My friend Patti recommended this book by Alexander McCall Smith (at my library it is under the "Ms" on the shelves for McCall), and then I saw the series listed on loads of "Books I Read in 2005" lists. I loved it! On the surface it is the life of Precious Ramatswe, a private detective in Botswana, and snippets of her cases. But the meat of this book (and the whole series, I hope) is the fascinating life of the people of Botswana. I have to say, too, that McCall Smith is a lyric and often simply profound writer. I re-read some of his lines over and over just for the sheer pleasure. Like this one: "His life was unrecorded; who is there to write down the lives of ordinary people."