The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
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Why read it?
6 authors picked The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
If you love a good cosy mystery and characters that unfold gently over time, this book is a must-read. Here, we meet Mma Precious Ramotswe, the only lady private detective in Botswana, as she solves the everyday mysteries of the people of Gabarone.
The series centres around her and her particular approach to solving mysteries—through relaxed conversation over cups of tea. The surrounding cast of characters play a critical role in making the series shine. Seeing Botswana through Mma Ramotswe’s eyes is both honest and heart-warming. She recognises its beauty and strengths while acknowledging where her country still has the…
This book made me fall in love with the southern African country of Botswana as well as with Mma Ramotswe, the intrepid lady who starts a company to help people solve their problems. Her advice isn’t conventional, but it works! If a client’s husband has stolen an expensive auto, why not steal it back and return it to the rightful owner? I’m told that Alexander McCall Smith accurately depicts much about Botswana; he also celebrates decency, courage, empathy, and good humor. Happily, there are many more books in the series. They’re addictive.
Okay, you might know this book series by Alexander McCall-Smith. Although I experienced Botswana differently, I must give him literary license when it comes dramatising life in this country. I like how he mixes facts about Botswana with his fictional stories and puts my country of choice (for a couple of years) on the map.
This is the first novel in a series and what I love about them all is that they show Africa in a positive light. The crimes our heroine, Precious Ramotswe, has to solve are whimsical rather than violent and show us all to be victims of the frailties of human nature rather than anything more sinister. I’m lucky enough to have travelled in Botswana and you can see a little bit of McCall Smiths characters in everyone you meet. I also love the way that he describes the richness of African everyday life, and the way he captures these moments…
This is the first of the long and very successful series, featuring Precious Ramotswe, founder of the agency and a super cast of supporting characters, including Grace Makutsi, her vain but faithful assistant, and Mr. JLB Matekoni, genius mechanic and later Precious’s husband. The little stock company of characters is one of the charms of the series, but it is the character of Mma Ramotswe that is unusual. Detectives are all out to solve their cases and catch the perpetrator, Precious, too. But her ultimate aim is always restoration of civility with forgiveness, restitution, a change in attitudes. Her tact…
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