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Precious Ramotswe is one of my very favorite woman characters among a small handful. Being a guy I usually love gritty, hard boiled, raw, action detective stories. I like my mysteries complex and I like the thrills to keep me glued to my ipod. The series of books in the Number One Ladies Detective collection are totally the opposite of all this.
There is never violence. The mysteries are small and sometimes almost nonexistent. There is no action. Us "tough" guys would call this a "ladies novel" except that they are precious, magic, and life affirming.
Everything I shouldn't like about this series is what makes them special, a joy, and pleasure. The reader is awesome which adds extra magic.
What makes the story work is the atmosphere, the unique story idea, the simple mysteries of a simple life, a fresh perspective, and a set of characters you'll think of as part of your family.
I only use 4 stars instead of 5 because there was not a great a mystery in this one as in some although the story is still great fun. I suggest anyone that has not been reading the series start at the beginning to really be able to enjoy them all fully. The one fault of find with most of the series after the first is the lack of mysteries in them. Most of the series from about the 3rd or 4th one are mainly about the personal views and challenges of the main characters. While these are fun they are much more enjoyable when the detectives are also detecting. If you have enjoyed the series so far then don't miss this one.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
As always, go into these novels with the understanding that you need to sit back, relax, and calm down. These are not thrillers; the action is slow. I read thrillers as well and they have their rewards, but the rewards of this series are completely different. Most books in the series don't even hint at a plot in the first few chapters. The draws here are the characters and setting, which are both wonderfully drawn and suprisingly compelling. The rewards are scattered throughout the novels (most of which come from the insights of the main character), with the biggest of these coming near the end as all the loose ends are tied up and all the events come to their conclusions, nearly always in satisfying - if unexpected - ways.
One other comment: I've read one book in the series and listened to the other 9. Lisette Lecat is one of the best narrators I've ever heard. I found myself hearing her voice in my head when I read the print book. After that I went back to audio... her voice and presentation are definitely and enhancement, a rare quality.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful