Book Review: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Alexander McCall Smith has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I’ve already written about 44 Scotland Street and Corduroy Mansions. However, his most well-known and popular series is The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. It has even been turned into an HBO TV series (which I have not seen).
This book introduces Precious Ramotswe, who at the beginning of the story has just gained an inheritance from her father and plans to set up the first ladies’ private detective agency in her native Botswana. Precious is a smart, independent, enterprising, and kind woman. She finds success mostly due to a combination of keen observation of detail, acute knowledge of and care for people, and sheer determination and will. She inevitably has a calming cup of red bush tea on hand to share with clients and friends alike.
I found the book to start out a little slow and it took me awhile to form an attachment to Mma. Ramotswe. Smith’s writing is as good as ever, but I just didn’t jive with the characters as quickly as his other books. However, by the end of the book, I found myself growing found of this plump motswana woman with the little white van. It’s also interesting to learn about the country and culture of Botswana.
Like his other books, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is a light read and a refreshing breath of air. When you’ve had a hard day, it’s nice to pick up something as pleasant as an Alexander McCall Smith novel for some well-written escapism. Really, I’d give this 3.5 stars, and I plan to continue reading the series.