Oh, Andrew. Never think "This is will a fun, fast read". I started reading this and, like Northern Lights, I soon realised that there was a lot of things in here that I forgot. I mean, how old was I went I read this? Late teens? So, over ten years ago... Yeah... there is a lot I forgot.
The first in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, we follow Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's first - and finest - female private investigator. Following her starting up her business and investigating cases such as cheating husbands and wayward daughters. All the while, with warmth, humour and a gentle understanding of human nature.
Now, it's been so long since I read this that I am going to have to treat this like a review rather than a reread. This is a very different crime/thriller I am use to reading. I like pace, I like action, I like twists. This is a complete gear shift for me as this is a gentle crime. And Precious Ramotswe is probably the Queen of gentle crime within the past two decades.
There is a cosy, warm feel to this. Perfect reading for the cold months of January/February. It's a bit like Sunday evening TV. You can curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate, wearing your comfortable, happy clothes and feel happy. It's a feel-good factor to them, something I remember from when I read them YEARS AND YEARS ago. This carried over when the BBC/HBO turned a few of these into a TV series back in 2007/2008 (if I can, I will include a pic from the TV series somewhere in this post!)
Some crime readers might not like this series as the mysteries in this book and within the series aren't exactly thrilling or compelling. They're quite laid-back mysteries and some are quite easy to figure out. But this is more a look at life and human nature - something that applies to me. It's refresh for me to read something that isn't running at a hundred miles an hour. I can just relax and enjoy.
I might have to get my hands on the second book in the series, Tears of the Giraffe. But, at the same time that I requested No 1 Detective Agency, I requested another of Alexander McCall Smith's stories, The Sunday Philosophy Club (which I think I might have read but I can't remember if I have or not!), so this will be my next Alexander McCall Smith read.