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

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
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's review
Jun 20, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: mystery-thriller
Read in June, 2011

I knew these books were popular, but I didn't know much about them before I picked this one up. It was not at all what I expected. Reading about a detective in Africa could be really interesting and different, but this wasn't. I don't really think this belongs in the mystery genre because the mystery part of it was pretty weak. The main character "solves" several small mysteries without any difficulty, suspense, or thrill whatsoever. We learn quite a bit about her life and her father's life, but yet I feel we never got deeply into her character. I think that's partly because of the way it was written. This is probably not what the author intended, but I felt like the way he wrote the characters' speech and thoughts gave the impression that the African people are not capable of complex thought. The author was probably trying to convey the culture, but he made the people seem simple, and not in a good way. I found it troubling. Most of the main character's opinions seem to be based on stereotypes, and I didn't end up liking her that much. I'm not quite sure why people like these so much. There's better stuff out there, especially about Africa.

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