Trevor Mwamba to be in Ladies #1 Detective Agency film

The Tacoma, Washington News Tribune interviews Alexander McCall Smith, author of the Ladies #1 Detective Agency series.

“Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of Kgale Hill.”

Alexander McCall Smith acknowledges that the opening sentence in his 1998 best-seller, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, is an homage to the opening line in another famous novel, Out of Africa, by Danish writer Isak Dinesen.

Smith’s series of books about Ramotswe (the ninth, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, will be published this spring) are a valentine to Botswana, and by extension, much of southern Africa. They describe its parched, rolling landscape, endless blue skies and gentle, forthright people in loving terms.

The books are not really detective stories in the true sense of the word. The crimes investigated are not gory homicides, but rather the less dramatic trespasses of everyday life: cheating husbands, errant children, wily con men.

Are your characters composites of people you have met?

Usually they are. I tend not to base fictional characters on very specific people. What I do is, I put real people in the books – with their agreement.

I put words into their mouths and I show them what they say. They usually say, “I would have said that, if I’d thought of it.”

Also revealed in the interview is the film role for Bishop Mwamba:

In the Botswana novels, there are real people. Trevor Mwamba is the real Anglican Bishop of Botswana. He actually is appearing in the film. Anthony Minghella (the director) gave him a part in the film.

Read it all here.

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