Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dumela Mma

Do you know Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi? Have you had a chance to read any of Alexander McCall Smith's novels, "The #1 Ladies Detective Agency"? If you haven't I think you are in for a big treat. Some have described his work as too slow. But that is missing the point I think, that's one of the things I love the most... the wonderful pace...

"The great things about these novels is that they are SLOW: the pace is leisurely and they induce a wonderful sense of calm in the reader. This is why they are so popular and it is what makes them so readable - all that, of course, as well as the superb sense of place you get in these novels, their magnificent evocation of the African atmosphere from someone who was born and raised in the area and the totally brilliant sense of characterisation that makes them so real."(review from amazon, this writer has a beautiful way with words, don't you think?)

Last year these books were brought to life as a made for television drama series produced by the BBC in conjunction with HBO. That was great news unless you didn't have HBO, like me. :(

But now, for the good news, the first series is being released in three days (in the U.S.), September 9th, and sold as a boxed set of six episodes!

This is the first major film/TV project to be shot entirely on location in Botswana. Oh you don't have to be in Botswana to enjoy this, or even in Africa. Jill Scott who plays Mma Precious Ramotswe is charming and so perfectly cast...

...and Lucien Msamati as Mr. JLB Matekoni, Precious's love interest, is exactly right for his role...

... Mma Grace Makutsi brilliantly played by Anika Noni Rose...

The pilot (which debuted on the BBC in 2008) is the last film directed by Anthony Minghella ('Cold Mountain,' Best Director Oscar® for 'The English Patient'), who co-wrote its script with Richard Curtis (Oscar® nominee for 'Four Weddings and a Funeral,' Emmy® winner for HBO's 'The Girl in the CafĂ©'). The pilot was produced by the late Sydney Pollack (Oscar®-winning director of 'Out of Africa' and 'Tootsie'), Timothy Bricknell ('Cold Mountain') and Amy J. Moore.
Can you see the talent behind this?

For more information, photos and videos, you can visit:

also, for more on Alexander McCall Smith and his other wonderful books you can visit: (turn up the volume to hear the enchanting African music!)

"...there is no violence, no bleakness, only light, color and joy...under an echoing African sky...and a bit of mystery too! " ~ Alexander McCall Smith

I hope you'll get as much pleasure from these books and films as I have, Thank you Mr. Smith!

love, Lori ♥


  1. Alas, I have not read these books, but have always been intrigued by them. Have you looked to see if they are available for viewing on the internet... Lots of good free shows in cyberspace these days.

  2. That was a very interesting post! I have never heard of the author, but it looks worth checking out!

    ♥ Chaitra

  3. Now Lori-Ann you know that you are really the nicest person. I am nice for sure, but when I'm not, well then yikes.

    I love people who are nice and I love people who are grateful and I love people who appreciate things that are done for them.

    So since you are so nice and I already know you are gorgeous, well I want you to know that I am grateful and I appreciate that I have been lucky enough to meet you.

    Someone told me about these books last year and said they really liked them.

    Love Renee xoxo

  4. Wow Lori, I've never heard of the series or the books. I wouldn't have found it interesting if you didn't tell a bit about it. I will keep my eyes open for it.

    I can't wait to see it. It seems like such an interesting show idea. I love the idea of a show that features clever women...the fact that it's set in Africa makes it even more appealing.

    I hope your full health has returned, Lori Ann! Love to you xx

  5. Now isn't it terribly unfair that I live in South Africa, a neighbour of Botswana, and this series hasn't been shown here?? I love the books - my mother in law sent them to me from England. Again, no real fuss made here. Such a shame!

    Hope you are MUCH better, Lori, and enjoy the show :)

  6. Hi Lori Ann


    I have read every one of them and absolutely adored them...I couldn't stop devouring them...

    Aside from the leisurely pace and lovely sense of place there is a delightful humour and feeling for the characters, allowing us to love them and laugh at them at the same time...

    I am glad there are now DVDs. Maybe next time I am in Hawaii I will have to get them.

    Happy days

  7. I'm surprised so many people haven't heard of these books - I thought everyone had read them!! I love them too and am interested to see the series - hard to do the books justice but I'm sure they've managed with all the firepower behind them! Hope you're feeling better

  8. Oh wow, thank you for the heads up on this...I had no idea about the series on TV/DVD. I have a few copies around the house waiting to be read and now I am excited and kicking myself for not reading them sooner! Than you!

  9. Lori - thanks for a fab post! I imagined Precious to be slightly more mature -- not sure why though.

    I have to disagree with Jeannie - most of my friends have read at least two if not all of Mma Ramotswa's books and a couple of the author's other titles.

    I'm sure it's be on MNet or DSTV soon. . . . alas I don't have these so will have to order the box set via - then I can own them!

  10. Loved the books and the TV even better. Just such gentle goodness and the lightest touch of sillyness.
    A joy all round
    Enjoy watching when you get the chance you're in for a treat.

  11. great write up alexander mcCall's books. i've read one of 'em...and HATE to confess i am one of the people that found them too slow....eek. but i loved his other one called chocolate something or other. but speaking of bots and literature....busy reading bessie head's book when rain clouds gather...teaching it at school. now i reckon THIS is a book to be reckoned with...but maybe i should give the other ones another twirl...LOTS love lori XXX j

  12. Thanks for popping by mine, Lori! I was telling myself that this too shall pass, regarding the sleepless nights, but it's good to hear it from such an experienced source :)

    Oh dear - now I'm thinking how sad I'll be when they are grown up! Never satisfied, that's me! I would love to see the No 1 shows, but rather than putting you to the trouble, I'm thinking I might nudge that lovely mother-in-law of mine - she's always desperately asking what she can get us for Christmas and birthdays!

  13. I absolutely love the Ladies series! I began reading them between my two African trips, and I finished Kalahari Typing School for Men as I was arriving in SA where soon after my life changed.

    I feel the slow African pace, the sweet humor, the mystery, the smiles of the characters and the skies portrayed in those books ignited my love for Africa and played an important role in E's arrival in my life.

    I can't wait to see the HBO series, I'm sure it will have me weeping with nostalgia. The clip you posted had me all welled up... those colors, those accents, that music... Oy!

    But I have to agree with Janet, I imagined Mma Ramotswe a little older too. I'm sure Jill Scott did a great job.

    Big hugs
    Lola xx

  14. Dear Pat,
    those are great suggestions, I hadn't thought of them. I hope that'll be of help to some!
    Hi Chaitra,
    They've been tremendously popular, you might want to give a book a try...:)
    you might enjoy something a little lighter than what your used to reading. At the same time they are profoundly human. And I said you were the nicest first. Ha!
    Oh, I can see I made some assumptions, I thought most everyone had heard of them! They are about so much more, Life,Love,Humanity, really fabulous all the way around, I'm wish I were a better reviewer. I think you would like them(the books).
    Ah, good. Your mother~in~law, she'll be thrilled to know what to send. I think you'll really like the shows, the adaptation is brilliant. A.Mc.S. agreed.
    You have just described what it is to be a mother, aggg!
    You've said it better than I, these books are precious. I adore them. I think you'll really enjoy the shows, I was amazed at the way it all came to life. Fantastic!
    I am surprised too! I think they did a brilliant job, I've seen all the shows (my son burned them for me) and they are fantastic. I hope you get a chance to see them.
    I hope you get a chance to read one now, do let me know what you think?
    Janet, I think Jill Scott is perfect. When you see her in the show you'll see what I mean, she's on the young side, but with so much wisdom. Get them!
    that's a perfect description. I have seen them, my son burned me a set. I am not even a t.v. watcher, but I'm really happy to watch these (again and again).
    Friends,Lovers, Chocolate~ From the Sunday Philosophy Club series. Fantastic, I loved it too. Right now reading 44 Scotland Street. I guess you could say i'm a fan of his work. But it's not for everyone.
    Thanks for the recommendation of B.H.s book, I've not read any of her work.

  15. oops, just missed you Lola!
    Somehow, seeing the way J.S. plays Mma Ramotswe makes you a believer. I was swept up right away, probably for emotional reasons like you, but a lovely experiance that i hope you get to enjoy too. The on location filming and the beautiful people of Botswana is worth every cent of admission.

  16. ADDICTED! That's what I am to this series. I just happended upon the pilot and was instantly hooked. I am in love with the characters -- and the relationships in the story. Botswana is the leading lady though ... I felt as though I got to see a side of Africa not shown here too often. I hope you all get a chance to see it and read it. Delicious and very satisfying! Precious!

  17. Lori -
    I have to confess - that I was in my dad's blogger account fixing something for him and I was still logged in when I commented here. He is Polar Bear and those are my comments - not his! ; )

  18. lori, you've hooked me in totally! this goes on my winter nights list

    you and renee are both nice.

    even i'm nice, although sometimes i would rather be complimented with a different word: sexy? sassy? sensual? silly? stimulating?



  19. These sound amazing. Thank you so much for suggesting them. Maybe netflix will have them. If not maybe we can get them from Amazon. I love to watch things without violence and angst these days.

  20. lori, the comment you left on my blog tonight meant the world to me. in one sentence you've hit the chord i knew all along but had lost.

    i am forever grateful.


  21. I saw the series on HBO. You are so right about the pace, the characters. I hope they make an additional series.

  22. Yes, I have read all of them and loved them as much as you did. Thanks for sharing the release news - I will go add them to my netflix queue now :)

  23. I love them all and am now off to bed with the only one I haven`t read so far. By the way, Mma Ramotswe is supposed to be only 36so she can still be youthful, hey? I wonder how I would like the film, though. Don`t you always have a clear picture in mind from reading? But when you say it is good, I will like to see it!

  24. Sweet Lori-Ann and I know that you are sweet, I know that we would be the best of friends.

    Here is my hand........

    How are you feeling dear heart?

    Love Renee xoxo

  25. good evening lori!

    i've just spent some time lingering in your previous posts. i could stay here for a long time. i'm enthralled by your trip to and photos of africa. what an utterly beautiful country. i know this from tessa too.

    thanks for your comments to me. i like the thought of getting to know one another. xo

  26. Lyn,

    Haha, thanks for explaining! I have seen all the shows and read all 10 of the books, I am as addicted as you! It's awesome that the shows are filmed in Botswana, I love that too.
    i agree with you, i like to be all those things too, i just want their roots to be grown in kindness.
    Now where can i get your book??
    i think they'll be on netflix this week. I did put it in my cart at amazon, i know i want to own these.
    oh dear. thank you. wow.
    they are, i think episode #7 is going to show soon. yay!
    tell me what you think!
    your right! she is the perfect age, the perfect Mma Ramotswe. I am on chapter 7 of book #10 (the last one)! where are you? i think you will love the shows. Even A.McC.S. said the adaptation is brilliant. And it's Africa...
    Grateful for this day. And for your friendship. Do you remember Hands across America? we are hands across the blogworld.

    I am holding yours tight.

    love to you.
    Hi kj,
    thank you for such kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos, that gives me so much pleasure. I have only found out how talented you are, I am looking forward too.

  27. lori, you can get my book from my blog using paypal or from if you read it, you will have to tell me what you think of it. you'll have to promise to tell me. xo

  28. I have this book. It was a gift to us from friends in SA.
    I haven't yet read it, but now I will make a concerted effort to do so.
    My partner said that he ehnjoyed it.

    thanks Lori
    x Ribbon

  29. Yeah! This is my first visit to your blog and I got so excited when I saw this post! I love these books too. I don't have HBO, so I'm glad to hear from a fan that the show is good. I had no idea the DVD's were out,thanks for the heads up.

  30. Cant wait to see this!! And read the books...

    Are you on facebook my friend?

    Join us at our page possible dreams international if you are,

    Much love, M

  31. I am thankful to learn about this series. It looks highly entertaining. Thank you, dear Lori.

  32. thank you ann i hope you'll enjoy xx


xoxo lori