Lynetta's Reviews > The Great Cake Mystery

The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
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U 50x66
's review
Aug 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children

Precious Ramotswe of Gaborone, Botswana, is a fabulous character in Alexander McCall Smith's series, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." These cozy (not violent) mysteries have her solving all sorts of crimes in a gentle fashion as opposed to the murders most U.S. mysteries have as a focus.

This work is subtitled "Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case." It introduces her through a story her father tells about a lion being in their village. Sweets are being stolen from the bags in the hallway. A "traditionally built male" (my phrase because Precious states she is a "traditionally built female") is accused simply because he is heavy. She stands by him and demands evidence, sees the culprits and figures out how to prove his innocence.

McCall Smith says he has written this work because a lot of youngsters read the series and this work is to serve as an introduction. There are many illustrations, pronounciation help, a readers guide, and "Precious's Sponge Cake Worth Stealing" recipe in this 82 page large-print book. There are big words in sentences like, "(H)er heart soared as she moved effortlessly through the canopy of leaves" which might help establish grade level. Good readers will enjoy it. In the series, though, she admits to having been married to a cad who hit her when she was pregnant and killed the baby so there are some adult scenes.

A television show was developed from the books and lasted only one season. They, too, are suitable for viewing for the more mature youngster.

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