No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Paperback – 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, I have all the books in Alexander McCall's Smith's series about Precious Ramotswe, proud owner of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana.
Unlike some reviews here, I can find no fault with the books. I agree they are not complex who-done-it thrillers, but Precious Ramotswe does not lead a thrilling life. She lives at a slower pace, more in tune with nature and her intuition than those of us in western civilization. The mysteries she solves are not that difficult, but she takes great pride in her professionalism and treats each client with great care and compassion.
I particularly like the way I feel when I read about the daily happenings in Mma Ramotswe's life. I like reading about her house on Zebra Drive; her bright secretary (who scored 97% at the Botswana Secretarial College); her companion Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni; her life growing up as the beloved daughter of a devoted father who left his life's work to her so she could open her own business; her disastrous marriage; and the variety of people who seek out her professional assistance.
Some reviewers have compared Mma Ramotswe to Miss Marple. I guess the comparison fits, but it seems to me that Mma Ramotswe would prefer to belong in a category by herself....the first female private investigator in Botswana.
If you like the Jan Karon series about Father Tim and his beloved village of Mitford, then you might want to give The No 1. Ladies' Detective Series a try.
This is not your typical mystery--there is no murder to be solved. Ramotswe and her assistant detective cleverly handle a couple of cases for clients, but her personal life is just as interesting: moving the office, caring for two foster children, and handling the auto repair shop belonging to her fiance who has suddenly begun acting strangely. Ramotswe deals with both the problems of her clients and her personal life in a thorough and straight-forward manner.
I had to buy the first two books in the series (The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, and Tears of the Giraffe) from Amazon.UK, so I was very happy to find this third book on Amazon.com.
For something just a little different--highly recommended.
These beliefs are just part of the basic philosophy of the central character, Mma Precious Ramotswe, the first lady detective in Botswana, who imparts her basic moral philosophy at the same time - murder is worse than lying, relationships are more important than money, intuition is a kind of knowledge. While all of this philosophy may seem clichéd, as perhaps it is, it appears naturally in the book as part of the character and helps us to understand her approach to solving the cases brought to her.
Woven throughout all of this is a picture of Botswana, considered by Ramotswe, and presumably McCall Smith, as the best and most successful country in Africa. Independent from the British since 1966, there is enormous pride in her accomplishments, and only the ongoinging black magic practices of some of the country's witchdoctors cast a shadow on the shining accomplishments of Botswana's diamond-fueled progress.
Most powerfully of all, it is the love of the land that sings throughout the book. Botswana - stretching from the Kalahari desert to the Limpopo river, a country where « there is a place for me, and for everybody, to sit down on this earth and touch it and call it their own ».Read more ›
I love the series because of Mma's character. She wants to change and wants to learn about the modern world and life in the new century but doesn't shun her past .. on the contrary she is proud of her heritage and of her country and what makes it special. Through her investigations, Smith tackles various issues, he states Mma's point of view as the opinion of the learned people and leaders of her country and shows how a foreigner would percieve it... true and simple. He uses simple language, affirms the traditions of the country, draws the difference in behavior between past and present... Africa and the west.
It's a funny sad book, clash of culture and modernization. Enjoy reading as Mma unfolds the mysteries of life!
Most recent customer reviews
A fine read. Wonderful characters in a unique environment presented in a warmhearted way.Published 4 months ago by Robert Marsh
Loved all number one, two, three of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency!Published 8 months ago by Huguette PZ
"Why Should men find cars so interesting? A car was no more than a machine, and one might think that men would be interested in washing machines and irons, for that matter. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Melissa
This is a shortened and simplified version of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency targeted at ESL students (English learners). Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chris Black
Mma Ramotswe (aka Precious) owns the only female detective agency in Botswana, but after a slow start business finally begins to pick up. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Debra Purdy Kong
A fast flowing story set, Tears of the Giraffe is one of the best books I have read. With good values expressed through characters that are lively, this book showed a beautiful... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2014 by Peter Jones
I watched the tv version and liked the book very much. Light reading and very easy to put down and pick up again.Published on Jan. 26 2014 by Sherilyn Anderson
It was very funny, real and authentic in the way the people in Botswana would think. I truly enjoy it immensely.Published on Nov. 29 2013 by Upset
This book takes me to another place. I feel part of the people of Botswana and find myself at times laughing out loud at the simple goodness of it.Published on Oct. 2 2013 by Peshagolda