Thursday, October 1, 2009

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is now an acclaimed tv series, based on this textured novel about Mma Ramotswe and her life as a lady detective in Botswana. A little slice of Africa, this novel illustrates all of the beautiful and warm things about an ancient country, as well as some of the culturally significant differences that make Africa so foreign.

Mma Ramotswe is the daughter of a wealthy cattleman. The story starts out with the death of her father, leaving his wealth to Mma Ramotswe to buy a shop. She opens a detective agency as the only female private detective in Botswana. It's quite charming how she faces anyone who challenges her qualifications. In a male-dominated society, a female detective is suspect, but Mma Ramotswe knows what she's good at! She opens her doors and encounters all types of mysteries, from the disappearance of a young boy, to the wandering off of a husband, to the fraud of a lost finger.

Mma Ramotswe is a fantastic, warm, real-life character who is an instant friend to the reader. The people she encounters are all so colorful and interesting. This is not a fast-paced detective novel; just an entertaining group of stories about some Botswana people. It's fun and clever, and if you pay attention, you'll learn a little about African culture.


  1. This book is fun to listen to, too! I have it sitting on the shelf at school and someone DID pick it up the other day. I did not know about the television show!

  2. I imagine this would be a wonderful book to listen to! The tv show is on one of the cable channels, so I have it queued up on my Netflix. I'll let you know how it is!