Monday, March 26, 2007

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This was a fun and entertaining book. Set in Botswana in Africa a woman becomes the only female detective in the country. It is funny and sobering and an all around enjoyable read. I will definitely be checking out the additional books in this series.

The Barnes & Noble Review The pantheon of brilliant detectives with great names -- Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, Sam Spade -- has a new member: Precious Ramotswe. As Botswana’s only female private investigator, Precious finds herself in some exotic situations -- flirting with wayward husbands in the Go Go Handsome Man’s Bar one minute, confronting witch doctors about missing boys the next. But cases and solutions here are only half the fun. Author Alexander McCall Smith, the leading authority on Botswana’s constitutional law, writes with such beautiful simplicity, he may actually give lawyers a good name. His slice of Africa is vividly rendered with an appropriately dry wit and an almost Dickensian array of characters, from the upstanding mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni to Precious’s humble assistant, Mna Makutsi, to an assortment of cocky con men and frauds. Precious, meanwhile, is one of the most original private detectives ever put to page: a bright, fallible woman who gets duped romantically and on the job but bursts with compassion for everything in her path -- especially Africa. Fans of transportive, literary mysteries have a reason to ululate. Loudly. review by Seth Kaufman

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