The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

date of publication:  1998
series ordinal:  1
original title:  The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
language:  English
followed by:  Tears of the Giraffe

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is the first detective novel in the eponymous series by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith, first published in 1998. The novel introduces the Motswana Mma Precious Ramotswe, who begins the first detective agency in Botswana, in the capital city Gaborone, after her beloved father dies. She hires a secretary and solves cases for her clients. Precious tells her own story, from birth, and her father tells his story. When her father dies, she moves from Mochudi to Gaborone, the capital city, to begin her detective agency. She solves three cases, and meets important new people, her secretary Grace Makutsi and good friend, the excellent mechanic, Mr JLB Matekoni. The novel was first published in Scotland, where it gained a following. After two more novels in the series were published, all three were published in the US to much acclaim; in 2002, for example, Publishers Weekly called it a "little gem of a book". The series did not catch on in England until the fifth novel in the series, evidence of a cultural difference between the two countries. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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