Sunday, October 24, 2010

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Dumela, Mma. Dumela, Rra.

I started reading Alexander McCall Smith's series when I happened to see book # 1 for sale for $1 at the library's book store.

I hadn't heard a thing about it, except that it was set in Botswana and involved a female detective.

Precious Ramotswe is a strong African woman of "traditional build" who was raised by a wonderful father who taught her to be observant, kind, fair, honest, and mostly, how to love Botswana. When he passes, he leaves her with much cattle, which she sells to buy a house and form the first female-owned detective agency in Botswana.

The writing is gentle and slow, but in a good way. There's such respect and formality in their conversations, but Mma. Ramotswe notices that this, too, is being lost to the youth of the day. The author Mr. Smith lived in Botswana and writes it in a gentle fashion. Do you know what I mean? Have you read "Cry the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton? Do you know about gentle writing? It makes me happy and sad. Oh, I know I could never go to Botswana and capture this feeling. Fiction is not reality, but it makes me wish it were so, hence the sadness too.

The books deal with her personal life with friends, past events that caused her pain and her cases. She handles these cases with the respect and love she feels for all humanity. She's clever! Don't let her "traditional build" and sex fool you, men! She always gets her man, or woman if that's the case.

When I heard HBO had decided to do a series based on the books, I was excited!

When I heard they cast fantastically talented singer Jill Scott, I was even more excited.


I rented the entire series from Netflix, while hoping and praying that there would be a season two.

See, it's a family show. There are no vampires, no sex, no blood and gore, no gangsters, no hookers, no bad cops, no hatred, no gamblers or addicts. It's a family show. Therefore, I knew, I just knew, it would not get renewed.

It didn't.

The show's season 1 encompasses books 1, 2 & 3 (as far as I can tell. I am still reading the series) and is just as sweet as the books. The directors, producers, actors and crew should be proud of what they did.


Niki said...

I really liked the book a lot. I totally get what you mean about slow and gentle writing. I was afraid to give the series a try because i wasn't sure it could do the book justice without trying to Hollywood the thing to death.

Kellis said...

I have read several books and will have to check the series out. I'm shocked it even endedup at HBO. It's really too bad they coudln't shop it around to a regular network... or ABC Family or something.

Kaaren said...

Niki, the tv show was so well done. Like I said, it involved the first 3 books or so and they really did a great job.

Kelly, it was actually filmed in Botswana, so I don't know if any regular network could have afforded it. Sad.