Truth Universally Acknowledged

The title of this blog is an obvious reference to my favourite author, Jane Austen. My other great inspiration is Ella Fitzgerald. I intend this site to be general musings about things which interest me, and hopefully you as well.

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

I'm a girl in her twenties living in New Zealand - of Irish and Scottish descent. I'm married to a wonderful guy and we live in a tiny house in the suburbs with a menagerie of soft toys and model aircraft. My main occupations at the moment are attempting to become and author and surviving my day job... wish me luck!


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Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Book review: "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith

I waited in the request line at the library for several months to get this one. It seems that everywhere you look, people are raving about it. I started reading with very high expectations.

It was a very enjoyable read, but I wouldn't go as far as saying it is the best thing I've ever read. I'll quickly go over my quibbles: The author is obviously very passionate about the African landscape. This is not a bad thing - but I did find my attention wandering when, in certain parts of the book, page after page was dedicated to lengthy descriptions. I wanted to find out where Mma Ramotswe was heading next, and I felt that these bits slowed things down too much. Also, there are some quite dark elements to the plot which disturbed me - such as violence, rape and child mutilation. These are dealt with sensitively, but still I was not expecting them and was unpleasantly surprised.

These small personal negatives aside, the book is a lovely diversion from mainstream detective/mystery novels. The personality of the protagonist is what drives the action and the ways in which she solves matters are very original and often amusing. I can't see Miss Marple picking up someone else's guy in a bar to prove he's unfaithful! Mma Ramotswe is also making countless little observations about life which are humorous yet profound.

At the end of the edition I was reading, the first chapter of the next installment was included. I could have happily continued reading on, so I suppose that means I have developed a thirst for these stories. The thing that mainly intrigued me was the hilarious way Mma Ramotswe reacts when she goes to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's house! Anyway, suffice to say the first book is mostly charming and packed with little surprises to delight the reader.

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