Tag Archive: Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency


In the companyTitle: In The Company of Cheerful Ladies

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Date Finished: 9/03/14

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

This is the sixth book in the wonderful ‘No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency‘ Series, which follows the life of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s only female detective.  I really love this series and I always look forward to reading the next instalment so much; can’t believe it took me a year to get to this one…where my self-discipline comes from, I have no idea!

The plot in this book is really good.  Despite there not being a central case for the detectives to solve, the mysteries of each of the character’s personal lives are completely sufficient to fill the book with intrigue!  Although, I do think there is still one mystery left unsolved…unless I just happened to miss something!

We know the characters really well now, so McCall Smith starts to introduce new characters as well, with their own stories and histories, and it seems just the right time for this to happen.  Mr Polopetsi and Phuti Radiphuti are welcome additions to the cast and I am sure we will see a lot more of them in the following instalments of the series.

The setting is as fantastic as ever, with McCall Smith really painting a vivid picture of Botswana and the relaxed prose is a pleasure to read.  I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series and hopefully I will get to it before I get to 2015!  Although thinking that far ahead means I will (hopefully) be at university and who knows what will happen to my reading schedule then!!

Anyway, as always, I really really recommend this series to absolutely everyone – you cannot fail to enjoy it (I think!).

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Full cupboardTitle: The Full Cupboard of Life

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Date Finished: 31/03/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 4/5 – rather good

This is the fifth book in the absolutely brilliant ‘Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency‘ series by Alexander McCall Smith and it was worth the wait of over a year since I read number 4!  Back in January 2012, I loved the fourth book in the series, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, and even though this wasn’t quite as good, the characters and setting were still phenomenal.

These books follow the daily life of Precious Ramotswe, the only female private detective in Botswana and we are constantly kept on our toes with puzzling cases and even more puzzling issues at home.  The plot in this particular book was not too strong for me because it did not really have a key case like the others have had which takes up most of the story.  This book focused a lot more at home and with Mma Ramotswe’s fiancée Mr J. L. B. Matekoni.

The characters are always the highlight of these books, as they are all so amazingly unique and wonderful!  Apart from the main characters, Mma Potokwani, the orphans and the apprentices all have roles to play in this book and as we progress with each book, all the characters continue to develop, which is why I think I always want to read the next one straight away.

The setting in Botswana is so amazing and every time I read one of these books I am inspired to go and visit there.  Especially now after having been to Africa (Uganda) and having seen these kind of people face to face it makes it even more vivid and picturable to me.  One of my ambitions in life is to visit Botswana!  Also, another is to read all of McCall Smith’s works!

Overall, I COMPLETELY recommend this series of books to anyone, as I can’t see any reason to dislike anything in them.  I would strongly suggest that you start with the first book and progress chronologically through, as they all lead directly on from each other.  Another plus for this series is that they make a very welcome and refreshing break in the middle of heavy classics reading for example and are all only about 230 pages long!

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With’, meaning your top ten books you would skip school or work for.  There are many days when I think I’d rather stay at home and read my book than go to school, but I’ve picked 10 for the moment.

1. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling.  The Harry Potter books are those ones which you can just sit down and read for hours without noticing how the time flies, perfect for a devouring a book in a day.

2. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë.  The reason I picked Jane Eyre is simply because I can just imagine curling up with this book on a cold Wintry day and reading for hours.

3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams.  If you are feeling down or stressed or upset, then there is nothing better than diving into the hilarious and witty HHGTTG, which is one of the most feel-good series I have ever come across.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson.  This series is enthralling and the first book is the most gripping of the three.  I couldn’t put it down both times I read it, so it’s a good one for a couple of hours on non-stop reading on a day off.

5. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins.  I haven’t read these books yet (I am starting tonight actually, as Wuthering Heights is a bit heavy and my sister is nagging me non-stop) but from what I hear, many people find them ‘unputdownable, which suggests they would be good for a day off too.

6. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens.  The reason I picked David Copperfield, is because it is one of those classics that you really have to get into, and what better way to get into a more laborious book, than when you’ve got hours to spare during the day?

7. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare.  I am talking about all of Shakespeare’s plays here (I only picked Romeo and Juliet as I am reading that one next) when I say that they are quite short which means they are great for playing hooky with because you would probably be able to finish one in a day, which is always really rewarding.

8. The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith.  Another feel-good series that can pick you up and transport you to somewhere completely different (Botswana in this case) and make you forget about the pressures and stresses in your daily life.

9. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.  As many of you know, this is one of my all time favourite books (so maybe I am biased) but I do think it has severe readability and is one of those books that is a real pleasure to read.

10. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens.  I remember reading this Dickens last Christmas and really enjoying it, but I think that was because I could spend a couple of hours every day reading it, so I highly recommend playing hooky with this one.

Yes, I am starting The Hunger Games tonight, as I am nearly halfway through Wuthering Heights and finding it quite hard going and I fancy a bit of easier reading.  I will let you know what I think of both books in due course.

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Favourite Covers’, with the advice to be ‘as specific or general as you want‘. Therefore I have decided to post my top ten covers of books that I currently own (not in any order – that would be too difficult!)  The covers here are the versions that I actually own.

1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë (Vintage Classics).  The Vintage Classics series is known for stunning covers – ‘jacket design is integral to our vintage classics’ and each book in the series has a pertinent and beautiful cover.  I love the way they hint at something in the book’s plot, like the key signifying the locked up secret in Jane Eyre.

2. Saraswati Park – Anjali Joseph (Fourth Estate).  Unfortunately, the best part of this book was actually the cover as the story was rather disappointing! However, the cover is very well designed and a pleasure to look at – one of those books you are very careful with, as you don’t want to damage or spoil it!

3. The Man In The High Castle – Philip K. Dick (Penguin Modern Classics).  Again, a book that I didn’t particularly enjoy (although it is very unique) but a cover that I will never forget.  The reason it made this list is because of how shocking the cover is – it immediately perplexes you and really gets your mind thinking.  I did have to be a bit careful as to where I was reading it though!

4. 1984 – George Orwell (Penguin).  This is such an iconic book and the cover is striking and memorable too – both in the book and on the cover you can’t get away from the idea that ‘big brother is watching you‘!

5. The Number 1. Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith (Abacus).  This series are possibly THE books I most enjoy reading, on account of their being so funny, interesting and cheerful.  Lovely happy, bright covers which perfectly match the books they are surrounding.

6. Matilda – Roald Dahl (Puffin Modern Classics).  I have always loved Roald Dahl’s books, especially Matilda and The Witches and I have chosen the cover of Matilda for this list.  My version is very pink, but has a large illustration of Matilda by Quentin Blake on the front.  I think Roald Dahl’s words and Quentin Blake’s illustrations and both just as important for these childhood books so that is why this cover is so important to me.

7. The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo – Stieg Larsson (Quercus).  This book is one of my favourites and the whole series keeps me reading through the night.  I especially like this cover of the first book because it shows Noomi Rapace (who plays Lisbeth in the Swedish films) who I think portrays Lisbeth perfectly.

8. Northern Lights – Philip Pullman (Point).  I love the original (back in my day blah blah…) covers of the His Dark Materials Trilogy and I think Northern Lights is my favourite of the three, probably because my favourite colour is blue and that is the main background of this one!!

9. One Day – David Nicholls (Hodder).  There is so much to love about the cover of this book: its design is unique, the orange is amazing, the actual feel of the book is great … I could go on.  A great book with a really novel idea and a really novel cover to match.

10. Emma – Jane Austen (Vintage Classics).  I started this list with a Vintage Classic and I’m ending it with one too; rather appropriately, I think, because in my opinion this series of classics has the best covers that I have come across and they are always the ones that catch my eye when I’m browsing in bookshops.