The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Paperback – 5 Jun 2004
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* '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
* A highly original 'detective' novel with unique setting and characters, this is the first of four 'Botswana' titles are both beautiful and charming.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Instead, clients come calling. The result is a series of vignettes of her clients' problems and their resolutions. There are wandering husbands, rebellious teen-age children [are there any other kind?] and a missing, probably murdered child. Justice, although never mentioned by either McCall Smith or Mma Ramotswe, is an important element throughout these episodes. Justice and the value of being an African. McCall is knowledgeable about Southern Africa and its people. He imparts that understanding with marvelous skill. His Scottish background never intrudes or distracts. Except perhaps in one of Mma's more bizarre cases. The Scots treasure their reputation for producing fine doctors. One of Mma Ramotswe's mysteries is the occasionally inept doctor. It is clearly the highlight of this superb book.
Mma Ramotswe, in establishing her unique agency, might be thought to have shed her personal life. After all, she had a brief, unhappy marriage. Men are to be watched, controlled, and manipulated in ways to prevent their wandering. Yet, as might be expected, there is a man in her town whose value transcends the image dominated by wandering husbands or lovers. He knows her worth and she his, but his stumbling proposal is rebuffed.Read more ›
So, while Precious is asked by an American woman to find out what happened to her son, who disappeared from a commune ten years previously, she must also negotiate the pitfalls of setting up house with Mr. Matekoni, the acquisition of an engagement ring, and the dastardly schemes of Mr. Matekoni's nasty housekeeper, and the unexpected addition of two foster children to her household. All of which she does with her keen sense of human nature and wisdom. Her secretary/typist is also given increased attention, allowed to take on the case of a cheating wife all by herself.
Built into the stories are ruminations of the tensions between modernity and traditional values. There are a number of passages that attempt to capture the essence of Africa, and how that noble vision is under constant assault by greed, corruption, and power. The adventures of Precious and her cohort are a warm antidote to the often depressing news that dominates coverage of Africa in the West. Smith writes in a delightfully fluid and simple prose with pacing that makes the book quite difficult to put down. The series thankfully continues with Morality for Beautiful Girls and The Kalahari Typing School For Men, with further volumes to follow, one hopes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very enjoyable easy read. It brought back lots of memories of Botswana. I would recommend this book. I look forward to reading the next book.Published 1 month ago by F Chapman
I chose this book as I needed a book based on Africa for my Goodreads book challenge. It was 250 odd pages long and, I thought, as it was a series of books I may read the others in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Craig
Slow book without much structure or strong storyline that runs through it. Essentially just a random collection of incidents/cases.Published 1 month ago by IanF