Alexander McCall Smith: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

9780349116754The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is a series of novels by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. The agency is located in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. Its founder is a Motswana woman, Mma Precious Ramotswe, who features as the stories’ protagonist and main detective. The episodic novels are as much about the adventures and foibles of different characters as they are about solving mysteries. The series belongs to the subgenre of anthropological detective fiction, in which the culture of its characters plays a major role in the story. Compare with the Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series of Tony Hillerman, the Dave Robicheaux series of James Lee Burke, or the Harry Hole series of Jo Nesbø. Mma Ramotswe, however, departs from both the cerebral British and the hard-boiled American traditions of private detectives. She always has multiple small cases to pursue, with only a few involving crime and even fewer involving violence. This deemphasizes sensationalism and focuses on detective fiction being morality tales. Each book in the series follows on from the previous book. They have been adapted for radio, television, and internet.

(source: Wikipedia)

18 responses

  1. Just relax, open your mind and read it slowly. In minutes you will be smiling and enjoying her attitude in front of life and its surroundings.

  2. Yep ! Radio and TV adaptation are to be ignored. The lost the soul of the charming words of Mma Ramotswe (always IMHO)

  3. We don’t forget, thought Mma Ramotswe.
    Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees,
    thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places,
    of little things that happened to us and which come back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.

    1. Hi i have just start reading and it is catching me.we will see during the whole book. Kind regards joana

  4. No em digueu que no es deliciós :

    Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of Kgale Hill. These were its assets: a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone, and an old typewriter. Then there was a teapot, in which Mma Ramotswe—the only lady private detective in Botswana—brewed redbush tea. And three mugs—one for herself, one for her secretary, and one for the client. What else does a detective agency really need? Detective agencies rely on human intuition and intelligence, both of which Mma Ramotswe had in abundance. No inventory would ever include those, of course.

    But there was also the view, which again could appear on no inventory. How could any such list describe what one saw when one looked out from Mma Ramotswe’s door? To the front, an acacia tree, the thorn tree which dots the wide edges of the Kalahari; the great white thorns, a warning; the olive-grey leaves, by contrast, so delicate. In its branches, in the late afternoon, or in the cool of the early morning, one might see a Go-Away Bird, or hear it, rather. And beyond the acacia, over the dusty road, the roofs of the town under a cover of trees and scrub bush; on the horizon, in a blue shimmer of heat, the hills, like improbable, overgrown termite mounds.

    … a la primera pàgina !!!

  5. A la segona pàgina, una altra perla :

    She was a good detective, and a good woman. A good woman in a good country, one might say. She loved her country, Botswana, which is a place of peace, and she loved Africa, for all its trials. I am not ashamed to be called an African patriot, said Mma Ramotswe. I love all the people whom God made, but I especially know how to love the people who live in this place. They are my people, my brothers and sisters. It is my duty to help them to solve the mysteries in their lives. That is what I am called to do.

  6. un pensament bàsic:
    Everything, thought Mma Ramotswe, has been something before.

  7. una mica de ironia, a la vegada que tendre :

    But he died before he could say anything more, and Mma Ramotswe fell on his chest and wept for all the dignity, love and suffering that died with him.

  8. Saviesa popular en te molta:

    Everything you wanted to know about a person was written in the face, she believed. It’s not that she believed that the shape of the head was what counted—even if there were many who still clung to that belief; it was more a question of taking care to scrutinise the lines and the general look. And the eyes, of course; they were very important. The eyes allowed you to see right into a person, to penetrate their very essence, and that was why people with something to hide wore sunglasses indoors. They were the ones you had to watch very carefully.

  9. Ella es constructiva :

    Maybe if you started doing something instead of just sitting in a chair you might like it a bit more. There are lots of melons to grow down there.

  10. Un glopet de mel:

    We don’t forget, thought Mma Ramotswe. Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as the sky may sometimes be full of swarming bees, thousands and thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which come back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are. And who am I?

  11. Un pensament deliciós sobre que hi després de la mort :

    Some people cannot bear news like that. They think they must live forever, and they cry and wail when they realise that their time is coming. I do not feel that, and I did not weep at that news which the doctor gave me. The only thing that makes me sad is that I shall be leaving Africa when I die. I love Africa, which is my mother and my father. When I am dead, I shall miss the smell of Africa, because they say that where you go, wherever that may be, there is no smell and no taste.

  12. I sobre el destí i el futur :

    Every man has a map in his heart of his own country and that the heart will never allow you to forget this map.

  13. Sobre deu i les religions :

    Some people think of God as a white man, which is an idea which the missionaries brought with them all those years ago and which seems to have stuck in people’s mind.
    I do not think this is so, because there is no difference between white men and black men; we are all the same; we are just people.
    And God was here anyway, before the missionaries came. We called him by a different name, then, and he did not live over at the Jews’ place;
    he lived here in Africa, in the rocks, in the sky, in places where we knew he liked to be.
    When you died, you went somewhere else, and God would have been there too, but you would not be able to get specially close to him. Why should he want that?

  14. I sobre els polítics:

    That is the problem with governments these days. They want to do things all the time; they are always very busy thinking of what things they can do next. That is not what people want. People want to be left alone to look after their cattle.

  15. I sobre els idiomes:

    They taught us Funagalo, which is the language used for giving orders underground. It is a strange language. It is a language which is good for telling people what to do.
    There are many words for push, take, shove, carry, load, and no words for love, or happiness, or the sounds which birds make in the morning.

  16. Maybe you did not find what “bush tea” is ….

  17. Hi all,

    Finally we have a very entertaining and easy book to read. I have read just half of the book and the sentence that made me think how different live in Africa is, is:

    “These are the rules for being good,” she intoned. “A boy must always rise early and say his prayers. Then he must clean his shoes and help his mother to prepare the family’s breakfast, IF THEY HAVE BREAKFAST. Some people have no breakfast because they are poor.



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