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The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series) Hardcover – November 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
“The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is a literary confection of gossamer deliciousness . . . There is no end to the pleasure that may be extracted from these books.”
–Janet Malcolm, The New York Times Book Review
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Top customer reviews
If you're hemming and hahing about reading it like I did for several months, just go for it. It's delightful whipped cream on the top of hot chocolate.
Liked it so much I'll probably buy the next one or three.
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!
Mma Ramatsu is absolutely wonderful. I am a mystery lover, which is why I bought the first one. These are not what I'd usually call real mysteries, though, although there are simple mysteries. It is a detective agency, after all!, But mostly they are long glimpses into the heart of a very good woman. Thinking Mma Ramatsu's thoughts after her have made me a better and more contemplative person, I think.
I'm so glad this book literally showed up like a gift--since the discovery I've gone on to read a dozen more books in the series. I don't know how this man writes so much so fast--he's got several other completely different series going as well--unless he's one of those writers who hires a team of ghosts. Whether he does or doesn't, I'm glad to have the books. Something about these stories cheers me up about life and people like nothing else.
Most recent customer reviews
Mma Ramotswe and Rra J.L.B. Matekoni are planning to be married. A perfect match.Read more