By Tina Jordan
Updated April 13, 2007 04:00 AM
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Don’t let that ”No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series” business on the cover fool you: Alexander McCall Smith’s The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, like the first seven, isn’t really a mystery at all, but a gentle little Botswana-set novel of manners. Yes, it’s slight. But it’s also that rare thing — a quick, easy read that’s also an immersion into a culture completely different from our own. If you read the series back-to-back, the basic premise (the ”traditionally built” Precious Ramotswe solves mysteries while dealing with the many difficult people in her life) would quickly grow stale. But in small doses — once a year — Mma Ramotswe is as pleasing as a cup of red bush tea.