The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith
Advantages: unlimited by age or reading ability
Disadvantages: might be a bit 'too quirky' for some but is still highly amusing
Really?...Mma Ramotswe asks in the first pages of the book.. 'What else does a Detective Agency really need?' Redbush Tea? 3 mugs? Herself? A Secretary..?
and of course, a Client always helps..
We find out that her detective skills are somewhat 'questionable' when she ensnares a husband's entreaties by posing as the bait herself. We discover that without cattle you are deemed to be 'naked' and that her father's interest in them bequeaths her the funds to accommodate her dreams. We discover a lost boy, then a boy who wants to be lost by the name of Jack and a snake that finds its way into the tiny white van and scares Mma Ramotswe to near death. There are stories of black magic and boyfriend mechanics and a lost finger that has been claimed for a least twice!
These and more are just some of the delightful twists and turns in the first instalment of this wonderful saga. The books and the writing is completely different to that of what is currently considered to be the 'norm' in fictIonal drama. The writing is quirky to say the least, which has a charm and character that is hard to ignore, where I feel Alexander McCall Smith's personality shines through. It is almost as if one could place him into the persona of Mma Ramotswe and change his form to female, then he (as 'writer') would become the African Lady Detective himself!
I would encourage young and old alike to read this book as the appeal is far reaching and unlimited by age or reading ability.
Summary: 'What does a Detective Agency really need? - Mma Ramotswe tries to imagine..'3 mugs..a chair........