The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

3.8 (251,010 ratings by Goodreads)

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 20mm | 200g
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New ed.
  • 9780349116754
  • 16,402

Review Text

Original detective fiction - with a unique setting (Botswana) and original characters. Now in production as a high-profile feature film by Anthony Mingella and Sydney Pollack. 15,000 copies sold in C format. 300,000 copies sold in the USA.
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Review quote

The Miss Marple of Botswana * New York Times Book Review * A rare pleasure * Daily Telegraph * A publishing phenomenon * Guardian * I haven't read anything with such alloyed pleasure for a long time * Sunday Telegraph * Immersing yourself in Precious Ramotswe's life seems to slow your heart rate while sharpening your senses * Scotsman * Hugely enjoyable * Sunday Times * A delight * Daily Telegraph * A small slice of heaven * Scotsman * The first in line of an internationally bestselling series, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is set in Botswana and is a highly original "detective" novel with a unique setting and range of characters . . . the vivid descriptions of Botswana means it becomes, in essence, another character. A lovely read with a gentle pace that will transport you to a whole other world * Independent *
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About Alexander McCall Smith

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.
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Rating details

251,010 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 29% (72,860)
4 36% (89,136)
3 25% (63,110)
2 7% (17,998)
1 3% (7,906)

Our customer reviews

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 confidenceshow more
by susana
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,Australiashow more
by Lyn Jones
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 more
by Neale P Blackwood
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 more
by Adrienne Power
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