The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency


The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency


The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a series of twelve novels by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. The agency is located in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. Its founder is a Motswana woman, Mma Precious Ramotswe, who features as the stories' protagonist and main detective. The episodic novels are as much about the adventures and foibles of different characters as they are about solving mysteries. Each book in the series follows on from the previous book. They have been adapted for radio, television, and internet.

Contents

Characters

Main

  • Mma Precious Ramotswe, the first female private investigator in Botswana.
  • Mma Grace Makutsi, the Agency's secretary and Mma Ramotswe's assistant.
  • Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, mechanic and proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mma Ramotswe's suitor and eventual husband. He is always referred to in these novels by this very formal title.
  • Motholeli, a 12-year old girl, and her five-year old brother, Puso, two orphans who come to live with Mr. J.L.B Matekoni as foster children, shortly after he becomes engaged to Mma Precious Ramotswe in Tears of the Giraffe.

Secondary

  • Mma Silvia Potokwane, matron of an orphanage east of Gaborone. She bribes Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni into fixing all of the old and failing equipment at the Orphan Farm with her widely known fruit cake. She is known to be very forceful in getting what she wants, such as giving Mma Makutsi advice on the planning of her wedding, thereby receiving an invitation to the wedding.
  • Charlie, the older of the two apprentices in Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni's garage.
  • Fanwell, the younger apprentice, always referred to as such in the earlier novels. His name is not mentioned until Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. He lives in a small house with his grandmother and his several younger brothers and sisters. Although he is slightly more serious than his older friend, Charlie, he still frequently discusses girls with Charlie.
  • Mr. Polopetsi, an assistant to Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. He is introduced in In The Company of Cheerful Ladies.
  • Phuti Radiphuti, Grace Makutsi's fiancé, introduced in In The Company of Cheerful Ladies. In The Double Comfort Safari Club, he has an accident in which he loses his foot, which causes Mma Makutsi to worry about their relationship. They are finally married in The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.
  • Violet Sephotho, Mma Makutsi's rival from the Botswana Secretarial College, introduced in In the Company of Cheerful Ladies. She returns in most books subsequent to her introduction with new schemes to ruin Mma Makusi's life with Rra Phuti Radiphuti. In The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, she is discussed as running for a parliament in an upcoming by-election but makes no direct appearance.

Locales

In Botswana

Themes and topics of the stories

  • Women in traditional vs. nontraditional occupations
  • Rural way of life in Southern Africa, including muti
  • Social relations in traditional African society
  • Christianity and traditional belief systems in contemporary Africa
  • Clinical depression
  • AIDS and AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa

Issues addressed in the cases

Bibliography

  1. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (1998)
  2. Tears Of The Giraffe (2000)
  3. Morality for Beautiful Girls (2001)
  4. The Kalahari Typing School for Men (2002)
  5. The Full Cupboard of Life (2004)
  6. In The Company of Cheerful Ladies (2004 – also known as The Night-Time Dancer)
  7. Blue Shoes and Happiness (2006)
  8. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (2007)
  9. The Miracle at Speedy Motors (2008)
  10. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (2009)
  11. The Double Comfort Safari Club (2010)
  12. The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (2011)

Television series

The BBC and American television network HBO filmed a series based on the books. It stars Jill Scott as Mma. Ramotswe and was shot on location in Botswana. The 109-minute pilot was written by Richard Curtis and Anthony Minghella, who also directed. The seven 60-minute episodes were written and directed by others.[1]

Radio series

McCall Smith himself dramatised the series for BBC Radio 4. Seven series have been broadcast, the first beginning on 10 September 2004, the last ending on 4 November 2011. The series encompass the first to twelfth books. They star Claire Benedict as Mma Ramotswe (except the 2010 episodes).[2]

Episodes:

  1. The Daddy – 10 September 2004[3]
  2. The Bone – 17 September 2004[4]
  3. The Maid – 24 September 2004[5]
  4. Tears of the Giraffe – 1 October 2004[6]
  5. The Chief Justice of Beauty – 30 August 2005[7]
  6. The Confession – 6 September 2005[8]
  7. The Kalahari Typing School for Men – 13 September 2005[9]
  8. The Admirer – 20 September 2005[10]
  9. How to Handle Men through the Application of Psychology – 18 January 2007[11]
  10. House of Hope – 25 January 2007[12]
  11. The Return of Note – 1 February 2007[13]
  12. The Ceremony – 8 February 2007[14]
  13. There Is No Such Thing as Free Food – 1 January 2008[15]
  14. The Best Profession for a Blackmailer – 2 January 2008[16]
  15. A Very Rude Woman – 3 January 2008[17]
  16. Talking Shoes – 4 January 2008[18]
  17. The Miracle at Speedy Motors – 25 December 2008[19]
  18. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built – 25 December 2009[20]
  19. The Seller of Beds – 25 December 2009[21]
  20. An Exceptionally Wicked Lady – 2 December 2010[22]
  21. The Double Comfort Safari Club – 3 December 2010[23]
  22. A Late Van Just Glimpsed – 3 November 2011[24]
  23. The Saturday Big Tent Wedding – 4 November 2011[25]

Cookbook

A cookbook associated with the novels was published in 2009; Mma Ramotswe's Cookbook by Stuart Brown, with a foreword by Alexander McCall Smith.[26]

References

  1. ^ People & Places (2008). "Speaking of HBO". The Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bal-to.people12mar12,0,3282739.column. Retrieved 2008-03-14. [dead link]
  2. ^ Radio dramatisation at RadioListings.co.uk
  3. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Daddy
  4. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Bone
  5. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Maid
  6. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Tears of the Giraffe
  7. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Chief Justice of Beauty
  8. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Confession
  9. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Kalahari Typing School for Men
  10. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Admirer
  11. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: How to Handle Men through the Application of Psychology
  12. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: House of Hope
  13. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Return of Note
  14. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Ceremony
  15. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: There Is No Such Thing as Free Food
  16. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Best Profession for a Blackmailer
  17. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: A Very Rude Woman
  18. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Talking Shoes
  19. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Miracle at Speedy Motors
  20. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
  21. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Seller of Beds
  22. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: An Exceptionally Wicked Lady
  23. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Double Comfort Safari Club
  24. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: A Late Van Just Glimpsed
  25. ^ BBC – Afternoon Play – The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Saturday Big Tent Wedding
  26. ^ Mma Ramotswe's Cookbook

External links


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