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  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a series of novels by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith. The agency is located in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. Its founder is a Motswana woman, Mma Precious Ramotswe, who features as the stories' protagonist and main detective. The episodic novels are as much about the adventures and foibles of different characters as they are about solving mysteries. The series belongs to the sub-genre of anthropological detective fiction, in which the culture of its characters plays a major role in the story. Compare with the Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series of Tony Hillerman, the Dave Robicheaux series of James Lee Burke, or the Harry Hole series of Jo Nesbø. Precious Romatswe, however, departs from both the cerebral British and the hard-boiled American traditions of private detectives. She always has multiple small cases to pursue, with only a few involving crime and even fewer involving violence. This deemphasizes sensationalism and focuses on detective fiction being morality tales. Each book in the series follows on from the previous book. They have been adapted for radio, television, and internet.

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