The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

This book has been pretty well reviewed and I think has won, or at least been shortlisted, for various prizes. It tells the story of Precious Ramotswe, a woman living in Botswana, who uses the money left to her by her father to set up a detective agency, and goes about solving various problems brought to her by local people.

There are several short stories linked together, but none is really a detective story, I suppose the book is more painting a picture of what life is like, and so we get a fair amount of back-story of Ramotswe's life and her first, unhappy marriage.

While it was a pleasant enough read, I didn't really warm to the style of writing, which seemed to me to be a bit patronising to Precious and her countrymen - you get the impression that they're all a bit simple, and we are being invited to smile indulgently at their naivete and innocence.

OK I suppose, but I'm not really sure what the fuss is about

Completed : 16-Nov-2003

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