MLA Platinum Award Press Release

The Great Cake Mystery Summary and Reviews

The Great Cake Mystery

Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case: A Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Book for Young Readers

by Alexander McCall Smith

The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith X
The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2012
    96 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn't it be nice to be a detective?
 
This is the story of an African girl who says just that.

Her name is Precious.
 
When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn't always right. She also learns how to be a detective.

Recommended for ages 7-10

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Bold and striking, McIntosh's chunky, two-color woodcut-like pictures present evocative images of the African setting. This is a story, and a heroine, with impressive dimension." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A compelling plot and interesting secondary characters, especially classmates who are quick to make unfounded accusations and their teacher, who provides wisdom just when it is needed, will leave readers wanting more. One case where an adaptation from an adult book is as much fun to read as the original." - Kirkus Reviews

"This mini mystery and its jaw-dropping illustrations will please proto-detectives, both large and small... What [McCall Smith]'s done with The Great Cake Mystery is unique... His fans will pluck it up like so many of his other books... A really fun read." - School Library Journal

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Cloggie Downunder

charming
The Great Cake Mystery is a children’s story for readers under ten by Alexander McCall Smith. It is a prequel to his popular No 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels in that it describes Precious Ramotswe’s first case, solved when she was still at school. Whilst the mystery is a simple one, Precious doesn’t jump to conclusions, and when she thinks she has solved the case, she sets out to irrefutably prove it. This delightful story includes charming two-color woodcutlike pictures by Iain McIntosh that evoke the African setting, as well as a note from the author, a reader’s guide and even a recipe for Precious’s Sponge Cake Worth Stealing. This is a McCall Smith feel-good tale that young and not-so-young readers will appreciate.

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Author Information

Alexander McCall Smith Author Biography

Alexander McCall Smith began the now highly successful 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series in 1996, after being inspired by the sight of a 'traditionally built' Botswanan lady chasing down a chicken for a meal. The first book in the series - 'The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' was published in the UK in 1998 but didn't arrive in the USA until 2001.

Known to his friends as Sandy, McCall Smith describes the Botswanans as 'genuinely courteous people' He knows Botswana well as he grew up there and also spent several years on the law faculty of the University of Botswana; his volume on the legal system of Botswana (The Criminal Law of Botswana) remains the definitive and in fact, only book on the subject.

In 2004 he published the first in a...

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