The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

by Alexander McCall Smith


Smith, A. M. (2005). The no. 1 ladies’ detective agency. New York: Pantheon.

This is Smith’s first in the series by the same title. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency takes place in Botswana and features the excellent Mma Precious Ramotswe. She inherits money from the sale of her father’s cattle when he is dying and he encourages her to open a business for herself. He was thinking more along the lines of a butchers or bottle store, but Mma Ramotswe opens up the first detective agency run by a woman in Botswana. She is quite successful since she uses her natural intelligence and understanding of how people work to solve the cases brought to her.

She uncovers a long lost daddy who is not really the daddy, confirms the reason for the disappearance of a husband, returns a stolen car, finds a lost boy, and solves many other cases in this first book. We also get a bit of background on Mma Ramotswe’s life and her own family.

I actually read Tea Time for the Traditionally Built first and then went back to read this book. This series is wonderful because you can read the books out of order and still enjoy them and not feel you are missing lots of important information. Again, this is a wonderful series that is perfect for summer reading.