The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1)
Alexander McCall Smith
THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY - Book 1
Fans around the world adore the best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe—with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi—navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea.
This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency received two Booker Judges’ Special Recommendations and was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by the Times Literary Supplement.
before him, in the old way, and clap her hands. Then they would eat together, sitting in the shade of the lean-to verandah which he had erected to the side of the house. She would tell him about the week’s activity in the bus office and he would take in every detail, asking for names, which he would link into elaborate genealogies. Everybody was related in some way; there was nobody who could not be fitted into the far-flung corners of family. It was the same with cattle. Cattle had their
Nandira, who was sixteen at the time and a pupil at Maru-a-Pula School in Gaborone, the best and most expensive school in the country. She was bright academically, was consistently given glowing reports from the school, and was expected to make a good marriage in the fullness of time—probably on her twentieth birthday, which Mr Patel had felt was precisely the right time for a girl to marry. The entire family, including the sons-in-law, the grandparents, and several distant cousins, lived in the
the Diamond Sorting Building where Kremlin Busang worked. She had been given a photograph of him by Alice Busang and she glanced at this on her knee; this was a handsome man, with broad shoulders and a wide smile. He was a ladies’ man by the look of him, and she wondered why Alice Busang had married him if she wanted a faithful husband. Hopefulness, of course; a naïve hope that he would be unlike other men. Well, you only had to look at him to realise that this would not be so. She followed him,
by the sun. They both spoke Setswana, which was unusual, but they taught us in English, insisting, on the pain of a thrashing, that we left our own language outside in the playground. On the other side of the road was the beginning of the plain that stretched out into the Kalahari. It was featureless land, cluttered with low thorn trees, on the branches of which there perched the hornbills and the fluttering molopes, with their long, trailing tail feathers. It was a world that seemed to have no
of the town. But this was rather unlikely, as there was not much on the other side of Lobatse—or not much to interest somebody like Dr Komoti. The only other thing, then, was the border, some miles down the road. Yes! Dr Komoti was going over the border, she was sure of it. He was going to Mafikeng. As the realisation dawned that Dr Komoti’s destination was out of the country, Mma Ramotswe felt an intense irritation with her own stupidity. She did not have her passport with her; Dr Komoti would