Title: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
Author: Book author- Alexander McCall Smith; Movie Creators- Richard Curtis, Anthony Minghella
Production/Bibliographic Information: DVD- BBC, HBO Entertainment, The Weinstein Company; 2009; 451 minutes
Directed/ Performed by: Jill Scott as Precious Ramotswe, Anika Noni Rose as Grace Makutsi, Lucian Msamati as JLB Matekoni
Part of a Series: Yes. Season One. No other seasons have been produced.
Book tie-in: Based on the book The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
- Botswana, Africa
- Female Detectives
- Missing Persons
Plot Summary: After her father’s death, the smart and occasionally sassy Precious Ramotswe, a “traditionally built” young woman in her thirties, decides to use her skills of observation to open the first detective agency in Botswana run by a woman. Secretary Grace Makutsi provides plenty of additional humor and pathos, and the shy but gentlemanly mechanic JLB Matekoni provides an endearing love interest for Precious.
Appeal: This warmly human character based mystery series provides an intriguing look at African culture in the exotic setting of Botswana. Pacing is steady, and the tone is a nice combination of humor and drama. Production values are excellent, shot entirely on location in Botswana. Netflix tags the series as “heartfelt” and “quirky.”
Features: Bonus features include “Making of” feature, feature about country of Botswana, music of Botswana, director Anthony Minghella, and author’s diary.
Prizes or Awards: Winner of the Peabody Award in 2010. (Annual international award since 1941 for excellence in radio and television)
Amazon.com suggests “Botswana: In the Footsteps of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” (a non-fiction look at the country of Botswana with author Alexander McCall Smith)
Tvtropes.org mentions “The Gods Must Be Crazy” (also set in Botswana)
Reviewer’s Name: Beth Lyle
Form adapted from Fiction Annotation Form in Saricks, Joyce G. and Nancy Brown. Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library 2nd. Chicago: ALA, 1997.