Can a fictional character write a cookbook? In the case of Precious Ramotswe, star of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series set in Botswana, her fans know that she can do pretty much anything she turns her mind to. (Other, perhaps, than to successfully diet....)But Mma Ramotswe's joy in the pleasures of the table can only boost her credibility in this project. The Telegraph reports that the cookbook is actually the "brainchild" of Stuart Brown, a charity worker and former BBC journalist from Edinburgh.
Brown, who collected authentic Botswanan recipes while working in the country, will collaborate with Smith on the project, the proceeds of which will raise funds for "worthwhile causes" in Botswana. Recipes in the book will include traditional stew, fruit cakes, and fat cakes (doughnuts).
"The recipes are full of the flavour and colours of Botswana and reflect the character of cooking in that country, the country Mma Ramotswe loves so much," McCall Smith told the Telegraph.
"As fans of the series know, Mma Ramotswe is quite a fan of doughnuts, or fat cakes as they are called in Botswana," said Brown. "They feature heavily in her recipe book, as well as fruit cake. The book is a celebration of what she calls the 'traditional African build,' as she is very much against the tyranny of the thin shape which dominates the fashion world."
As the Telegraph points out, "The sleuth's generous figure is a recurring theme in the series of books," which have sold more than 20 million copies in English and have now been translated into 40 languages.