The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is an engaging book, full of earthy wisdom and charming observations on life. Told mostly from the point of view of Mma Ramotswe, the only lady detective in all of Botswana, this book is a collection of several small mysteries and one larger one that runs through the others now and again. I found this to be a quick read, though not a particularly absorbing one.
My favorite aspect of this book was the look it gave me at life in modern Botswana, as well as other parts of Africa. Mma Ramotswe had a likeable voice, and the writing was never dull. But as a mystery book, it wasn't terribly exciting. So if you're looking for a thrilling mystery, this might not be for you. But if you want some lighter mysteries, this would probably please you. I thought it was a good summer read.
(Originally posted on The Huggermugger Blog on Aug. 11, 2009.)