Authors: Alexander Mccall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the 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 was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and lives in Scotland, where in his spare time he is a bassoonist in the RTO (Really Terrible Orchestra).
OOKS IN THE
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
Blue Shoes and Happiness
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
The Miracle at Speedy Motors
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The Double Comfort Safari Club
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
AN ANCHOR BOOKS ORIGINAL, APRIL 2012
Copyright Â© 2012 by Alexander McCall Smith
Illustrations copyright Â© 2010, 2011 by Iain McIntosh
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
Anchor Books and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
The illustrations in this work were originally published as part of
Precious and the Puggies:
Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case
a Scots-language edition published by Itchy Coo,
Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2010.
Translation copyright Â© 2010 by James Robertson.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948â
Â [Precious and the monkeys]
The great cake mystery : Precious Ramotswe's very first case / by Alexander McCall Smith; illustrated by Iain McIntosh.
1. Mystery and detective stories.Â Â 2. BotswanaâFiction.
I. McIntosh, Iain, III.Â Â II. Title.
Cover design by Iain McIntosh
ave 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
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 became a detective. Her name was 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, monkeysâthe 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.