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The No. 1 Ladies? Detective Agency
Sundays HBO
Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Lucian Msamati
Episode 4 April 19th 2009 8 P.M.
1 hour

The fourth episode of HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency airs Sunday April 19th at 8:00 P.M. After a fairly ordinary third episode, this episode lives up to the standards established early on in this TV adaptation of the Alexander McCall Smith mystery novels. Especially funny is the first case, the case of the Three Missing Shoes, and the chickens.

Things get a bit more serious in this episode, The Boy With An African Heart. An American woman (CCH Pounder of The Shield) hires Mma Ramotswe to find her son who disappeared from a Botswanan commune some ten years ago.

Something of particular appeal about The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is the steady character development of the two main protagonists, Mma Ramotswe (the absolutely perfect for the part Jill Scott) and her secretary (and soon to be “executive assistant” Mma Makutsi (Anika Noni Rose). The detective agency offices slowly improve as the agency solves cases and gets fees and Mma Makutsi’s very private personal life also slowly reveals itself.

The case of the Three Missing Shoes takes a new turn while the case of The Boy With An African Heart grows more complex. As mysteries go, this one is top notch story telling. Mma Ramotswe’s detective skills are tested but her cunning and smarts allow her to get to the bottom of this cold case.

Another plus in this episode of the HBO Ladies’ No 1 Detective Agency is the “local color” shots are much more elegantly used than in earlier episodes.

The HBO TV adaptation of  Alexander McCall Smith’s mystery novels makes for excellent and addictive viewing.