The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is the first in a series of books, published in 1998 about a young woman Mma Precious Ramotswe* who after the death of her father and abusive marriage, decides to set up shop as Botswana’s one and only lady detective, much to her father’s disapproval. Along the way, she is presented with many a mystery that she is determined to solve. Armed with her faithful assistant and little white van, this unafraid, candidly spoken lady aims to be the best lady detective in the country.

McCall Smith has a writing style that is simple and engaging. I loved the ease with which he described looking out into the fields of cattle and the Kalahari, effortless and unexacting. His writing evokes the kind of simplicity that lacks the ornament of verbose narration. Rather it seems virtuous, almost proverbial, as though each case was like a fable that conveyed a moral at the end such as; Don’t Cheat, Be Honest. It was this somewhat fable-like tone of the story, told in a mostly expository manner, that at times made it feel a bit mechanical and dull…

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