NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.
This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency received two Booker Judges’ Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s safe to say that Precious Ramotswe, the only woman private eye in all of Botswana, can solve any problem, just as long as she relies on her impeccably rational mind and well-developed sense of humor—and a pot of freshly brewed redbush tea. As an intelligent and determined woman in a patriarchal country, Mma Ramotswe is used to being overlooked and undervalued. Which is exactly why she’s so warm, understanding, and sensitive to the needs of her vulnerable clients, whether she’s digging up the truth about a straying husband or tracking down a missing child. Brimming with humanity and hope, this first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s long-running cozy-mystery series is a wonderful, gentle, and endlessly entertaining whodunit. We loved meeting the book’s colorful cast of characters and devouring the breathtaking descriptions of the gorgeous Southern African landscapes. Precious may have an amazing brain, but it’s her expansive heart that makes her No. 1 for us.
The African-born author of more than 50 books, from children's stories (The Perfect Hamburger) to scholarly works (Forensic Aspects of Sleep), turns his talents to detection in this artful, pleasing novel about Mma (aka Precious) Ramotswe, Botswana's one and only lady private detective. A series of vignettes linked to the establishment and growth of Mma Ramotswe's "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" serve not only to entertain but to explore conditions in Botswana in a way that is both penetrating and light thanks to Smith's deft touch. Mma Ramotswe's cases come slowly and hesitantly at first: women who suspect their husbands are cheating on them; a father worried that his daughter is sneaking off to see a boy; a missing child who may have been killed by witchdoctors to make medicine; a doctor who sometimes seems highly competent and sometimes seems to know almost nothing about medicine. The desultory pace is fine, since she has only a detective manual, the frequently cited example of Agatha Christie and her instincts to guide her. Mma Ramotswe's love of Africa, her wisdom and humor, shine through these pages as she shines her own light on the problems that vex her clients. Images of this large woman driving her tiny white van or sharing a cup of bush tea with a friend or client while working a case linger pleasantly. General audiences will welcome this little gem of a book just as much if not more than mystery readers.FYI:Anchor is simultaneously issuing two other titles in this series,Tears of the Giraffe andMorality for Beautiful Girls.
traditionally built wisdom
Botswana plays nearly as big a role in the story as Precious Ramotswe, a 'traditionally built' woman who opens her own detective agency. She knows people and she knows her country and she uses this knowledge to seek answers to clients' problems ranging from silly to shocking. Under the bright African sun, she drinks red bush tea and investigates solutions using humor and frankness.
These books are delightful. Read when you need a chuckle.