At a remote cattle post south of Gaborne two cows have been killed, and Precious Ramotswe, Botswans No. 1 Lady Detective, is asked to investigate by a rather frightened and furtive gentleman. It is an intriguing problem with plenty of suspects-including, surprisingly, her own client.
Bulawayo, near the Botswana border. Although he moved to Scotland to attend college and eventually settled in Edinburgh, he always felt drawn to southern Africa and taught law for a while at the University of Botswana. He has written a book on the criminal law of Botswana, and among his successful childrens books is a collection of African folk tales, Children of Wax.
Eventually, Smith had an urge to write a novel about a woman who would embody the qualities he admired in the people of Botswana, and the result, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, was a surprise hit, receiving two special Booker citations and a place on the Times Literary Supplements International Books of the Year and the Millennium list. The authors prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision, Anthony Daniels wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.
His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswanan landscape. This is art that conceals art. I havent read anything with such unalloyed pleasure for a long time.
Despite the books success in the U. K., American publishers were slow to take an interest, and by the time The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency was picked up by Pantheon Books, Smith had already written two sequels.
The books went from underground hits to national phenomena in the United States, spawning fan clubs and inspiring celebratory reviews. Smith is also the author of a detective series featuring the insatiably curious philosopher Isabel Dalhousie and the 44 Scotland Street novels, which present a witty portrait of Edinburgh society In an interview on the publishers web site, Smith says he thinks the country of Botswana particularly chimes with many of the values which Americans feel very strongly about respect for the rule of law and for individual freedom. I hope that readers will also see in these portrayals of Botswana some of the great traditional virtues in Africa in particular, courtesy and a striking natural dignity.
Good To Know As a professor at Edinburgh Law School, Smith specializes in criminal law and medical law, and has written about the legal and ethical aspects of euthanasia, medical research, and medical practice. When he isnt writing books or teaching, Smith finds time to play the bassoon in the candidly named amateur ensemble he co-founded, The Really Terrible Orchestra.