The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency-Book Review

Published: Tuesday, 06 October 2009 Written by Amala L.J. Sorhaindo

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith

Review by: Amala Sorahindo


The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is an enjoyable novel that takes you into the daily life of the people of Botswana. This novel is about a woman called Precious or Mma Ramotswe who decides to become a private detective. For a woman to become a detective, is shocking to most people, but despite this, and a large mistake made in her past that had the potential to tear her down, Mma Ramotswe forges ahead and finds herself in the midst of a whirlwind of cases including missing people, business fraud or just even keeping some not so honest people in check.

Mma Ramotswe is a very strong refreshing 'traditionally built' character. She has a sharp eye, good intuition and notices things that most other people would over look. She can also hold her own ground and has a sharp wit that helps to make this novel even more enjoyable. I think that most women readers would be able to relate to her and find her a good role model because of her strong personality, and intelligence, while male readers would find her humourous and refreshing and may even be amazed by her character.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is a very good book for readers of most ages. It has enough drama, suspense, mystery and humour to keep most readers attached to every word. It is a bit slow paced, like life in Botswana, and has minimum action through out most of the book; regular thriller fanatics will find this novel a bit daunting, but it makes up for this by having prominent, easily relatable characters that can fit ever so normally into a person's everyday life. All of Mma Ramotswe's cases make sense and none are too far-fetched, like her searching for a bag of missing diamonds or a criminal mastermind. They are just as exciting, though readers will find themselves trying to solve alongside Mma Ramotswe and flowing with satisfaction and excitement when she solves them. The parts in between the cases are not as interesting and can be tiresome but subtle humour is introduced here as well as the drama of everyday life.

This book can be recommended to anybody. All that can be said is move over Sherlock Holmes and make space for another great detective to be added into the hall of fame, and this time she's African and a woman!

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