The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case: A Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Book for Young Readers-Alexander McCall Smith; Iain McIntosh (illustrator)

The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case: A Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Book for Young Readers

Alexander McCall Smith; Iain McIntosh (illustrator)

Anchor Books/Random House, Apr 3 2012, $6.99

ISBN: 9780307743893

 

In Botswana, Obed Ramotswe tells his young daughter Precious she has an innate knack of knowing when someone makes something up.  He further says maybe when she grows up she will become a detective.  Precious likes the idea of sleuthing, but expects her first case is more than a decade away.

 

At the school she attends, someone breaks the first rule by stealing other people’s sweet food.  Two victimized students Tapiwah and Sepo accuse another pupil Poloki because he is very round and has sticky fingers.  Precious rejects the accusation as false while the rest of the students believe Poloki is the thief.  Deciding to prove his innocence, Precious sets a trap to catch a thief.

 

Precious’ first case is a great young adult amateur sleuth tale due a strong cast, a wonderful heroine and superb drawings (including dynamic name pronunciation lettering) that enhance the African village location.  Readers sees the adult in the child through Precious’ sense of right and wrong as she works the case in which the other students goes along with the two accusers in a classic “J’accuse” scenario.  This is a winner as we even learn who came up with the name of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

 

Harriet Klausner

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