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The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case: A Precious Ramotswe Mystery for Young Readers (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Precious Ramotswe Mysteries)) [Hardcover]

Alexander McCal Smith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 April 2012 No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Precious Ramotswe Mysteries)

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective.  In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea.
Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective?
This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious.
When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right. She also learns how to be a detective.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books (3 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307949443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307949448
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Grandparents and Parents . . . as Well! 28 April 2012
"You shall not steal." -- Deuteronomy 5:19 (NKJV)

One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been reading mystery stories with intent to solve the mystery before the author reveals the solution. Almost all authors play fair and provide enough information for you to figure it out on your own. I like best those stories that emphasize the mystery and some enduring lessons about loving one another, rather than the sensationalism that can permeate a lot of contemporary mystery fiction.

What a delight it was to discover The Great Cake Mystery and to realize that it's a perfect introduction to detective fiction for a youngster . . . whether a grandchild, a child, a niece, a nephew, or a little friend. I felt like buying a gross of this book and having them on hand to share with young readers.

The story centers on Precious Ramotswe as a child and how her interest in becoming a detective was launched. The story fits in well with the very first book in the adult series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which emphasizes interaction with Africa . . . not just Africans . . . as the later stories tend to do.

The illustrations are particularly well chosen to increase interest and to provide context that someone who hasn't been to Africa might miss. I also appreciated the pronunciation tips. (I've been wondering how to say "Mma" ever since I first saw it in the series.)

You'll feel youthful delight in this story which delicately captures a child's world . . . without talking down to the child.

It's a major achievement from a masterful storyteller!

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charming 8 July 2012
By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Great Cake Mystery is a children's story for readers under ten by Alexander McCall Smith. It is a prequel to his popular No 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels in that it describes Precious Ramotswe's first case, solved when she was still at school. Whilst the mystery is a simple one, Precious doesn't jump to conclusions, and when she thinks she has solved the case, she sets out to irrefutably prove it. This delightful story includes charming two-color woodcutlike pictures by Iain McIntosh that evoke the African setting, as well as a note from the author, a reader's guide and even a recipe for Precious's Sponge Cake Worth Stealing. This is a McCall Smith feel-good tale that young and not-so-young readers will appreciate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The No.I ladies detective agency past history. 14 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was well written,but obviously for a more junior reader,however I did enjoy it ,as I do with A.McCall Smiths stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book sent to my grand daughter 15 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read it first but it was not as good as other books by this author. He does not seem to write for children as well as he does for adults (in my humble opinion anyway).
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3.0 out of 5 stars for children 22 Dec 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
And I'm not a child. I think McCall Smith has gone a step too far with this one and probably should quite while he's ahead
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