The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The Complete BBC Radio Series


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

'Must-listen... simply wonderful' The Telegraph

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 Cafe
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

About the author

Alexander McCall-Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award. In addition to these series, Alexander writes stand-alone books, including The Forever Girl; Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party and Emma - a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. He is also the author of a book on Edinburgh, A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith's Edinburgh, as well as several collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March of 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country. Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more