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The Great Cake Mystery Review

In this story about the girlhood of Precious Ramotswe, the founder of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, a mystery occurs at Precious’s school in Botswana that only ensures her destiny as an inquisitive detective.

When the sweet and delicious treats of a school in Botswana go missing it’s up to Precious to solve the case. Young readers are immediately hurled into Precious’s world.

In realizing her destiny as a detective, Precious attempts to solve a mystery in order to save the reputation of a new friend and the appetites of her schoolyard peers.

When the case is finally solved, at the expense of an unlikely culprit, Precious realizes that she really does have what it takes to resolve any crime.


Full of delightful and intriguing characters The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case will delight any young reader. This easy-to-read chapter book is absolutely perfect for any child or teen who intends to learn more about the childhood of Smith’s bestselling The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

Young Precious Ramotswe is a great character who young readers (especially girls) can look up to and admire. She is someone who is capable of displaying inquisitive characteristics far beyond her age. The characters are all very likable and they remind us of people we’ve all encountered.

We’ve all known the person in school who doesn’t quite fit in or has been falsely accused of something. This is displayed in the character Poloki, who is taunted for his size.

We’ve all known someone who was a class clown and who was known for saying things that made us laugh. This is shown by a young boy named Sepo.

We’ve all known the adult who gives us encouragement and shows us the delight in telling great stories. This is displayed in Precious’s father Obed.

Smith also captures the scenery of Botswana by describing the geography and the diversity of its people, introducing the reader to the wonderful nature of the country in which this story takes place.

The illustration also deserves to be mentioned. The images that illustrator Iain McIntosh chooses to help tell the story vividly paint a picture of Botswana, its culture, and the world in which Precious lives.

The chapters in this book, generally, are short. But the only complaint that I have with the book is that I wish the chapters were a bit longer.

The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith is a great story for any young reader who enjoys mystery, humor, and unforgettable characters.

Disclaimer: Anchor Books provided this review copy of The Great Cake Mystery to me free of charge.

Click on the link below to purchase the book at Amazon.com.

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