The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Book rating: 04 Paperback Abacus

By (author) Alexander McCall Smith

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  • Publisher: Abacus
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 194mm x 20mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 5 June 2003
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 034911675X
  • ISBN 13: 9780349116754
  • Sales rank: 879

Product description

Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective. Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger ...Delightfully different, THE NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY offers a captivating glimpse of an unusual world.

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Author information

ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is a Professor of Medical Law, but also an author who has now written over fifty books on a wide range of subjects. His collection of African stories,CHILDREN OF WAX, received critical acclaim and has been the subject of an award-winning film.

Customer reviews

By susana 19 Feb 2013 4

This is a really charming little novel. The story of Precious Ramotswe, the only lady private detective in Bostwana, is at the same time funny and touching. We follow her as she settles her detective agency, and we witness her first cases and her first successes as detective. She uses a curious mixture of common sense and intuition which is based more in her knowledge of human nature and experience than in her training as detective (which basically consists on reading and taking notes on The principles of private investigation by Clovis Andersen). But the story of Mma Ramotswe is more than a story of detectives, it is the story of Africa. We learn the struggles of her father in the mines, his love for his land, his cattle, and his child. Through his eyes we find out about the beauty and dangers of Africa, a continent he loves and respects. This same love is present in Mma Ramotswe as well, but she shows us a different Africa, from the point of view of a woman who respects traditions but looks at them with a critical eye, showing at the same time the good and bad facets in her colourful society. I think Mma Ramotswe is a bit like Africa herself: Big and calm in the outside, full of life in the inside, with strong beliefs and an open mind which looks into the future with confidence

By Lyn Jones 27 Jan 2011 5

I just love this book it is a can't put down story of old fashioned values and the way the author describes Africa you can picture it Mma Ramotswe isthe first woman to open up a detective agency in Botswana the cases she is involved in and the way she goes about solving them for her clients are very interesting I cannot wait to read the rest of the series Love it.Lyn,Australia

By Neale P Blackwood 05 Sep 2010 3

An interesting look into life in Botswana. I might get the next one to see how it develops. Its OK - the mysteries are a bit basic.

By Adrienne Power 27 May 2009 5

Mma Ramotswe has opened a Detective Agency in Botswana - the only female detective Agency. Things start off slow and her cases aren't all that interesting, more on the lines of finding lost dogs and whether husbands are cheating on their wives. But as time goes on that changes and she gets caught up in a particular sinister case involving a missing boy and a Witch Doctor.

We learn about Mma Ramotswe's past and her love of Africa as she listens to the birds singing in the evening light. She has strong principles of what is right and what is wrong and goes out of her way to help people.

There is a simple calming tone to this book. It is lovely to read a good story set in a different land and culture. I look forward to reading more of Mma Ramotswe's exploits.

Review quote

* 'Everything about [McCall Smith] is appealing. He's just full of delight - it just bubbles out of him' SUNDAY HERALD * 'Indeed, the effort involved would have been justified by just one of them, THE NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY' Gerald Kaufman, Chairman of the 1999 BOOKER Prize Jury * 'A rare pleasure' DAILY TELEGRAPH * 'A publishing phenomenon' GUARDIAN