Sunday, 20 November 2005

Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Alexander McCall Smith)

Now that all that excitment over the calendar has sort of died down, it's back to more mundane business this weekend.

I'm really on a reading streak these past month. This time, I managed to finish another book that's been sitting on my bookshelves screaming READ ME! READ ME! together with another hundred or so books - Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

And naturally, it's the subject of the Eyeris Hopefully-Weekly Book Review this time around!


Title:The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Author: Alexander McCall Smith

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.

What I Liked
  • Being set in Africa gives it a very down-to-earth feeling
  • Nice and charming feeling to the book
  • McCall Smith's writing is laid-back, and has a very er... 'rustic' feeling to it
  • Very charming little stories and cases
  • Very unlike usual 'mystery' and detective novels

What I Didn't Like
  • Those hoping for an Agatha Christie-like full-fledged murder mystery are going to be dissapointed. It's not that kinda book lar

What I think:
The only word I can think of to describe this book is 'charming'. It's a very charming little book that doesn't exactly GRAB HOLD of the reader and FORCES you to read it, but rather, it just gently hangs on to your arm and leads you down the road in a very laid-back and relaxing way. It doesn't FORCE you to read on, but jsut SUGGESTS to you that you MIGHT want to read on.

That's (in a way) how Precious Ramotswe goes about her 'detective' work as well. The cases aren't huge murder cases ala Agatha Christie, but they are down-to-earth, ordinary life case that have an African twist to them.

The closest feeling I can describe to the entire atmosphere of the book was that time when I was wandering around a little kampung in PAhang.

McCall Smith portrays a very rustic and kampung-like feel to Botswana, and pulls it off amiably. It's a charming little book that was a remarkably intriguing little read. I think I'll go get the other ones as well... :)

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