Isis's Reviews > The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
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's review
Jul 21, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: audiobook
Read in August, 2008

This is closer to Garrison Keillor or Tom Bodett than Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie; there are no big mysteries or thrilling adventures, just fairly obvious tales of ordinary people in one corner of Botswana. I don't think a single story (and I think it's best considered a series of loosely-related stories, rather than a novel) ended in any way other than as I expected. (Except maybe the husband who disappeared during his baptism.) But I enjoyed it for its exoticness (because ordinary people in Botswana are unusual to me, here, in Colorado) and for its gentle illumination of those characteristics universal to all people everywhere. I especially liked the political and cultural tangents, and wish there had been more of them.

I should add that a big part of my enjoyment came from the audiobook narration by Lisette Lecat, a South African whose accents for each character (as well as her narrative accent) are wonderful. Just thinking about the way she says "Mma Ramotswe" - the drawn-out "M", the trilled "R" - makes me shiver with delight.

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