The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

An orange and black floral border frames a photograph of a thatched African cottage on dry scrubby ground. The title and author appears against the pale blue sky. A scroll at the bottom announces that is an international best-selling series.

Review by Cherise T.

Ready to jump into a new series and listen on digital audio without a waitlist? Explore Howard County Library System’s Always Available Audiobooks by RBdigital and get started with Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. This series is so beloved that HBO produced a limited series and McCall Smith will release the 21st book in the series this coming October. The first 19 books in the series are available on audio with no holds.

Botswana is never more beautiful and filled with mysteries than when viewed through the eyes of Precious Ramotswe. Always ready to chat, commiserate, and give advice, Mma Ramotswe knows she is the perfect woman to open a detective agency. With cases ranging from a child who may have been abducted by a witch doctor to a possible philandering husband, the mysteries are always engaging. The stories are gentle with limited menace.

As I read this first book in the series, I knew that I would always be ready to settle into a cup of bush tea and a search for answers. Precious is a fearless, “traditionally built” woman who is empathetic, willing to see the best in people, but never gullible. She’s a great judge of character, as we learn right away when she hires Grace Makutsi as her assistant. They are a formidable team whose relationship and banter never cease to entertain us. I also enjoy rooting for Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the owner of the Speedy Motors mechanic shop, whose heart clearly melts every time he sees Precious. Thankfully, Precious drives a little white van that is often in need of repairs.

Please know that it’s easy to get set up with RBdigital on your device. We even have an online tutorial. You will have three weeks to listen to your book and may borrow up to six titles per month. I’ll bet you’ll soon be ready for book two, Tears of the Giraffe.

Cherise is an Adult Instructor and Research Specialist at HCLS Central Branch. When not immersed in literary fiction, Cherise can be found singing along to musical theater soundtracks.

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