Friday, January 18, 2013

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series #1)Synopsis:  This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

I've been hearing about Smith's Ladies Detective Agency series for years and finally had a chance to read the first book.  I was charmed by Precious and enjoyed learning about Africa and African customs.  When Precious's father dies and leaves her with a small inheritance, she decides that rather doing something safe like a butcher shop, she will open a detective agency in her town of Botswana.  She uses her wit and intelligence and womanly intuition to solve her cases and when any man questions her right to be a detective, she just has to say Agatha Christie and they straighten up.  It is a sweet and charming story as well as educational.  I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series and checking out the movie on HBO as well.
Released:  February 6, 2003
Pages:  235
Setting: Botswana
Challenge: Continental
Rating: 3.5
YTD: 4