Skip to main content

Alexander McCall Smith

Biography

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels and a number of other series and stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages and have been bestsellers throughout the world. He lives in Scotland.

Alexander McCall Smith

Books by Alexander McCall Smith

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Short Stories

Inspired by antique photographs, these five short stories capture the surprising intersections of love and friendship that alter life's journeys. In “Angels in Italy,” childhood friends learn the enduring power of a first love. “Sister Flora's First Day of Freedom” introduces us to a young nun who makes a difficult decision to leave the sisterhood and finds delightful new riches in the big city of Edinburgh. "Dear Ventriloquist” tells of a mishap at a Canadian circus that sparks unexpected magic between a gifted puppeteer and a dapper lion tamer. Changing a tire changes the life of a young Irish teacher in “The Woman with the Beautiful Car.” And a young New Zealander learns what matters in life from his grandfather, a WWII veteran, in “He Wanted to Believe in Tenderness."

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: a woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office furniture store. Never one to let an act of injustice go unanswered, Mma Ramotswe begins to investigate, but soon discovers unexpected information that causes her to reluctantly change her views about the case. Other surprises await our intrepid proprietress in the course of her inquiries. Mma Ramotswe is puzzled when she happens to hear of a local nurse named Mingie Ramotswe. She thought she knew everybody by the name of Ramotswe, and that they were all related. Who is this mystery lady?

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

A new baby brings an abundance of joy to Isabel and her husband, Jamie --- but almost-four-year-old Charlie is none too keen on his newborn brother, and Isabel must find a way to impress upon her older son the patience and understanding that have served as guiding principles in her own life. These are the very qualities that bring Bea Shandon, an old acquaintance of Isabel’s, to seek her help in a tricky situation. Something on a matchmaker, Bea has introduced a wealthy female friend to a cosmetic surgeon at her most recent dinner party. Then new information comes to light about the surgeon that causes Bea to doubt his motives. Isabel agrees to find out more, but as her enquiries take an unexpected turn, she starts to wonder whom exactly she should be investigating.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Mma Makutsi, who has recently been promoted to co-director, has been encouraging Mma Ramotswe to update to more modern office practices. An unusual case, however, will require both of them to turn their attention firmly to the past. A young Canadian woman who spent her early childhood in Botswana requests the agency’s help in recalling her life there. Precious and Grace set out to locate the house that the woman lived in and the caretaker who looked after her many years ago. But when the journey takes an unexpected turn, they are forced to consider whether some things are better left in the past.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

Paul Stuart, a renowned food writer, finds himself at loose ends after his longtime girlfriend leaves him for her personal trainer. To cheer him up, Paul’s editor, Gloria, encourages him to finish his latest cookbook on-site in Tuscany, hoping that a change of scenery will offer a cure for both heartache and writer’s block. But upon Paul’s arrival, things don’t go quite as planned. A mishap with his rental-car reservation leaves him stranded, until a newfound friend leads him to an intriguing alternative: a bulldozer. With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts the offer, and as he journeys into the idyllic hillside town of Montalcino, he discovers that the bulldozer may be the least of the surprises that await him.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

Bertie’s mother, Irene, returns from the Middle East to discover that, in her absence, her son has been exposed to the worst of evils --- television shows, ice cream parlors, and even unsanctioned art at the National Portrait Gallery. Her wrath descends on Bertie’s long-suffering father, Stuart. But Stuart has found a reason to spend more time outside of the house and seems to have a new spring in his step. What does this mean for the residents of 44 Scotland Street? The winds of change have come to the others as well. As Irene resumes work on what she calls her Bertie Project, reinstating Bertie’s Italian lessons, yoga classes and psychotherapy, Bertie begins to hatch a project of his own --- one that promises freedom.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Isabel Dalhousie, the insatiably curious Edinburgh sleuth and philosopher, takes on a case unlike any she’s had before: a six-year-old boy has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life. His visions include a perfect description of a Scottish island and a house where he claims to have lived. The boy’s mother asks Isabel to investigate, but her findings continue to perplex as her efforts to seek rational explanations are thwarted by the unusual mystery unfolding before her.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Business is slow at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency --- so slow, in fact, that for the first time in her estimable career, Precious Ramotswe has reluctantly agreed to take a holiday. The promise of a week of uninterrupted peace is short-lived, however, when she meets a young boy named Samuel, a troublemaker who is in some trouble himself. Once she learns more about Samuel’s sad story, Mma Ramotswe feels compelled to step in and help him find his way out of a bad situation.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury to prepare for the launch of her interior design business. Soon she befriends Harriet Smith, the naïve but charming young teacher’s assistant at an English-language school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard. Harriet is Emma’s inspiration to do the two things she does best: offer guidance to those less wise in the ways of the world and put her matchmaking skills to good use.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

Things are looking up for seven-year-old Bertie Pollock. The arrival of his spirited grandmother and the absence of his meddlesome mother bring unforeseen blessings: no psychotherapy, no Italian lessons and no yoga classes. Meanwhile, surprises await Scotland Street’s grown-ups. Matthew makes a discovery that could be a major windfall for his family, but also presents a worrisome dilemma. Pat learns a secret about her father’s fiancée that may shake up her family, unless she can convince the perpetually narcissistic Bruce to help her out. And the Duke of Johannesburg finds himself in sudden need of an explanation --- and an escape route --- when accosted by a determined guest at a soirée.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

Newlywed painter and sometime somnambulist Angus Lordie might be sleepwalking his way into trouble with Animal Welfare when he lets his dog, Cyril, drink a bit too much lager at the local bar. Meanwhile, the long-suffering Bertie --- on the cusp of his seventh birthday party --- has taken to dreaming about his 18th, a time when he will be able to avoid the indignity of unwanted girl attendees and the looming threat of a gender-neutral doll from his domineering mother, Irene.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

Alexander McCall Smith's THE FOREVER GIRL is a novel about love and following one’s heart, and the unexpected places to which this can lead us. Through the lives of Clover and James, and Amanda and David, the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series tells a tale full of love and heartbreak, humor and melancholy, that demonstrates the myriad ways in which love shapes our lives.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Mma Ramotswe has her hands full both at home and in the office. To add to her current challenges, her devoted partner, Grace Makutsi, has decided to branch out on her own and open The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café. But even “Miss 97 Per Cent” can't quite meet all the demands of running a business --- not to mention those that a lightning strike makes on her building. Eventually, she'll have to accept all the help she can get --- even if it comes from a completely unexpected source.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

When Angus Lordie and Domenica Macdonald head off on their honeymoon, Angus's dog Cyril goes to stay with the Pollocks. The long-suffering Bertie knows firsthand how stringent his mother's rules can be, and he resolves to help Cyril set off on an adventure. Big Lou becomes a viral Internet sensation, and the incurable narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a doppelganger neighbor, who proposes a plan that could change both their lives.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. Lawyer Mma Sheba, the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate, has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is using dangerous products that burn people’s skin. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business?

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring seven-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy --- just ask his mother. 

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

The rocking motion of the train as it speeds along, the sound of its wheels on the rails. There’s something special about this form of travel that makes for easy conversation, which is just what happens to the four strangers who meet in TRAINS AND LOVERS. As they journey by rail from Edinburgh to London, the four travelers pass the time by sharing tales of trains that have changed their lives.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Historical Fiction

When Lavender, La to her friends, moves to the Suffolk countryside, it’s not just to escape the London Blitz but also to flee the wreckage of a disastrous marriage. But as she starts to become a part of the community, she detects a sense of isolation.  Her deep love of music and her desire to bring people together inspire her to start an orchestra.

by Alexander McCall Smith

Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, author of the highly regarded Portuguese Irregular Verbs (200 LTD copies sold!) and a pillar of the Institute of Romance Philology in the proud Bavarian city of Regensburg, finds that life is very difficult these days. While on the annual student study retreat in the Alps, von Igelfeld fearlessly plunges 3,000 feet into mountaineering history, only to suffer the ignominy of giving inspirational lectures about the experience.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

In this ninth installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie series, the Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth answers an unexpected appeal from a wealthy Scottish collector who has been robbed of a valuable painting. She soon discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected. Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel copes with life’s issues, large and small.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

After seven years and five books, Bertie is --- finally! --- about to turn seven. But one afternoon he mislays his meddling mother Irene, and learns a valuable lesson: wish-fulfillment can be a dangerous business. Angus and Domenica contemplate whether to give in to romance on holiday in Italy, and even usually down-to-earth Big Lou is overheard discussing cosmetic surgery.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

It's back to Corduroy Mansions in London's hip Pimlico neighborhood for the third installment in Alexander McCall Smith's latest series. The residents of Corduroy Mansions are all struggling with their nearest and dearest. It seems as though the universe itself is conspiring against them. Everyone must fix their relationships with one another before Corduroy Mansions as we know it crumbles for good.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

Precious Ramotswe is haunted by a repeated dream: a vision of a tall, strange man who waits for her beneath an acacia tree. But she’s far too busy to worry about it. Mma Potokwane has been dismissed from her post as matron at the orphan farm. Can the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency help restore the beloved matron to her rightful position?

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

In the eighth installment of Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series, our inquisitive heroine helps a new friend discover the identity of her father.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction

The heartwarming, hilarious second installment in the Corduroy Mansions series presents the further adventures of Alexander McCall Smith's newest, already-beloved characters, including the Pimlico terrier Freddie de la Hay.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

At a remote cattle post south of Gaborone, two cows have been killed, and Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s No. 1 Lady Detective, is asked to investigate. It is an intriguing problem with plenty of suspects --- including, surprisingly, her own client.

by Alexander McCall Smith - Fiction, Mystery

 

Isabel Dalhousie has been asked to investigate candidates for the new headmaster position at a local boy’s school. When she receives an anonymous warning about one of them, she discovers deep secrets not just about the candidates, but also about her own life.

written by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Lisette Lecat - Fiction, Mystery

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series features the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe of Botswana, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives."

by Alexander McCall Smith - Mystery

This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series features the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe of Botswana, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives."