The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency


Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Title: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Genre: Mystery, Best seller, Audio book

Publication Date: 1998

Pages: 226 p.

Geographic Setting: Botswana

Time Period: Present Day

Series: The No. Ladies Detective Agency Mysteries

Plot Summary: Precious Ramotswe (Mma Ramotswe) starts the only female detective agency in Botswana. At first, cases are not east to find, but business picks up when people start to learn about her. Mma Ramotswe investigates the exploits of a cheating husband, a mysterious doctor who is only smart sometimes, a politician involved in witchcraft, and the kidnapping of a small boy. Strong secondary characters like, lovelorn mechanic J.L.B. Matekoni round out the entertaining cast. Through humor and the folksy African setting this gentle mystery story will warm hearts.

Subject Headings:   Women Detectives – Botswana, Missing children, Shamans, Kidnapping, Physicians, Miners, Botswana, Africa, Cozy mystery stories

Appeal:   deliberate, easy, insightful, faithful, realistic, recognizable, series (characters), strong secondary (characters), insightful, vivid, domestic, episodic, folksy, inspirational, investigative, resolved ending, detailed setting, details of Botswana, intimate, comfortable, gentle, heartwarming, hopeful, optimistic, playful, concise, dialect, engaging, thoughtful, unpretentious, humorous

Similar Authors and works (fiction): The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (insightful, investigative, gentle); The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (heartwarming, humorous, engaging, optimistic); Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (humorous, investigative, vivid, episodic)

Similar Authors and works (non-fiction): Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (heartwarming, folksy, inspirational); Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson (inspirational, hopeful, heartwarming, engaging) Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide by Peter Allison (details of Botswana, humorous, vivid, playful)

Name: Michelle K

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