Ahhh…. the 19th book in the Ladies #1 Detective Agency series was released on Tuesday so I promptly finished Dawn Patrol (Don Winslow) and downloaded the new one on early the 12th and began listening to Lisette Lecat, the regular narrator, reading away. I read these for the characters, not the very light-weigth crime plots although those are nice. These books are the cozies of cozies for me and I’ve been following the series since 1998, the first book. (Note – they absolutely MUST be read in order.)
Precious and Grace
by Alexander McCall Smith
2016 / 240 pages
read by Lisette Lecat – 9h 49m
rating: A+ / very cozy crime
(19th in Ladies #1 Detective Agency series)
The main character is Precious Ramatswe, a lady of “traditional proportions,” who opened a detective agency in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. In the early books chickens run through her little office and her old white van often broke down, but she has always had a very loving and common-sensical approach to life – except in one backstory. Throughout the series she solves little crimes while drinking bush tea and driving her old white van. I loved these books so much I took to drinking the Rooibos tea – heh.
At some point early on Precious hired an assistant, Grace Makutsi, the star of the Botswana Secretarial School. Grace had a rough background and is determined to make something of herself. She’s is not particularly great looking but she has top-notch secretarial skills and she knows it. Very proud lady. These two have been the protagonists ever since but there are many other important and recurring characters. I read the books in large part to find out what will happen in their lives.
In the series as a whole there’s an underlying theme of resistance to change and trying to uphold the traditional Botswanan values of honesty and tolerance using a cheerful attitude and common sense. But in the individual books many topics are touched and explored.
In Precious and Grace a young woman named Susan arrives from Canada seeking her old home place and her old nurse. Meanwhile an unscrupulous businessman sells a pyramid scheme to a part-time volunteer in the agency.