Friday, 16 November 2007

The Wonderful Mma Ramotswe

Have just finished reading the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series of books written by Alexander McCall Smith and I enjoyed them immensely. Mma Ramotswe is an absolute dream: strong, thoughtful, kind, happy with her “traditional build” and just downright good. A protagonist that is easy to root for. It’s often hard to believe that the writer is not a woman so effectively has he caught Precious Ramotswe’s voice.

The novels portray a people who are proud of their country and traditions and touches on themes such as domestic violence, poverty, marital infidelity and AIDS. Despite this the books never lose their air of cheerfulness. The prose is clean and witty and the book easy to read in a sitting. The central characters become real. Mma Ramotswe’s intelligent and hardworking assistant, Mma Makutse, particularly caught my imagination, with her thoughtless remarks, “difficult complexion” and penchant for pretty shoes.

These are not epic convoluted whodunits but rather gentle tales, of mysteries solved because of Mma Ramotswe’s gentle probing, her willingness to listen and her habit of patient observation. Most often it is the events in the characters lives and the relationships between them that take centre stage in the books and these are portrayed in a way which is humorous and sympathetic.
The people and place (Botswana) in these books stay with the reader long after the story has ended making the reader yearn for the places the writer describes.

My praise has got three other ladies at work reading the books (I had four and another of the ladies had the other two, so we are passing them around) and the two Mma’s have become real objects of affection for us.


  1. I love your descriptive voice. I believe you have a knack for writing blurbs. I'm guilty for not reading enough books well not reading any. Inshallah that will change as I would love to have an excellent command for the English language.

  2. As Salaamu Alaikum Sis:

    A lot of Muslim women like his books. I will have to check one out, Insha Allah!