Title: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Genre: Mystery Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 14 and up
Summary: When Precious Ramotswe decides to use the money her beloved father left her to open the first ever Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana, everyone is skeptical. "Can women be detectives?" asks the bank's lawyer. Mma Ramotswe herself feels unsure of her success. After all, her only assets are a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone, an old typewriter, a teapot, and three teacups. But she does possess the intangible assets of intuition and intelligence. These she has in great supply, along with perseverance, a keen knowledge of the human mind and heart, a steadfast sense of right and wrong, and a personality that inspires trust and loquaciousness in nearly all who meet her. What she also has is a deep love for Africa generally and for Botswana and its people especially. "They are my people, my brothers and sisters. It is my duty to help them to solve the mysteries of their lives. That is what I am called to do".
My Review: This book is definitely a feel good book. It's light and comfortable, and very character driven if you ask me. I enjoyed learning some new stuff about Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, and the fierce pride the people of that country have. The mysteries were enjoyable they weren't heavy, and went along with the relaxed feel of the novel. Mma Ramotswe is a fantastic character, smart, and kind, yet she can be tough when needs be, but it is a subtle, she doesn't have to fight, or hold a gun to command authority. Her back story was interesting, at times very sad, but a great way to learn why a character is the way they are. I saw the TV show truthfully before I read the book so I was already familiar with the characters. I already had great love for Mma Ramotswe's suitor Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni and her secretary Mma Makutsi who I was sad did not come too much into this first novel. But all in all it was an enjoyable read, I great choice for brain candy.
Content: Some language, Sexual references.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5