Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Number One Ladies Detective Agency

I have been reading The Number One Ladies Detective Agency Series of books by Alexander McCall Smith. Although this is an old series that started back in 2003, I never was able to "get into" the first book when I started to read it years ago. It was only when the HBO series came out last spring that I decided to give the books a try again.

What made the whole series really come alive for me was the excellent audio book version read by a narrator who really drew me into the story with her rich voice and Bottswana accent. Precious Ramotswe, the lead detective in this story, is a "traditionally built" middle aged woman who is proud to be exactly what she is - calm, smart, and a solver of "small things" not "big things" like murder, but small things that affect people's lives most deeply. Her observations about human nature are so profound, that one minute I'm laughing and the next I'm jotting down her nuggets of wisdom so I can cling to them for future reference.

She is the loving Earth Mother who takes a slow, easy approach to life that relaxes me and calms me as I read. Far from boring, the series is character driven but once you step into the pages and immerse yourself in the lives of these imaginary people, they seem as real as can be. They are people you dearly WISH were real. I just finished reading the 9th book in the series, The Miracle At Speedy Motors, and I'm hoping the series never ends.

Now I'll go have myself a cup of Bush Tea, which Madame Ramotswe (pronounced "Ra-MOTES-way") drinks whenever she wants to relax and think deeply about a problem. I found that this mystery series is so popular that The Republic of Tea has actually come out with a "Botswana Blossom" natually caffeine-free Rooibos blended tea with Citrus, Blossoms and nuts in honor my favorite mystery series heroine. I daesay, Madame Ramostwe herself would approve. It's a good way to unwind at the end of a long day.


Rebecca said...

i'll have to give it a listen. what a lovely way to unwind - hot tea, audio book, and mindless (i.e. vanilla) knitting project
a rav friend suggested "the shack " audio book. i've only listened to the forward but it already had me shedding tears and relistening (as you said for "nuggets of wisdom to jot down" maybe you'd enjoy?

have a nice relaxing listen to madame ramotswe

Catherine said...

I fell in love with this series years ago - and I'm tickled that I was pronouncing her name correctly in my head! Rooibos/red bush tea is nice stuff, especially with a hint of vanilla. Republic of Tea Pomegranate Vanilla (rooibos with flavoring) is wonderful too. I haven't tried plain red tea the way Mma Ramotswe drinks it, with condensed milk, for fear I'd like it too much.

Elysbeth said...

Interesting - I'll have to give the series another look, I couldn't get into the first book either.

PlazaJen said...

I just finished the first one in this series and loved it! (We watched the show on HBO and now I see/hear those characters, but it was very well done.) If I'm ever reading it outside of bedtime, I'll have some tea as well.