VoyForums

Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 1[2] ]


[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Date Posted: 17:24:01 08/28/04 Sat
Author: Syl
Subject: The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency


This one was sent in by Margy. Thanks, Margy!


TITLE: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

AUTHOR: Alexander McCall Smith

GENRE: Who-dun-it

This book is a joy to read. The central character is Precious Ramotswe, who decides to invest her inheritance in becoming the first female detective in Botswana. After all, its always the women who sort out lifes little problems, and so she decided to become the Miss Marple of Gaborone.

The book begins with her first case, in which a woman approaches her to verify that the missing father who has come into her life really is her Daddy. Mma Ramotswe, as she is called by most people, a title of respect, successfully solves this mystery in a most unconventional way. Dressed as a nurse, she drives her little white van to the house where the Daddy is sitting idling his time away on the veranda. She explains to him that his daughter is seriously ill after a car accident and he must come and give half his blood to save her life. Of course he may die, but its his daughter, so what else can he do? Suddenly the Daddy is not the Daddy any more, a simple mistake he says. Mma Ramotswe gives him 5 minutes to pack his belongings and takes him to the bus station.

We find out during the book about the life Mma Ramotswe had growing up, her marriage and early working life, and how she decides to become the first lady detective. All is told with a light touch, so that even the sections of the story which are sad or serious do not weigh heavily on the reader.

Meanwhile, the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency becomes a busy place, with cases of wayward daughters, missing husbands, philandering partners. Precious Ramotswe solves the mysteries with warmth, wit and intuition, and she needs them when a case of a missing child takes her and her best friend, Mr J L B Matekoni, into dangerous territory.

Although the book is funny, it does not skirt around serious issues. We are taken into a very different world here, and subjects such as witchcraft and modern American ideas conflicting with traditional African values are dealt with in a deft way, without slowing the pace of the book at all.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency has received two Booker Judge's Special Recommendations.
Gerald Kaufmann, the chairman of the 1999 Booker Prize Jury stated, "Indeed, the effort involved [in reading [the Booker list] would have been justified by just one of them, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith"

And Sheena Mackay, Booker Prize Jury 1999 said, "I enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, set in Africa with an engaging heroine who can give Miss Marple a run for her money."
There are many other endorsements for this book, but I say, just go and get it and read it yourself. Its fun.

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]


Replies:

[> Great book! We read it for my book club and everyone loved it. Some of the other women have read the next 4-5? in the series. They are on my TBR list....haven't yet made it to my TBR pile.... -- FloraMac, 17:54:52 08/28/04 Sat


[ Edit | View ]






[> I think that the most poignant thing about The #1 Ladies Detective Agency was learning about Precious' Daddy, I think, as learning about him enabled the reader to learn why Precious is as she is. What I like too is that she solves her cases with simple common sense, no complicated plotting or hijinks. Thanks for the review Margy! This book needs to be shouted far and wide. -- beccabee, 20:06:13 08/28/04 Sat


[ Edit | View ]






[> This sounds so wonderful I just went and reserved it - hope it gets here soon. :D -- Judie, 20:08:48 08/28/04 Sat


[ Edit | View ]






[> I have read the first two in this series, and have the next three here to read eventually!! I think no. 6 just came out in the UK as well. Really entertaining! -- Marg B, 22:54:26 08/28/04 Sat


[ Edit | View ]



[> [> The books in order are: #1 Ladies Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, Kalahari Typing School For Men, The Full Cupboard of Life, and coming on September 28 here in the United States a spinoff from the series, The Sunday Philosophy Club. -- beccabee, 15:22:17 08/29/04 Sun


[ Edit | View ]

[> [> [> No. 6 is In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, and is available in the UK and Australia in hardback I believe. The Sunday Philosophy Club is not so much a spin off as the start of a new series by the same author. -- Marg B, 14:24:29 08/30/04 Mon


[ Edit | View ]




[> Thanks for posting this Syl, I just read books 3 and 4 while on my hols, and they still have the same light touch. -- Margy, 08:40:11 08/29/04 Sun


[ Edit | View ]






[> Just wanted to say to any UK fans of this book that there will be a radio 4 play of it coming soon. Looks good, although I havent actually read the books myself *g* -- Beth R, 12:06:34 08/29/04 Sun


[ Edit | View ]



[> [> Oooh, thanks Beth, if you hear when that is, could you let me know please? There is also a tv series due to be filmed, according to the blurb in the front of the books. -- Margy, 15:17:25 08/29/04 Sun


[ Edit | View ]




[> Great series of books. Though the simple story of a woman in love with her life and her interaction with those around her, we get a deep insight into the world. The world within ourselves, our community, in Africa, and beyond. -- GinnyJ, 21:41:50 08/29/04 Sun


[ Edit | View ]






[> Thanks, Margy - very nice review! I've heard a lot of good things about these books and have been wanting to read them. I'll move them to the top of my list. -- GinC, 06:02:43 08/30/04 Mon


[ Edit | View ]






[> I enjoyed these books. The style of detecting is actually very different from Miss Marple... -- MacPudel, 18:40:47 08/31/04 Tue

at once gentler and yet more commercial. Ms Ramotswe has to keep her customers happy. The other thing I found touching was her love of Botswana. It was a very different kind of patriotism than I am familiar with. I've read all the books except the newest - waiting for it to become less "hot" at the library.


[ Edit | View ]



[> [> I know what you mean about her love of Botswana. I've never been interested in travel to Africa, but after reading these both my DH and I have said we'd like to go to Botswana one day. -- Margy, 00:34:55 09/01/04 Wed


[ Edit | View ]




[> Just found out yesterday that the 6th Precious Ramotswe book is coming out in April of '05, "In the Company of Cheerful Ladies." -- beccabee, 09:49:50 09/04/04 Sat


[ Edit | View ]



[> [> Wow, that's a long delay to the US. It is out in the UK and here in Australia in hardback already. -- Marg B, 16:56:52 09/04/04 Sat


[ Edit | View ]

[> [> [> I think that on the whole, the UK and Australia are much more keen on reading, so I am never surprised that they get the goodies first. -- beccabee, 21:29:25 09/06/04 Mon


[ Edit | View ]




[> Just about finished this book - and it's lots of fun. I love Mma Ramotswe. I'll definitely read the rest of the series. Margy, your review is spot-on - thanks for picking this book! -- Judie, 01:22:08 10/03/04 Sun


[ Edit | View ]








[ Contact Forum Admin ]




Forum timezone: GMT-8
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.