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The Great Cake Mystery

Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case

Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Great Cake Mystery
Before becoming the first female private investigator in Botswana, eight-year-old Precious Ramotswe tracks down a thief who has been stealing her classmates' snacks.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2012
ISBN: 9780307949448
Branch Call Number: J YR FIC M
Characteristics: 73 p. : ill. (some col.), map ; 20 cm.
Additional Contributors: McIntosh, Iain Illustrator


From Library Staff

Young Precious discovers a talent for detective work when she solves a mystery involving naughty monkeys and sticky cakes.

From the critics

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Jul 02, 2012
  • m2 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Fun and sweet story
about when Precious Ramotswe first solves a mystery, as a young girl in school in Botwana. Great to have a strong capable female African lead in a JChapter format -- the only thing to compare is Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke. There is a shameless plug at the end for No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I would vote for LOTS more young Precious Ramotswe mysteries.

Interesting to see how & why he developed this story for the younger age group. 'Scholastic book ' approach.

Jun 12, 2012
  • modestgoddess rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I liked this, though I did see the solution to the mystery very early on - not sure if a child would? Some lovely touches, like the story of Precious's father meeting a lion when he was a boy. The back of the book seemed to have some excellent follow-up questions and activities for those who were inclined to use the story as a learning/teaching tool with children.

Feb 01, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An early chapter book of a mystery starring his most famous character during her childhood, Smith isn’t entirely comfortable writing for a young audience, but this mini mystery and its jaw-dropping illustrations will please proto-detectives, both large and small.


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Feb 01, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 10


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Feb 01, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Some people are good at noticing things. Take Precious Ramotswe. She’s the kind of girl who will seriously consider when someone might be lying or telling the truth. Prompted by her father to consider a future as a detective, Precious likes the idea but figures it’ll be years before she gets her first case. As it turns out, it happens a lot faster than she might think. At school a boy is accused of stealing sweets from his fellow students. Refusing to accept circumstantial evidence, Precious discovers the true culprits and devises a delightful solution to the sticky fingered thief problem.


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The Great Cake Mystery
McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948-
The Great Cake Mystery

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