van; the ritual of drinking bush tea; Clovis Andersen's advice from The Principles of Private Detection, etc. It reminds me of the repetition found in children's picture books and I like the certainty and comfort of it. The chapter titles are also fun: How Does One Become More Exciting? The Understanding of Shoes; A Small Business Woman; The Proper Place of Mercy. I love this passage:The world, Mma Ramotswe believed, was composed of big things and small things. The big things were written large, and one could not but be aware of them--wars, oppression, the familiar theft by the rich and the strong of those simple things that the poor needed, those scraps which would make their life more bearable; this happened, and could make even the reading of a newspaper an exercise in sorrow. There were all those unkindnesses, palpable, daily, so easily avoidable; but one could not hink just of those, thought Mma Ramotswe, or one woulc spend one's time in tears--and the unkindnesses would continue. So the small things came into their own; small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution? p. 198

  • Isis
    2019-05-20 08:05

    I love this series. I did not love this book, which makes me kind of sad. I had two major problems with this particular volume. First, the overarching theme appeared to be "people are who they are, and there's no point trying to change who you are," which I find defeatist and unappealing. Second, nearly all of the intertwining subplots made me uncomfortable. Part of the reason is that Mma Makutsi and Mr. JLB Matekoni were acting in ways that seemed out of character to me (which of course was to illuminate the theme). But also, Mr. JLB Matekoni's and Charlie's subplots were obvious and predictable disasters in the making, and that hit my embarrassment squick.One final thing I didn't like, which hardly counts, is that ordinarily the repetitive quirks of McCall's Smith storytelling - the tiny white van, the 97 percent - act as soothing, familiar balm. But when I was annoyed with the story, they annoyed me as well. I counted the phrase "beamed with pleasure" four times. Argh. But on the other hand, Mma Ramotswe's observations of Botswana and her people were always thoughtful and interesting, and the final chapters were quite satisfying.

  • Alisha
    2019-06-12 05:07

    This series is a world away from my usual literary tastes--I'm a glutton for the Victorian/Edwardian British sentimental novel, and these are set in modern-day Botswana and introduce a lifestyle that is foreign to me. They were recommended to me some years ago, and I read several but then stopped. I'm starting to pick them up again.They're quite smooth reading and narrate the thought processes of the characters in a way that's entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking. I do recommend them!They deal with a lady detective, her mechanic husband (an uncomplicated, kind, reliable and occasionally self-doubting man), her assistant (Grace Makutsi, graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College, the smartest in the class, but also the least flashy, now engaged to be married, to her own great amazement), and various other people who are part of their lives. There are at least three detective cases being handled with varying degrees of skill, as well as various other small incidents that create a fully-formed, well-realized world. And they drink lots of tea. I'm particularly fond of the concept of making your own life better through..."acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter."

  • Anne Hawn Smith
    2019-05-25 04:44

    This book was a little different from the previous ones and I think I felt a little threatened when Mma Mkutsi left the agency. I could almost hear myself saying, "Oh, no, this is my island of security! This is the wonderful, enduring, changeless land in Botswana that speaks to me through the old friends of this book. I don't want anyone to go away! Even Charlie is necessary. Don't change what's working!!!" But then, even change is necessary to pique the interest and create tension. I have to tell you that I was very relieved when the problems were resolved and everyone got back in their places. I missed hearing more about Phuti Radiphuti and I expect that Smith will have to add another book to round out that character.I have come to love Botswana as seen through the eyes of Mma Ramotswe. Here love of her country, the endless land, the wide big skies, the cattle and the simple needs of its people. I know things are changing and there are horrible problems with AIDS/HIV, but they are all played out on a background of the enduring land that Smith has managed to reproduce for us.

  • An Odd1
    2019-05-24 02:06

    Reread. Precious finds why a critically ill patient dies every Friday at same time in Mochudi hospital. Common tale. (view spoiler)[ Cleaner used to unplug breathing machine for her polisher until supervisor changed routine. So she can continue to support extended family common in Africa, Precious complies with whitewash report.(hide spoiler)] Dreaming of greener wifely pastures, engaged Grace Makutsi resigns from Agency. (view spoiler)[ Grace returns.(hide spoiler)] Precious always thinks of people first in every case. "Mma Potokwane's advice sounded good though" p 357. Boss of a printing company blames shifty-eyed employee for dwindling supplies. Orphanage manager once gave suspicious boy the key to unlock their supply cupboard. No more missing stock. (view spoiler)[ Employee runs away. Problem solved.(hide spoiler)]Typo:p 45 "No, Rra" is "Now, Rra"

  • Connie N.
    2019-06-02 05:07

    I listened to the audio version narrated by Lisette Lecat. Very well done. I really liked her African accent, and her voices had just enough variation to be able to easily tell the characters apart. As always, Mma. Ramotswe is a very calm, very happy woman, with a lot of common sense. In this book they deal with mysterious deaths in a hospital. Plus Mma Makutsi becomes associate detective after her resignation, but she comes back to handle a stealing case at a printer. And Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni tries his hand at detection. Charlie the apprentice leaves to start his own company. Pleasant series, never exciting, not a lot of action, but always satisfying and warm. I love Mma's outlook on life and enjoy hearing her bits of wisdom throughout. I was also interested to hear the street name pronounced Zebra (rhyming with Debra) rather than the animal name.

  • hadashi
    2019-06-11 00:45

    it’s been lovely to come back and have tea with Precious Ramotswe and her crew after a few years, now that she’s clearly shown McCall Smith that there was plenty more to her story. as usual, her deep love for Botswana and her fellow humans is what makes her so compelling, and even if the minor cast features some annoying people (with plenty of redeeming traits), one still loves spending time with them. and thankfully, the winning formula is still there: we learn simple lessons from listening to the heart, observing small things, and hearing Mma Ramotswe’s thoughts flow freely without shame or fear. reading these stories makes me feel happy to be alive, to be part of humanity, and to know what love is.

  • Will Byrnes
    2019-06-12 04:07

    Another visit to comfortable Botswana and Mma Rawotse’s detective agency. This edition centers around separating and rejoining. Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni tries his hand at detecting with expected results. Mma Makutsi decides that she need no longer work at the agency and decides to strike out to find another job. Smith amusingly gives her blue shoes a voice. Charlie, the apprentice, wants to quit and start a cab company. The mysteries are the usual simple items. Mysterious deaths at a hospital resolve in an obvious manner. Is the husband of an obnoxious woman cheating? Smith continues to offer an engaging if not very exciting read, soft shoes for the mind

  • Kelsey Hanson
    2019-06-05 07:50

    I enjoyed this book, but it seemed quite a bit slower than usual. These books are usually pretty slowly paced, but in a relaxing sort of way. This one just seemed a bit dull in parts. I continued to care for all the characters but I was pretty irritated with most of them in this book. The moral of this story is The grass is not greener on the other side. Most of the characters initially unhappy with their lives attempt something new but it doesn't go as planned. It's interesting for some like when Mr. JLB Matekone attempts to solve a mystery, but when Mma Makutsi resigns she becomes pretty insufferable. Overall, this was not one of my favorites but still worth picking up.

  • Teri-K
    2019-05-29 07:02

    I've been reading one of this series every month or so. Generally I enjoy taking my time with them, soaking up Mme Ramotswe's surroundings and friends. But at 1/3 in, I'm finding this one less fun, because everyone seems unhappy with their lives and each other. :( Also, because they are each investigating a separate crime, they spend less time together in this book. Continuing on, though, the story lines come together again and problems are dealt with if not completely resolved. As Mme Romotswe herself says, "a rather unusual, and unsettling, period had come to an end." A good book but not my favorite of the series.

  • Rhonda
    2019-05-18 07:53

    This was a satisfying addition to the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series. This could also have been titled, "Nearly Everyone Tries Something New and Discovers That Happiness Is Already At Hand." Charlie starts a new business with predictable results, Mr. J.E.B. Matakoni tries his hand at detection, and Mma. Makutsi explores freedom. One of the attractions of these books are the ruminations on how people act, their motivations, their sheer variety. But the thing I like best is the narrator! It is a joy to listen to these books!

  • P.D.R. Lindsay
    2019-05-23 07:14

    Another charming read in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. And for all the charm and humour there are serious things to think about - mercy and what it is. Also can a person change themselves and if so how or if not what does everyone else do about it?Through all the small incidents readers are led to think about much more important moral issues. That's the joy of an author like McCall Smith and makes the books in the series well worth reading.Readers wanting a light, gently humorous story have it here. Readers who like to think have some big issues to ponder on.

  • Tara Bush
    2019-05-21 04:53

    It seems that I'm becoming immune to the repetitive references: Mma Makutsi's 97% score, Mma Ramotswe's traditional build, the laziness of the apprentices, etc. I've learned to just skip over those paragraphs. I continued to lose respect for Mma Makutsi in this book as her character became even more self-centered. The cases that are being solved in this book are very easy to solve, so there isn't much surprise at the end.