After her father dies, Botswanan Precious Ramotse decides to sell her inheritance - 180 cows - and move to the capital Gaborone and open a detective agency. From a young age her father had trained her to develop her memory skills and she has a keen sense of observation. Business is slow, but Precious soon has a secretary, Grace Makutsi and fits in well with her neighbors. Slowly, clients begin to trickle in: a woman who thinks the man who claims to be her father - he had abandoned the family when she was just a young child - is actually an impostor; a woman who thinks her husband is having an affair - a view Grace enthusiastically generally supports since she thinks all men are liars and cheaters; and a factory owner who thinks an employee claiming compensation for an accident is scamming him. Her interest is also drawn to the case of a missing boy but she she must face a powerful local gangster to get the information she needs. Written by
The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency was the first novel in the series by Alexander McCall Smith and as such the first to be turned into a television adaptation. It was aired on BBC1 on Sunday 23rd March 2008, Easter Sunday. This time-slot has traditionally been a chance for the BBC to show a production which will appeal to all the family and N1LDA fitted the category very well.
After a slow start to help introduce the characters, the work of Precious starts in earnest. Over the remaining hour and a quarter we see how she solve cases relating to unfaithful husbands, idle fathers, insurance fraud and missing children. There are some comic moments and some heart breaking moments.
Overall the adaptation stayed very loyal to the book and remained a light hearted look at life in Botswana. The production quality was very good with the Botswanian Tourist Board probably very happy at the positive light their country is portrayed under. For those people wanting something grittier, you'll be disappointed, but for everyone else looking for 1¾ of escapism, this is what you're looking for.
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