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The Great Cake Mystery

Cover of The Great Cake Mystery

The Great Cake Mystery

Precious Ramotswe Series, Book 1
THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - Young Readers

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea.

Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective?

This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious.

When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn't always right. She also learns how to be a detective.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - Young Readers

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea.

Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective?

This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious.

When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn't always right. She also learns how to be a detective.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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    Chapter One

    Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective? Most of us will never have the chance to make that dream come true. Detectives, you see, are born that way. Right from the beginning they just know that this is what they want to be. And right from the beginning they show that solving mysteries is something they can do rather well.

    This is the story about a girl who becomes a detective. Her name is Precious.

    Precious smiled a lot. She often smiled even when she was not thinking about anything in particular. Nice people smile a lot, and Precious Ramotswe was one of the nicest girls in Botswana. Everyone said so.

    Botswana was the country she lived in. It was down toward the bottom of Africa. She lived in a wide dry land, which had a lot of amazing things to see.

    There was the Kalahari Desert, a great stretch of dry grass and thorn trees that went on and on into the distance, farther than any eye can see. Then there was the great river in the north, which flowed the wrong way. It did not flow into the ocean, as rivers usually do, but back into the heart of Africa. When it reached the sands of the Kalahari, it drained away, just like water disappears down the drain of a bath.

    But most interesting, of course, were the wild animals. There were many of these in Botswana: lions, elephants, leopards, monkeys--the list goes on. Precious had not seen all of these animals, but she had heard about most of them. Her father, a kind man whose name was Obed, often spoke about them, and she loved the tales he told.

    "Tell me about the time you were nearly eaten by a lion," she would ask. And Obed, who had told her that story perhaps a hundred times before, would tell her again. And it was every bit as exciting each time he told it.

    "I was a young man then," he began.

    "How young?" asked Precious.

    "About eighteen, I think," he said. "I went up north to see my uncle, who lived way out in the country, or the bush as we call it in Africa, very far from everywhere."

    "Did anybody else live there?" asked Precious. She was always asking questions, which was a sign that she might become a good detective. Do you like to ask questions? Many people who ask lots of questions become detectives, because that is what detectives do. They ask a lot of questions.

    "It was a very small village," Obed said. "It was just a few huts, really, and a fenced place where they kept the cattle. They had this fence, you see, which protected the cattle from the lions at night."

    This fence had to be quite strong. A few strands of wire cannot keep lions out. That is hopeless when it comes to lions--they would just knock down such a fence with a single blow of their paw. A proper lion fence has to be made of strong poles, from the trunks of trees.

    "So there I was," Obed said. "I had gone to spend a few days with my uncle and his family. They were good to me and I liked my cousins. There were six of them--four boys and two girls. We had many adventures together.

    "I slept in one of the huts with three of the boys. We did not have beds in those days--we had sleeping mats made out of reeds, which we laid out on the floor of the hut. They were nice to sleep on. They were much cooler than a bed and blankets in the hot weather, and easier to store too."

    Precious was quiet now. This was the part of the story that she liked the best.

    "And then," her father said, "and then one night I woke up to a strange sound. It was like the sound a large pig will make when it's sniffing about for food, only a little bit quieter."

    "Did you know what it was?" she asked, holding...

About the Author-
  • Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the beloved bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series, and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is also the author of numerous children's books. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh and has served on many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine The heroine of Alexander McCall Smith's popular series becomes accessible to the younger set with this charming story. Precious Ramotswe dreamed of becoming a detective when she was a child, and her sharp observation and reasoning skills are obvious in this story of the future sleuth's first case. Adjoa Andoh brings Precious, and the land of Botswana, to life with her entertaining narration. The African names roll off her tongue, and she supplies mini-lessons that teach the listener to say them like a native. The story is enhanced by Andoh's authentic voice and obvious enjoyment. We can only hope more tales of the young Precious will be forthcoming. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Great Cake Mystery
The Great Cake Mystery
Precious Ramotswe Series, Book 1
Alexander McCall Smith
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