"No.1 Ladies Detective Agency"

No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

I think I have stumbled onto a treasure trove with this book. It was sheer pleasure reading it and I have since discovered it is just the first book in a series and that the authour has also published at least two other series that sound every bit as appealing. I love it when that happens.

Precious Ramotswe is the main character in this series. A not young, "well-rounded" woman living in Botswana, she sets up her detective agency when her father dies and leaves her with some money to give her a start in life.. She has no training or experience but she does have confidence that she can do this. She finds an office, hires someone to answer the phone and starts being a detective.

Her cases include ordinary people with ordinary problems and some not so ordinary people with not so ordinary problems. Every one of them she tackles with the same common sense, no-nonsense approach that makes her so very....well, interesting. She's unlike any character I've met in other books. She's a breath of fresh air.

And yet, this is not exactly like all the other "cozy mysteries" out there. Some of her clients are dealing with realistic circumstances that are tragic and for which there will be no happy ending. What I love about this book is that there is no melodrama; the serious cases and the minor cases all receive the same treatment, the same commitment to solving, the same honest care.  

I have never been a fan of mysteries but I plan on reading this entire series, not so much for the stories as for the writing and the characters. These books will fit into my "comfort reads" category, the kind of book that's perfect to pick up when my reading has been too heavy for too long. If you haven't read this yet, and I suspect I may be the only one who hadn't, I highly recommend you give this series a try. It really is a treat. 


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