This book is the first I have read of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Typically I managed to pick up the 7th book in the series, but this was a Borrowed Book Challenge book and our library is only small and just had 2 books from the series. (This is the same library that has the second book in The Hunger Games series but not the first - go figure) I had been recommended the series by a couple of colleagues who were amazed I had never read any of them before.
Mma Ramotswe is the principal of the No.1 Ladies' Detective agency, operating out of her husband's garage premises. Mma Makutsi is her assistant and a big fan of what Mma Ramotswe considers unsuitable shoes. In this book the ladies deal with a number of cases including identifying a blackmailer and a fraudulent Doctor. They also ponder the role of women and feminism and drink a lot of tea. The chapters almost read like a series of independent stories, with none of the mysteries visited in great depth but with plenty of charming anecdotes.
The term "cozy mystery" is a relatively new one to me but I have seen it applied to this series and having read the book I now think I understand that term. It is an undemanding read, which raised a few smiles and the odd chuckle. It depicts aspects of Botswana beautifully and I enjoyed reading about the country and various characters and the problems they are facing. My favourite thing about the book is the concept of a "traditionally built" woman, it sounds so much better than big boned!
I'm not sure cozy mysteries are going on my list of preferred genres, but I did like this book and can definitely see the appeal. In fact I can think of a couple of family members who would really like the series.
Format: Hard cover, from the library
My Rating: 3*