The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

By  Alexander McCall Smith

About the Book 

Mma Ramotswe is the proud proprieter of the finest ladies' detective agency in all Botswana (also the only one). She spends her time, with a cup of redbush tea beneath the acacia tree, waiting for clients. When they come along, whether it is to enquire after a missing spouse or check the identity of a long-lost father, it is not The Principles of Private Detection that helps her to solve cases but old-fashioned common sense and a warm-hearted understanding of the fallibility of human nature -especially that of men.

'Jolly and exhilarating' Sunday Telegraph
'Delightful' Sunday Times

Discover the world of Alexander McCall Smith and his other books at

What Alexander McCall Smith thinks about World Book Night:

“In a world that sometimes seems over-burdened with conflict, World Book Night stands out as a precious beacon. It has two messages: one is that reading is sheer joy and the other is that the act of giving is intrinsically good. The energy that Jamie Byng and the team have brought to this lovely project is astonishing and wonderful. I hope this tradition goes on as long as books are made and read.”

What we thinkMcCallSmithAlexander

“The charming start of the series about Botswana’s first ladies’ detective agency. Mma Ramotswe has the intuition of Miss Marple but a magic all her own and this book is a true delight. Reading it is simply a pleasure from beginning to end – the reading equivalent of a cool glass of water on a very hot day!”

Length: 233 pages

More by Alexander McCall Smith

There are another 14 books in the series! The next of which is:

Tears of the Giraffe

to discover more about the many more books Alexander McCall Smith has written please visit his website

Author biography

ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is a Professor of Medical Law, but also an author who has now written over fifty books on a wide range of subjects. His collection of African stories,CHILDREN OF WAX, received critical acclaim and has been the subject of an award-winning film.


On World Book Night

I am delighted that one of my books has been included in World Book Night. I didn’t read my first book until the age of 17, but I clearly remember the feeling of pride and achievement when I closed the cover at the end. Books changed my life and if World Book Night puts books into the hands of people who otherwise might not discover them then it is achieving something incredibly important.

Andy McNab

In your country

You are currently viewing the UK site. Change to...


Want to see World Book Night in your country?


The 2014 Books

The 2013 Books

The 2012 Books

The 2011 Books

The World Book Night Book Club

You are here: Home Books 2013 The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency