The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Anchor; Mti edition
Rating: 4.5
Maricia D. C. Johns

While reading The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, I felt as if I had gone on a trip to Botswana without leaving my chair. This book is a simple, elegant, mystery read.

The main character is Precious Ramotswe, a thirty-five year old woman who with inheritance money from her father decides to open a detective agency. She becomes the first and only woman to operate a detective agency in Botswana--thus the title.

According to the author, Alexander McCall Smith, Precious Ramotswe is a traditional built African woman. Mr. McCall is telling the reader that in Africa they like their women with a little meat on their bones. There is a difference in the way that Precious is perceived by the men and women in the chapters. Women consider her to be “fat”, while men consider her to be FAT (fabulous and thick). This does not seem to hinder Precious as she takes on her cases.

Precious has endured the illness and eventual death of her father, an abusive marriage and the lost of her only child. These events have shaped her into believing that she can do all things with God’s help.

Along with her secretary slash office manger Mma. Makustsi, she takes on several cases in one book. Even though you might figure out the outcome of the case mid way through, the story will keep you reading.

This pleasingly plump detective will keep the pages turning as you enjoy your trip to Botswana. This is the first in a series, and also the source for the HBO series by the same name. You will see Jill Scott in Precious Ramotswe. I look forward to continuing my journey with the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.