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

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
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's review
Sep 11, 2007

liked it
Read in June, 2007

Christmas present from my sister Gem. She found it reminded her of her childhood in South Africa.

The book has charm, especially the main character, Precious Ramotswe. (When her much beloved father is on his deathbed, he summons her and says that he is leaving her money for her to start a business that will make her financially secure, such as a butchery or bottle store. She takes his hand and tells him she will open a detective agency. He looks startled, says "But... but..." and then falls back dead. Precious goes on to open her agency knowing she has his blessing.)

Precious can be good company but to be frank, I found that the book lived up to her name at times -- it's a bit precious. Her world is filled with good hearted buffoons and nasty villains, and Precious solves her cases with a combination of shrewdness and naivete that I could sometimes find wearing. And I found this story of funny, slightly dumb, people in Botswana written by a Scottish guy rather creepily colonial at times. I don't think its going to age well.
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