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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 the Paperback edition.
A delightful easy read. It kept me reading long after I should of put it down. The heroine is colorful and easy to root for.Published 5 days ago by Tempie Griffin
The book captures the beauty of Africa while acknowledging its challenges, in a lyrical lilting voice. The main characters are very likable. I recommend highly.Published 5 days ago by Ethiope
Lead character Mma Ramotswe, as an up-and-coming detective in Gabarone, Botswana, continues to develop her business and her acumem. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Chloe T.
Entertaining - raises cultural awareness - light-hearted on the surface, but engages the reader at deeper levels eg. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Sheila Edwards
This is an excellent series by Smith. It is wholesome and entertaining. The viewpoint from a native "traditional" African is wonderful. I plan to read them all!Published 12 days ago by MTgrown2
Because my husband is very ill, I was looking for a good read that would hold my interest. This definitely did. Read morePublished 13 days ago by SLO Shirl
I had the privilege of watching the HBO series first, but that did not take away from the beauty of the book, its descriptions of Africa, and the solving of the cases.Published 13 days ago by Kindle Customer
A relative gifted me this book a couple of years ago. Too busy to read it at the time, I shelved it with my other unread books until I could carve out the needed hours to get into... Read morePublished 15 days ago by DL
I found it to be very innovative and suspenseful-a really smart read.
The characters in the book were well defined and quite interesting.