Sunday, September 02, 2012

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

by Alexander McCall Smith

Ah, what can I say about this book? It's the tale of Precious Ramotswe, a middle aged woman who sets up the first woman-owned detective agency in Botswana. "Quirky" is the word that came to mind as I was reading the book. The plot is rather loose--the book is kind of like a number of short stories woven together. It lopes along with numerous observations of life. Many of those are humorous, but the humor is so subtle I had to wonder how much of it was intentional and how much stemmed from my own cultural misunderstanding. Another phrase that popped in my mind was "feel good".* It's kind of like one of James Herriot's books, that makes you glad to be alive regardless if the events you're reading of are happy or sad. In the end, I figure I just need to hang onto the book and find room for it on my ever more crowded shelf.

LibraryThing link
* I really do apologize for using that phrase. It strikes me as very lowbrow. However, I'm not well read enough to know a better word to describe the concept. Is there an antonym for Schadenfreude?

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