Wednesday, January 7, 2015

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Book Series - No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
Number of books (as of January 2015) - 15
Author - Alexander McCall Smith
My Rating - 4 Stars

When I first heard of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, I was a little wary. The series was immensely popular and everyone who read it couldn't stop raving about it. I was looking for books set in Botswana for my Armchair Traveling Project and I needed a book that would be authentically Botswana and books written by a professor from Edinburgh didn't seem to be "authentic" enough. I couldn't have been more wrong. I am going to have to go along with all those other raving reviews and say that I am absolutely in love with this series!

The premise of the books is very simple. Armed with nothing but an inheritance from her dad, a book on private detection by Clovis Andersen, a keen sense of observation and a love for Botswana and it's people, Mma Precious Ramotswe decides to start her own detective agency - the first detective agency to be run by a woman in Botswana.

Through the lives of Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi, and through the various cases they solve/resolve, we come to experience Botswana. The rich cultures and traditions of the country as well as the routines and habits of its people are beautifully weaved into the story line and transport us effortlessly to this beautiful country in southern Africa. I was amazed to see the author tackle complex themes like feminism, modernization, traditional belief systems etc effortlessly through various "cases" along the books.

The books are short, quick reads but I have to warn you, you definitely cannot stop with just one. There are 15 books in the series to date and after having read them all one after another, I can totally vouch for every single one of them.

If you are looking for a light, quick read that immerses you in the culture of Botswana, this series is definitely for you!