Alexander McCall Smith
Rhodesian-born British writer Alexander McCall Smith dedicated his early career to academia; he was a respected professor of medical law at a number of prestigious universities, including the University of Edinburgh and Queen's University Belfast. Alexander wrote a number of children's stories which were published in the 1980s and early 1990s, however it wasn't until he published his first series of novels, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, in 1999 that he became a full-time fiction writer. The series was a world-wide success and was made into a successful TV series by the BBC in partnership with HBO.
Since then, Alexander has become an international best-seller and his books have been translated into 46 languages. On average, he writes a staggering four to five books a year. Alexander has been honoured for his writing with countless awards and in 2004 was named the British Book Awards Author of the year, before receiving a CBE in 2007 for his services to Literature. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. Alexander has two adult daughters and lives in Edinburgh with his wife.
Alexander McCall Smith
Precious and Grace
This is the story of Precious and Grace, known to one another and their friends as Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi, co-directors of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
For years the two women have been helping people with the problems in their lives, but their partnership is tested by a curious case: a client who wants to rediscover the life she lost when she left Botswana thirty years ago. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi soon find that the quest for the truth takes them in very different directions. They are each convinced that they are on the right track - but what if they are both wrong? Meanwhile Mma Ramotswe must extract Mr Polopetsi - part-time assistant detective - from a potential disaster with wide-reaching consequences, deal with a stray dog that Fanwell - the gentle mechanic - has brought into their lives, and cope with the agency's arch-enemy, Violet Sephotho.
Steeped in the heat of summer in Botswana, and packed with intrigue, this heartfelt tale of friendship under pressure reveals how coming to terms with the past may be the only way to face the future.
Alexander McCall Smith Talks About His Work
We spoke to Alexander McCall Smith the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, where he explained that he doesn't see himself as a mystery writer; Mma Ramotswe spends her time not necessarily solving mysteries but helping people with their problematic lives. In this latest story she helps the owner of a new beauty salon to overcome some rather unpleasant competition.
Alexander explains that he feels his stories are about Botswana and its people, who he says are overwhelming kind. He was born there and admires the way the country has been built. Alexander also revealed the title of the 15th book in the series, The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café, due to be published in the autumn.