My sincere apologies for abandoning this blog for the past three weeks,I have a good excuse for my absence though-I was away in Belize! As you will  see in the picture below, I had lots of time to catch up on my reading (9 books in total!) so I have lots of writing and reporting back owed to you dear readers. One of the books I read towards the beginning of my vacation and enjoyed the most (see my goodreads rating) was The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

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This is one of the books that can be classified as a ‘cozy mystery‘. Many of you are probably familiar with Smith’s books, they are international bestsellers, and for good reason-he’s fabulous writer, and has a knack of creating characters that you immediately find yourself caring for. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is the first in the series with the same name, and I fully intend on reading the rest (in correct succession of course) now that I’ve read and enjoyed the first one.

This book introduces the background of the main character, Precious Ramotswe, the lady detective of Botswana. She sets up a detective agency in the town of Gaborone, and immediately finds herself busy with requests from people in town: finding out whether one’s husband is cheating, discovering where a mysterious teenage daughter is spending her afternoons with, returning a stole car to its rightful owner, etc. The perfect adjective to describe this book is: charming. Mme Ramotswe drinks cups of tea to mull over her cases, and not surprisingly, she reminds me of Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote with her personality-for those who are fans of the television series, you are sure to like The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency as well.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alexander McCall Smith a few years ago when he made an appearance in Calgary promoting one of his latest books. I can assure you that although we only had a few minutes alone together, he lived up to his reputation of being a kind and humble individual, despite his enormous success and grueling tour schedule. How does someone that travels that much for work maintain such a lovely demeanor? Beats me, but I was so thankful I had the chance to meet him in person, it led me to enjoy reading this book even more knowing he was such a great guy.Sandy McCall Smith

Some of you may be wondering-how did I bring 9 books on vacation with me? Well, I have a big suitcase, and they were all physical books (I don’t own an e-reader, and don’t intend on buying one any time soon) so it was tight coming down, but as I read them I left them at the various resorts we stayed at for future guests to enjoy. So, my luggage (physical and emotional) was quite a bit lighter on the way home.  If you’re heading to the Exotic Caye Beach Resort in Belize anytime soon, feel free to pick up my leftover copy of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Or, you can always stay in the comfort of your own town and purchase a copy from your local independent bookstore, but that’s not as exciting is it?

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