First published in 1998 by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is about the "traditionally built" lady detective, Precious Ramotswe, who lives and works in Botswana. The popularity of Smith's much beloved character has led to the publication of twenty-one more books in the series.
McCall Smith, who was born in Africa and clearly has a profound love for the African people, was inspired to create the character of Mma Ramotswe by a real Motswana woman he knew.
Mma Ramotswe's agency takes charge of rather trifle local intrigues which are mysterious enough to entice the reader, but the real attraction of the series is the development of an array of charming characters of whom readers quickly become fond.
Through the eyes of Mma Ramotswe, we learn of life in the Southern African country. The way that characters interact with each other is often of interest to readers as it differs greatly from the norms that we are used to.
Smith's novels have been well received thus far, creating enthusiasm for his other works and for the Botswana way of life.