Just finished The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, and what a wonderful creation it is. And yet I very nearly didn’t make it past chapter two. After an amiable start where Mma Ramotswe cleverly uncovers the true identity of a client’s father, the book veers off on a three chapter story which describes Mme Ramotswe’s father’s travails in the mines of SA, and the young woman’s doomed marriage to trumpeter and jazz aficionado Note Mokoti. To me the effect jarred. Too much back story too soon. And yet by the end of chapter 4 I was almost in tears, and simply HAD to devour the entire book as quickly as possible.
The lesson here? Take big chances. Both as a writer and a reader.