Picks and Pans Review: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

UPDATED 04/06/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/06/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

HBO, March 29, 8 p.m. ET |

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Based on Alexander McCall Smith's Botswana-set best-sellers, Agency is as sweetly elemental as spring water. American singer-actress Jill Scott gives a lovely performance as Precious Ramotswe, a woman abundant both in proportions and personality. On her father's death, Precious inherits enough wealth, in cattle, to set up shop as a sleuth. Don't expect much suspense from the mysteries, unless Murder, She Wrote reruns leave you gasping. What matters is Precious's clear-eyed yet kindly perspective. This is the rare crime show more about life than death.

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