Friday, April 9, 2010

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

This book caught my eye only because the cover was of Africa, then when I read what it was about, I thought, "I must read this!"

Alexander McCall Smith's novel follows the life of a native Botswana woman named Prescious Ramotswe, or Mma Ramotswe, after the death of her father who left a sizable inheritance for her. With this inheritance Mma Ramotswe decides to open a detective agency, and since everyone knows that the women of the village know every detail of the comings and goings of its citizens, she is sure of her success.

Smith writes an almost poetic, yet simple, story of Mma Ramotswe that endears her to the reader while solving many mysteries of the Southern African country from missing pets, to unfaithful husbands. One of her first cases is that of a missing boy, and the circumstances are less than optimistic, as everyone knows that the witch doctors of the bush use them for their high priced "cures". So Mma Ramotswe regretfully declines the case, as if fate is playing its hand, clues to the missing boy's fate surface while she is investigating another case.

I enjoyed reading about the culture, and people of Botswana, making my heart ache to return there. Instead of venturing across the ocean, I pulled out all my African goods, the journal I kept while there, and all my pictures. to take a mini vacation. So I am not sure if I liked the book just because I loved the country, or because the story was actually good... either way I was swept away to the African bush through the flipping of the pages.

Learned? Once Africa has become a part of you, it never leaves.

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