Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Reads: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

I discovered Alexander McCall Smith's novels years and years and years ago, and I still periodically check the shelves for any new ones he may have written.  This was the first one I read, which is why I chose it over some of the others ones I like just as well.  I can't remember how I found it, other than I was at the library at the time.  I was probably browsing the shelves for a good mystery, and it had the phrase "Detective Agency" right there in the title.

But I quickly found out this wasn't your normal detective novel.

It was better.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith

For: Adults

Genre: Mystery, Detective Fiction

Published: 1998

Description: 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.

Why I Liked It: I was sucked into the culture of Botswana from the first page.  I loved how the book's slower paced mirrored the slower pace of life in Gaborone.  And I also loved that a mystery could be so slow and still be thoroughly enjoyable.  I loved sharing every single moment with Mme Ramoswe and the people around her.

Do you know of any other slower-paced (but in a good way) detective mysteries?  If you do, let me know in the comments below.

And happy weekend reading!


  1. Try the Mix-Up series by Margaret Grace. I love these 'cozies' where the puzzle and characters are paramount and you get to hang out with them as they have splendid meals... Lots of Ice-cream in hers.

  2. I've never heard of these, but I am going to have to try them. The sound wonderful! Thanks for the recs, Mirka!