The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
It's terrific of course or I wouldn't be blogging about it! I heard about it years ago, when it first came out in 1998. But it's about a black woman who is a detective in Botswana. I'm a white girl in rural mid-America. I just didn't see that I would enjoy it that much. Not that I don't enjoy reading about new places. Not that I don't like to travel the world via the power of words. It's just that I thought I wouldn't be able to identify with a detective named Precious! But my sister gave it to me and I usually like whatever she likes so I decided to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did!
Precious Ramotswe's Daddy worked for many years in the mines of South Africa. He sent money home to Precious' mother to buy cattle, a few at a time. He came home once a year to check his holdings. He would sell off most of the calves but kept the best ones, until he had built up a large, fine herd. (Well, there you go--I'm a rancher's daughter!) All those years of working in the dusty mines ruined his lungs and eventually he dies of a lung disease. Precious is an only child and when her Daddy leaves her all his cattle, she becomes a relatively wealthy woman. On his deathbed, he tells her to sell the cattle and buy a business. Precious decides to set up a detective agency and says "It will be the best one in Botswana. The No. 1 Agency."
Business starts off slowly but gradually picks up when Precious manages to snare a few wealthy clients and she is set! Precious reveals cheating husbands, returns stolen cars, follows wayward daughters and even finds a missing husband in the belly of a crocodile. The ongoing thread throughout the book is the search for a boy who might have been snatched by a witch doctor.
So check out Precious and her No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. You'll love it. I promise!
Now I've got to go check out the public library and find the others in the series!