The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Miss Ramotswe takes her inheritance from her father and opens up The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana. With the help from her friends, a mechanic, a secretarty, and other eccentric townspeople, Mma Ramotswe investigates the disappearance of a husband, the mystery of a doctor who only knows what he's doing half the time, and the kidnapping of a young boy. She has ingenious mystery solving skills, including tricking a man into revealing he is not the father of the young woman he's moved in with, to the uncovering of forged medical documents in the case of a man suing his employer for disability. But the secondary focus of the novel, the history of Botswana and it's people, can not be understated.
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The review of this Book prepared by Rebecca Reissman

Precious Ramotswe experiences a disastrous marriage to a musician; the couple have a child which dies shortly after being born, and she returns to the village where she was born. Her father dies of a disease caused by his work in the South African diamond mines, and he leaves his daughter a valuable herd of cattle. Precious uses the proceeds from the sale of the herd to set up a detective agency. Although things are hard at first, she proceeds to serve a number of cases, including the disappearance of a small boy. Although the book deals with the work of detection, it has none of the hallmarks of a conventional thriller, being rather a character study of a person who simply happens to be a detective.
The review of this Book prepared by Stephen Coombs

Chapter Analysis of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Life of a profession:    -   detective Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Black (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Alexander McCall Smith Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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