Book Ten: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith

At a neighborhood party a few weeks ago, my neighbor and I were having a drunken conversation about books, and when Alexander McCall Smith came up I started raving about the Sunday Philosophy Club series and she started raving about the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and neither of us had read the other. A week or so later, she showed up on our doorstep with the first few of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books for me to borrow, so I returned the favor and lent her the first couple of Sunday Philosophy Club books. Though I absolutely adore the Isabel Dalhousie novels, I've been hesitant to get into the Precious Ramotswe series because I wasn't sure if the setting really appealed to me. I mean, cold rainy Scotland is right up my alley, but hot arid Botswana kind of sounds like hell to me. But I was happy to discover that this book was super duper great and that I'm looking forward to reading the rest (discover--ha! as if I'm the first person ever to realize these are great books).

Also, I found it funny how similar the two protagonists are:

  • Both protagonists are women.
  • Both protagonists are women with an innate curiosities and penchants for detective work (though Precious is a detective by profession and Isabel is a sort-of-detective by hobby and, OK, so there's less detective stuff as the series goes on).
  • Both women love to drink tea.
  • Both women have maids who have been with them/their families for a while.
  • Both women seem to really love their countries and can't ever imagine living anywhere else.
  • Both women have a friend who acts as a sounding board and who may turn into a love interest later on...

Anyhow, Alexander McCall Smith had me with all the tea drinking. Seriously, I think someone is drinking bush tea on every other page. Now, that sounds like the good life to me.


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