I've just finished the (so far) last book in this, hopefully never-ending, series of books about The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. (The others being Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, The Full Cupboard of Life and In the Company of Cheerful Ladies - as you may know! Apparently there's even a Blue Shoes and Happiness that I've yet to find & read.
Possibly, this is not Nobel prize literature. Possibly. But it's compelling reading - to me at least! - and I never knew earlier that I was so interested to know about life in Botswana...
Now, isn't that a feat too, worthy of note? Making me toss my old Earl Grey out the window and buy bush tea instead? Google-earthing through Botswana, the Kalahari etc. to refresh my school-girl learning about the area? I think it's definitely worth mentioning. And we haven't really decided how to define excellent writing yet either, have we..?
The New York Times writes:
"The Miss Marple of Botswana."
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.
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency received two Booker Judges' Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.
Get hold of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency here