When Obed Ramotswe passed away, he left his daughter Precious many fine head of cattle. Mma Ramotswe sold the herd and bought a house and a business building. She purchased some basic office supplies, hired a secretary, and became the only female private detective in Botswana. She called her office The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and it became the subject for the debut for this wonderful series.
Alexander McCall Smith combines the enchantment of Africa with a clever heroine. Mma. Ramotswe uses unconventional means to solve her cases including mysteries involving a cheating spouse, an erratic doctor and a missing child.
Precious is an ample, jolly woman. Smith plants vivid images in readers’ minds of the detective zipping along the bumpy roads in her little white van. The countryside descriptions are glorious and the story is simply delightful.
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency was on United States bestseller lists for months after its 1998 stateside release. It’s definitely worth a look for readers who didn’t pick it up then. Fortunately, Smith has written several installments since the novel’s debut. Readers are guaranteed many more adventures and happy reading experiences with Mma. Precious Ramotswe.