- See the full list of books in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
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It's the detective as folk hero, solving crimes through an innate, self-possessed wisdom that, combined with an understanding of human nature, invariably penetrates into the heart of a puzzle. If Miss Marple were fat and jolly and lived in Botswana--and decided to go against any conventional notion of what an unmarried woman should do, spending the money she got from selling her late father's cattle to set up a Ladies' Detective Agency--then you have an idea of how Precious sets herself up as her country's first female detective. Once the clients start showing up on her doorstep, Precious enjoys a pleasingly successful series of cases.
But the edge of the Kalahari is not St. Mary Mead, and the sign Precious orders, painted in brilliant colors, is anything but discreet. Pointing in the direction of the small building she had purchased to house her new business, it reads "THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY. FOR ALL CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS AND ENQUIRIES. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED FOR ALL PARTIES. UNDER PERSONAL MANAGEMENT."
The solutions she comes up with, whether in the case of the clinic doctor with two quite different personalities (depending on the day of the week), or the man who had joined a Christian sect and seemingly vanished, or the kidnapped boy whose bones may or may not be those in a witch doctor's magic kit, are all sensible, logical, and satisfying. Smith's gently ironic tone is full of good humor towards his lively, intelligent heroine and towards her fellow Africans, who live their lives with dignity and with cautious acceptance of the confusions to which the world submits them. Precious Ramotswe is a remarkable creation, and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency well deserves the praise it received from London's Times Literary Supplement. I look forward with great eagerness to the upcoming books featuring the memorable Miss Ramotswe, Tears of the Giraffe and Morality for Beautiful Girls, soon to be available in the U.S. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"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 13 days 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 2 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 3 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 14 months ago 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 14 months ago by Sherilyn Fleischhacker
It was very funny, real and authentic in the way the people in Botswana would think. I truly enjoy it immensely.Published 16 months ago 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 18 months ago by Peshagolda
Very amusing you have to like this style of writing ver witty and humorous. Nice short read easy to finish.Published on Dec 31 2012 by Eky Ternamian
Different style of writing. Once you read a few you begin to enjoy. Again the numbers of the series are not well marked. You end up reading out of order very annoying.Published on Dec 31 2012 by Eky Ternamian