This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives." Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witch doctors.
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency received two Booker Judges' Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.
My review: I've had this book for awhile in my mountainous TBR pile, but sadly unread. But after catching several episodes of the fantastic HBO series based on this popular series, I finally decided to give it a try. This book is a real winner! Written in a short series of chapter length "cases", in this first book we meet the effervescent Precious Ramotswe, a thirty something single lady-a voluptous "traditionally built" Botswanan whose love of mysteries is realized upon inheiritence of her fathers cattle. Mma Ramotswe sells the cattle and opens up the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency.
The book draws the reader into Precious's life, her dreams, her past heataches and her future aspirations. The mysteries are mainly fun, very clever and witty. All in all, the stories make the reader want to revisit Precious and her friends again and again.
BTW-I also heartily recommend the series, now on DVD. Lovely Jill Scott, already an extremely talented R and B singer, IS Precious Ramotswe!