Book Talk Tuesday

Note to self: Be sure and tag all your posts. I just had to go back through about 18 months of blog posts to see if I'd talked about Alexander McCall Smith's books. I can't find a post about them, but I also can't believe I've been doing Book Talk Tuesday for this long and haven't mentioned them.

Mr. Smith is a very prolific Scottish writer. He has several series but his most popular is The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, set in Botswana.
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Precious Ramotswe is a traditionally built woman who is also a private detective. Precious reminds me a bit of Miss Marple who claimed that human nature is much the same everywhere and it didn't matter if she rarely left her village of St. Mary Mead to see the world; the world came to her.
Precious is also an astute observer of human nature and many of her cases are solved by either asking the right questions or listening to the wrong answers.
The mysteries are not suspenseful thrillers with the fate of the world hanging on the outcome. The thing is, to the woman who need to know if the man claiming to be her long-last father really is, and to the family looking for their son who disappeared while helping dig wells with a relief agency, the case is just as important as stopping an atomic bomb is to James Bond.
Mr. Smith has several other series. I've enjoyed The Sunday Philosophy Club but none of the others have the charm of Precious; her secretary Grace Makutsi with her unheard of 97% score from the Botswana Secretarial College; Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, the mechanic who becomes much more to Precious.
HBO filmed a mini-series and they did an outstanding job capturing the essence of the characters and the beauty of Botswana. It's obvious Smith loves the land and it's infected his characters as well.

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