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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: A No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel (1) (No 1. Ladies' Detective Agency) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 272 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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- Book 1 of 21 in No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
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“Smart and sassy...Precious’ progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once.” –Los Angeles Times
“The author’s prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision. His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswana landscape. This is art that conceals art. I haven’t read anything with such alloyed pleasure for a long time.” –Anthony Daniels, The Sunday Telegraph
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- File Size : 2699 KB
- Print Length : 272 pages
- Publication Date : December 16, 2003
- ASIN : B000FBJF6Y
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Anchor; 1st Anchor Books Edition (December 16, 2003)
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,257 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Each of these books picks up and drops a single overall case, separating each phase of its solution with chapters dealing mostly with other cases that can be solved more quickly. Each case requires some ingenious thinking and a deep understanding of local culture and practices and, of course, of basic human nature. In spite of having to deal with darker events such as kidnapping, witchcraft, impersonation, philandering, insurance fraud and employee theft, there is something life-affirming about the heroine's approach to each case and in the way she stays 'centered' as a human being. Readers looking for a 'cozy' mystery series that is not set in England will very much enjoy this series!
The ‘No 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series is truly a love story of Africa! Book one is a heartfelt, emotional, humorous story about the adventures of Mma [Madam] Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. With the help of her associates and friends, Mma Ramotswe navigates her cases and personal life with a great deal of wisdom, creativity, and humor, not to mention an occasional cup of Bush tea. You’ll fall in love with this confident, stubborn, self assured, modern woman full of love for her country.
I find it most interesting that the author of this delightful series, Alexander “Sandy" McCall Smith (McCall-Smith being his surname), is male, especially since he has managed to brilliantly write a very strong feminine voice perspective, a voice that I would have expected more from a female author. McCall Smith, a British-Zimbabwean writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, is internationally known as a writer of fiction. He is an excellent gifted writer and storyteller, and this book is both educational and humorous. His interesting characters definitely do not disappoint. There is a bit of a plot hole that went unanswered at the end of book one, involving the superstitions of black medicine, but perhaps this was on purpose, leading into future storylines in one of the series 19 books. It’s a great read, so enjoy!!
“Every man has a map in his heart of his own country and … the heart will never allow you to forget this map.” —Alexander McCall Smith, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
“There is no difference between white men and black men; we are all the same; we are just people.” —Alexander McCall Smith, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
“If we could go back and know then what we know now, … my goodness, I would live my life differently!” —Alexander McCall Smith, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
“How sorry she felt for white people, … who were always dashing around and worrying themselves over things that were going to happen anyway. What use was it having all that money if you could never sit still?” —Alexander McCall Smith, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency
I love the series, love Mma Ramotswe and enjoy spending time in her company. I would love to have a cup of Bush Tea or lunch at the President's Hotel, joined by Alexander McCall Smith himself. Can you imagine the wonderful, inspiring, thought-provoking conversations we could have?
Alexander McCall Smith never disappoints and "The No. Ladies' Detective Agency" series is proof of that.
I’m eagerly waiting for the next book, in fact, I believe it’s already pre-ordered!
Top reviews from other countries
A few economically descriptive lines of introduction, and the scene is perfectly set...
As well as the perpetually endearing, big-hearted, and big-bodied Mma Precious Ramotswe herself. there is of course a whole host of deliciously appealing characters still waiting in the wings. There's the agency's formidable secretary, Mma Makutsi ('Miss ninety-seven per cent', though perhaps the character is a little under-used in this initial instalment); there's Dr Maketsi (a close friend from Mma Ramotswe's home village of Mochudi); there's Mr J L B Matekoni (the ever-helpful proprietor of 'Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors', hailing also from Mochudi, and so hopelessly in love with our very own lady detective); there's Note Mokoti (our lady detective's worthless first love); there's Charlie Gotso (Gaborone's premier local gangster); and last but not least, Obed Ramotswe - the beloved father whose passing made it possible for Botswana's only ladies' detective agency to exist, and who is never very far from Precious's thoughts.
The twenty-two chapters of this book don't really contain tales of detection in the purest sense of the word and shouldn't be approached with that expectation in mind. They are, instead, rather gentle - even whimsical - examinations of a place and a people so utterly captivating that you desperately hope that it does all exist just so, exactly as portrayed...even though a niggling doubt persists that it can't quite be true - can it...? For if this IS Botswana, then and now, and if these are its people - well, who wouldn't want to visit or even live there...? This is the fundamental joy of this novel: its depiction of time, place, and people - clad in such unalloyed appeal!
Some reviewers have criticised the style of prose adopted here by Alexander McCall Smith - that it lacks sophistication. Well, I suppose it does. But so what? I certainly wasn't expecting Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky - and I wouldn't want the contributions from either, in this context, because that simply wouldn't work; it wouldn't fit. Mr McCall Smith has resorted to a style, on the contrary, that works a treat because it perfectly sets the tone of place and personalities: the people and their country are (mostly) honest, candid, and uncomplicated - and surely, so must be the language and idiom that defines them, too!
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' and don't fully understand how anyone who reads it could fail to be beguiled by the citizens of Botswana and its capital, Gaborone - and in particular, by the exploits of the one very special resident who lives in the corner house on Zebra Drive. As far as introductory volumes go, it's a winner as far as I'm concerned...though stretching the entire series to a considerable 15 volumes does present something of a daunting challenge, at this moment in time, and perhaps does carry the faintest whiff of 'overkill' about it...
My criticisms are perhaps a matter of taste. Though difficult to fault the writing, at times, both the content and the delivery border on over-simplification, the mysteries themselves also suffer from this weakness. Dark, unhappy events are not overlooked, it must be said, but, somehow, they evaporate a little too satisfactorily. Put it that way.
Ultimately, I was left me with the general impression that this undemanding, life-affirming read might best engage the younger reader.
Its a lighthearted read of how life is in Botswana sprinkled with some sinister undertones.
A very proud nation by the sounds of things with all the usual stereo typing views of the neighbouring countries. Things dont change, whatever the continent!
Will be looking forward to the next in this series.