"" Writer's Wanderings: Books for the Road--#1 Ladies Detective Agency

Monday, February 23, 2009

Books for the Road--#1 Ladies Detective Agency

To stretch my reading parameters and get me reading outside my usual niche, I try to keep up with the reading list that our library's book discussion group follows each year. Once in a while, I even have the opportunity to join in with the group discussion. These are savy readers and challenge me to want to write a book that would stimulate the kinds of comments that circulate during discussion. This past month, their selection was The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

The story takes place in Botswana and Smith paints wonderful pictures that help you imagine the African countryside and living conditions. Mma Ramotswe is left an inheritance by her father whose wish was that she use it to open a business. She chooses to start a dectective agency. Her training comes through a manual she reads but her cases are solved by her clever intuitiveness. A missing boy, a father worried about his daughter's boyfriend, and of course, the women worried their husbands are cheating are several of the cases she tackles with humor and unusual grace.

Mma Ramotswe is endearing. The story keeps you smiling and wondering what is around the corner--or rather who will walk in the agency's door and how she will cleverly solve the next case. And if you are truly taken with Smith's storytelling, there is a series you can continue and follow Mma Ramotswe through many more adventures.

A fun, easy read.

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