The first tale in Alexander McCall Smith's cozy mystery series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was voted one of the International Books of the Year and the Millennium by London's Times Literary Supplement. The agency at first consists of one woman: the charismatic Mma Precious Ramotswe ("the Miss Marple of Botswana"—NYTBR), who specializes in rooting out missing husbands and wayward daughters, con men and imposters. "The author's prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision. His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswana landscape. This is art that conceals art. I haven't read anything with such unalloyed pleasure for a long time."—Sunday Telegraph (London)
Life is good for Precious Ramotswe in this seventh book in the series (following In the Company of Cheerful Ladies), as she sets out with her usual resolve to fix peoples' problems, heal their misfortunes, and untangle the mysteries that make life interesting. Nor is life ever never dull in Tlokweng Road—a new and rather too brusque advice columnist is appearing in the local paper, the manager of the Mokolodi Game Reserve feels an infectious fear spreading among his workers, and a local doctor may be falsifying blood pressure readings.