Not only are these books thoroughly enjoyable and well written, but they put your mind at ease. What more could you ask for. Furthermore, this is the first series of books that I have ever preferred to listen to rather than to read. The narrator is perhaps the best I've ever heard.
I'll say up front that this wasn't a terrible book, but it was certainly a puzzling one. I think it has a certain appeal to it, but I wouldn't consider it to be a "must read". In fact, I think you should probably understand the nature of this book a little better before you buy it, because if you expect it to be something other than what it is you're bound to be disappointed.
One thing this book is most decidedly *not* is a good detective story. Every single case in this book is completely straightforward. There are absolutely no red herrings, surprise twists, clever maneuvers, or brilliant feats of deduction. All that ever happens is that Ramotswe gets a case, she makes some inquiries, figures out the truth, and solves the case.
She's apparently smart and hard working, but a little amateurish - she gets caught twice while she's tailing a suspect, and at one point is even outsmarted by a teenage girl. The last case, the one revolving around the missing boy, was particularly silly since the clue that lead her to the conclusion turned out to have nothing to do with the boy whatsoever.
The story starts out by talking a little bit about Ramotswe and her father and the situation that lead to her opening the detective agency. Then it narrates a certain case that she took up regarding a question of identity. After that, the book takes a puzzling turn and starts narrating the life story of Ramotswe father. Then that leads into the life story of Ramotswe herself. This goes on for quite some time.
This part of the story wasn't completely uninteresting, but it did really throw me for a loop. I wasn't expecting something like that in a book that was supposed to be about a ladies' detective agency.
After this the book settles down to narrate how Ramotswe set up her business, gets her first case, and how she builds her business through time.
In spite of what some other people have said, this book is not character driven. The characters, for the most part, are completely flat and uninteresting. There's a little bit of depth to Ramotswe which comes from some of the things she went through as narrated in her life story, but during the rest of the book she experiences almost no character development. I think there may be some character development at the very end, which I won't reveal except to say that she changes her mind about something. But if felt abrupt, like it just suddenly happened without anything leading into it.
What this book is, is a story about Botswana. Ramotswe is just there to be the eyes through which to observe the story of this land and culture. Her detective agency is the vehicle that moves the story along by allowing her to interact with all different sorts of people who make up Botswana society. It's a story about understanding life in this foreign country through the concerns of the people who visit Ramotswe to ask for her help.
I think there's a ring of authenticity to the account, though I'd have to ask a Botswanan to be certain. The author isn't a native of Botswana, though he did live there for some years. Whether the story would sound authentic to a native's ears I cannot say, but it's certainly an interesting impression of the land and culture from somebody who has actually been there.
If you're expecting a riveting detective novel, an intricate plot, or a cast of memorable characters, you're bound to be disappointed with this book. Don't buy it. But if you want to hear an interesting story about the life and times of the people of Botswana, then I think you'll get a good deal of enjoyment out of this book, and you certainly *should* buy it. It's easy to see that the book has a dedicated following of readers who've enjoyed it tremendously.
Just know what you're getting into, and don't expect more from the book than it offers.
but seriously grows on you. There is so much turmoil in Africa it is surprising to think that in some places life is "normal". Different from us of course but just "life". I don't know how accurate the account of everyday life in this book is but it was comforting to think it was real. Oh, the mystery parts were good too!
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
Just the right amount of drama and funny interjections. I love Ma Romotswe's point of view of the universe and her world. I have listened to all of these tales and keep listening to them again every year of so.
I could not believe how much of the country's flavor I was able to feel. Each country and their people are so interesting to me and this book invited me to a land that I will probably never visit. I saw real people and not just characters in a book. I will definately try another in the series.
I am so pleased to have been introduced to this series through audible. I had heard vaguely about the series and the title intrigued me so I tried a listen. I'm preparing to now hear the 3rd book in the series as it has captivated. The story lines are good, if not profound, the ongoing relationships are welcoming and real, the narration is excellent, and the insight into Botswana and Africa and contrasts with the "West." is refreshing. Get it! You will not be disappointed. I've since sent copies of the hardcopy books to friends in Africa.
Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.
I can't believe that I haven't written a review of this book!! I've ready the whole series already. I love Mma. Ramotswe. I love how she takes me to quieter and more gentle place. I was hooked the minute I started listening.
Here's what I say. This is one series of books that is absolutely brought to life when read out loud by Lisette Lecat. If I were to read this book in print, the voices would all have my distinctly 'American television' sound and, in spite of being set in Botswana, there would be no feel of Botswana in the read. If you have picked up the books and put them down unimpressed, try listening to them. You will have a completely different experience when you listen to them.
I couldn't stop listening and then I kept finding myself getting REALLY into it. It's refreshing to have a book like this one and I can't wait to get the others!!!
This is a strange detective story ! Reminds me somewhat of the Anansi stories or even Out of Africa at times. It is much deeper than it's surface story lets on. It seems to say more about being African than being a lady detective. I loved the reader's voice. Her accent is perfect. The book is a bit peculiar because as you begin listening, you believe you have stepped directly into the detective tales... but then the story detours, for what seems slightly too long a time, through the main character's life story. I couldn't quite figure out what the author's purpose was UNTIL he started into the detective stories again. Then it all became clear how important this characterization is to the understanding of Mma Remotswe's modus operandus (are my cases correct?). The book was enlightening, enjoyable and very different from much of today's Too Cool School of writing.
Loved the story, loved the setting, loved the characters! The narration is wonderful and authentic. I've learned much about the Botswana area (but now, I'm curious to learn more!) I was sorry when the story ended and I look forward to downloading the sequel!