Thursday, 27 June 2013

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Review by The Mole

Mma Ramotswe has inherited some money from her father to set up her own business - a shop or something... but instead she chooses to set up the first detective agency in Botswana with a lady detective. With her little white van, office in town and her secretary the cases slowly start to trickle in.

This is hardly a new book, but has been republished under the banner of "A collection of 18 titles that celebrate Abacus's 40 year history of publishing influential, unique and trailblazing books that have shaped the reading landscape." and many of the titles involved are landmarks in UK fiction, as is this one.

I have come to this book knowing that Maryom loved it but I had never picked it up before. I was very surprised by what I found  too. Maryom reads a lot of crime; some very sinister and gory; some very clever; most with a level of whodunnit - but here I found what she described as "cosy crime" and it fits the description of the book "cosily". But what is not to be loved about it? Mma Ramotswe, her father, her little white van, J.L.B. Matekoni - there is nothing about this book that you won't fall in love with. And the writing... the author, when talking about Mma Ramotswe says something like (sorry I can't find the quote) 'she wasn't tall but she was blessed with a large girth' - how can you not love it?

Some of the cases she goes on I found myself solving before she left the office but that didn't bother me at all and in fact added to the enjoyment of the book - and that is a little unusual! If you want gore and tension then try the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency - you won't get it but you will feel a whole lot better after reading it!

I shall certainly be on the prowl for more from the detective agency in the future.

Abacus 40th Anniversary editions

Publisher - Abacus
Genre - Adult Crime

Buy The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency from Amazon

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