The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Book - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency received two Booker Judges’ Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.
“The Miss Marple of Botswana.” – The New York Times Book Review The introduction, discussion questions, suggested reading list, and author biography that follow are designed to enhance your group’s discussion of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency , the acclaimed novel that introduces Precious Ramotswe, one of the most unique and appealing characters in the entire mystery genre .

Baker & Taylor
Working in Gaborone, Botswana, Precious Ramotswe investigates several local mysteries, including a search for a missing boy and the case of the clinic doctor with different personalities for different days of the week.

Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2002, c1998
ISBN: 9781400034772
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY MCC
Characteristics: 235 p. ;,21 cm.


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Nov 02, 2017


Jul 13, 2017

Fiction can sometimes teach you more than nonfiction, and that was certainly the case here. I didn't know a whole lot about Botswana, and I learned a bit about their government and way of life. I also admired their views on wealth. It was refreshingly simple.

Jul 11, 2016

This series was recommended to me by a friend and has become one of my favorites. The movie is good too, and the actors are true to the book characters. I read this whole series before reading any of his others, and am glad I got used to his contemplative writing before starting the Isabel Dalhousie series. Still love this series most, and especially the romances and marriages. Great books!

Jun 02, 2016

A delightful window into what, for me in Canada, is a very different world. I am delighted to have made the protagonist's acquaintance, and to have followed along on a few of her adventures.

CMLibrary_gjd_0 Dec 17, 2015

I don't usually read "light and fluffies", but this was one title I could not resist. The country of Botswana is lovingly recreated by McCall-Smith and I enjoy visiting that side of the world. I love spending time with Precious, Grace and all the others that populate these novels. If you're looking for a good to great book, pick this one up!

gretchenmuz Sep 04, 2015

I really enjoyed this book. The first 1/4 of the book is serious and thoughtful and sometimes a bit sad. There were times when I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading the book because of this but I am very glad I did. Mma Ramotswe is such a delightful, smart and interesting character. I very much look forward to reading the 2nd book in the series.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

Enjoy a rare glimpse into the daily life of a contemporary African town in Botswana with this popular new mystery series. Mma. Ramotswe solves her clients' problems with a combination of common sense, humour, and wisdom. Charming, honest and life affirming, these little stories will leave you anxious for more.

mrsgail5756 Jan 01, 2014

A very good book. Not to be missed.

Aug 15, 2013

I listened to this book on audio tape, as well as the books in the rest of the series. They were all excellent.

glass_hurricane May 09, 2013

I tried this book because I'd heard great things about it and because it's set in Botswana - a country that doesn't generally get a lot of play in English-speaking literature. As a typical neurotic North American, I found the portrayal of the Motswana mindset with its lack of neurosis and obsessive self-analysis a welcome change of pace from my own day-to-day experience. Given that the series is written by a Scottish man it's entirely possible that this attitude is complete fiction - but what an appealing fiction! I'm not going to lie - if appropriation of voice is one of your pet peeves, you're going to hate this book. It's a quick read. The writing style is simple and straightforward while still maintaining a distinctive voice. Precious Ramotswe may be a young woman in modern day Botswana, but her relaxed attitude, cunning mind, and seen-it-all-before analysis of different personality types brings to mind the elderly Miss Marple of St. Mary Mead. It's no wonder that Agatha Christie is one of Mma Ramotswe's heroes. Recommended for a good summer read on one of the hottest days of the year (early to mid August would be good). If it's too hot to do anything but put your lawn chair in the shade and immerse yourself in a book, this would be that particular book.

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Aug 15, 2012

AislingN thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 10, 2011

nomi1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99


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