The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Book 1

eBook - 2003
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Fans around the world adore the best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.

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 witchdoctors.
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.
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group


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Apr 27, 2021

This first entry into the long running series about the first detective agency run by a woman in Botswanna is, initially, an "origin" story.
We learn how our heroine, Precious Ramotswe, overcame a rough young adulthood, getting first into and then out of a bad marriage to a mean-spirited musician, and used her inheritance from her beloved father to purchase an office out of which, with no experience or training she opened her titular Detective Agency. After she opens the Detective Agency, we are treated to an episodic view of our heroine's early formative cases, many of which teach her, and us, life lessons about people in general and men in particular. It's beautifully written by Alexander McCall Smith, a Brit born in Zimbabwe (when it was still Rhodesia) and educated in Botswanna. He writes movingly about Mma Ramotswe and her early adventures, and I felt lucky to be along for the ride.

Jul 24, 2019

Am watching the series on HBO and it was so delightful I looked to see if there was a book at the library and thankfully there is a whole series! I just read this first one and it is as lovely as the series, the main character is thoughtful, kind, fair, smart and the other characters are interesting as well. I don't usually do fiction but am learning about life in Botswana and finding it very interesting, looking forward to the rest of the series.

Jul 16, 2019

I enjoyed this book but probably won't be reading anymore of the series. The narrative voice was interesting. The overarching story held was my attention however the individual cases got repetitive after a while and could have been reduced in number to keep the pace up.

The author is a British man from Zimbabwe and the story is from the perspective of a Batswana woman. This is just a fact, do with it what you will.

Kristen MERKE
May 14, 2019

This is a really cute and enjoyable story. I love how it's not just one big mystery, and we follow her through solving small stories. The descriptions of Botswana are rich; and the cultural aspect of this book is very engaging. This is a very light read, but sometimes that's exactly what you need.

bibliosara Aug 16, 2018

I have found myself a wonderful new series! Smith is a fantastic author. His characters seem to jump out of the book, and talk with you, rather than simply be described. This book, following the adventures of Botswana Private Detective Precious Romotswe. Mma Romatswe is a big-hearted woman that readers will feel an immediate and genuine connection with. Her strength and perseverance are charming, and her blunt honesty sometimes makes you laugh out loud. However, things aren't always fun and games in her quiet town. As she solves smaller cases, Mma Romatswe finds herself wrapped up in case with evil at its' very heart. A great introduction to the series! I cannot wait to read the next one!

Nov 02, 2017


Jul 13, 2017

Fiction can sometimes teach you more than nonfiction, and that was certainly the case here. I didn't know a whole lot about Botswana, and I learned a bit about their government and way of life. I also admired their views on wealth. It was refreshingly simple.

Jul 11, 2016

This series was recommended to me by a friend and has become one of my favorites. The movie is good too, and the actors are true to the book characters. I read this whole series before reading any of his others, and am glad I got used to his contemplative writing before starting the Isabel Dalhousie series. Still love this series most, and especially the romances and marriages. Great books!

Jun 02, 2016

A delightful window into what, for me in Canada, is a very different world. I am delighted to have made the protagonist's acquaintance, and to have followed along on a few of her adventures.

CMLibrary_gjd Dec 17, 2015

I don't usually read "light and fluffies", but this was one title I could not resist. The country of Botswana is lovingly recreated by McCall-Smith and I enjoy visiting that side of the world. I love spending time with Precious, Grace and all the others that populate these novels. If you're looking for a good to great book, pick this one up!

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Kristen MERKE
May 14, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Oct 23, 2018

Niclovesbooks thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Aug 15, 2012

AislingN thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Sep 10, 2011

nomi1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99


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