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Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith, CBE was born on 24 August, 1948 in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and is a much-loved author. Famous for his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories starring Mma Ramotswe and the Isabel Dalhousie series, he has written over 100 books ranging from children's books and short stories to specialist academic titles and his bestselling fiction.

Alexander earned a P.h.D in law from the University of Edinburgh (where he is now a Emeritus Professor of Medical Law) and worked as a teacher before going into writing. A respected expert on medical law and bioethics, Alexander is a lover of tea and takes his teapot wherever he goes and likes to play wind instruments in his spare time. He lives in Scotland with his family near Ian Rankin and J.K. Rowling.



Alexander McCall Smith Books

  • CDAS
    Alexander McCall Smith
    (1)
    • £4.99
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    Inspired by a selection of vintage photographs, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency author Alexander McCall Smith presents a selection of short stories about all kinds of love in Chance Developments.

    With a die-cut jacket and all five black-and-white photographs lovingly reproduced throughout the book, this is a gorgeous gift for any fan of the popular author. He looks at each photo and comes up with stories about the people captured in them.

    From an estate in the Highlands of Scotland to a Canadian travelling circus, the stories are captivating from start to finish. They'll make you smile, laugh and cry and hope these characters find the love they're after - whether that be romantic, platonic, passionate or familial.
  • AAFRS
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in Edinburgh. Immediately recognisable are the Edinburgh chartered surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who dreams of membership of Scotland's most exclusive golf club. We have the pushy Stockbridge mother, and her prodigiously talented five-year-old son, who is making good progress with the saxophone and with his Italian. Then there is Domenica Macdonald who is that type of Edinburgh lady who sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual world. In McCall Smith's hands such characters retain charm and novelty, simultaneously arousing both mirth and empathy. 44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters' struggles to resolve them.
  • FAOY
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Another entertaining and comforting story from prolific and much-loved author Alexander McCall Smith, this hardback edition of the Forgotten Affairs of Youth is a must for fans of the Elizabeth Dalhousie series or McCall?s other collections such as the 44 Scotland Street and the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency stories. The eighth instalment in this popular series, this beguiling and thoughtful novel sees the Edinburgh philosopher and part-time sleuth come to the aid of a visiting Australian philosopher who is in search of her Scottish birth parents. Filled with familiar and entertaining characters, this book makes a great, warming gift for the author?s many fans.

  • ADZDB
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Glorious short stories from international bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, in a collection written especially for World Book Day There are times when ladies must use all their wisdom and good sense to face life's problems and mysteries. Mma Ramotswe, owner of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, keeps her wits about her as she looks into why the country's star goalkeeper isn't saving goals. Georgina turns her rudeness into a virtue when she opens a successful hotel. Italian shop-keeper Fabrizia shows her bravery when her husband betrays her. And in Suffolk during the Second World War, gentle La proves that music really can make a difference. With his trademark gift for storytelling, Alexander McCall Smith brings us five tales of love, heartbreak, hope and the cleverness of ladies. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.
  • ADXLK
    Alexander McCall Smith
    • £8.89
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    As the countdown to Mma Makutsi's wedding begins, all is not as it should be at the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. While investigating unpleasant occurrences on a southern cattle-post, Mma Ramotswe, always on the side of the weak against the strong, has reason to reflect on Rule No.3 of The Principles of Private Detection: never lie to the client. Apprentice mechanic Charlie seems to be avoiding certain important responsibilities. And as Mma Makutsi's big day approaches, her nemesis Violet Sephotho is casting her net wider: by standing for election which could spell trouble for the entire nation. But as friends and family gather under starry African night skies, it turns out that even the most perplexing of apparitions - and the most shocking of crimes - may yield to rational explanation. And, of course, to Mma Ramotswe's inimitable way with love, intuition and redbush tea.
  • AAXGL
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are called to a safari lodge in Botswana's Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest. The Okavango makes Precious appreciate once again the beauty of her homeland: it is a paradise of teeming wildlife, majestic grasslands and sparkling water. However, it is also home to rival safari operators, fearsome crocodiles and disgruntled hippopotamuses. What's more, Mma Makutsi still does not have a date for her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti and is feeling rather tetchy herself. But Precious knows that with a little patience, just as the wide river will gently make its way round any obstacle, so will everything work out for the best in the end ...
  • AGEGQ
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have always relied on the advice of the classic guide to their trade, The Principles of Private Detection. But who is the eminent author, Mr Clovis Andersen, and what if he were to come to Botswana? That seems a very unlikely possibility, and yet ...When Mr Andersen visits Botswana on holiday, he is delighted and intrigued to stumble across a roadside sign that reveals the existence of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Professional courtesy suggests that he call and announce himself. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti are embarking on married life and building a new house - a tricky business under any circumstances but especially hazardous when the name of the contractor is the Joy and Light Building Company.
  • ANNCO
    Alexander McCall Smith
    (1)
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    Beloved and bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith lends his delightful touch to the Austen classic, Emma. 'It's comfort reading at its most soothing' Independent Sometimes it takes time to discover who you really are. And for Emma Woodhouse the journey is only just beginning. After graduating, Emma returns home to Norfolk, where she plans to set up a design business. But that summer, as Emma begins to match-make various friends and neighbours, some important lessons about life and relationships await her...
  • AIYSH
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    As Botswana awaits the familiar blessing of the rains and the resumption of the eternal cycle, seismic upheaval is taking place at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Not only is Mr J. L. B. Matekoni attempting to reform himself into a modern husband, but after her marriage to Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Ramotswe's challenging but irreplaceable associate Mma Makutsi has joyful news. With the arrival of an heir to the Double Comfort furniture empire and Mma Makutsi busy with motherhood, Mma Ramotswe must tackle tea-making and detective work alone. Well-known troublemaker Violet Sephotho may or not be behind a smear campaign against the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, and a dispute over the will of a local dignitary points to a shocking family secret. But the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is resilient and adaptable, and change brings salutary lessons: that our enemies are not always obvious, that a snake under the bed may be an ally, and that a mother's love conquers all.
  • AXLYC
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Isabel Dalhousie now has a second child - another boy, Magnus. He comes home with her at the beginning of the book and she discovers that Charlie is far from thrilled. He sees no need for a new baby. In Cat's delicatessen, Isabel meets a woman with whom she had been at school. This woman, Bea Shand, is known as an enthusiastic match-maker. She is very worried, though, as she has introduced a woman she knows to a plastic surgeon who is now described by another friend as a gold-digger. This other friend reveals that the surgeon has a bad track record: he has been involved with a series of well-off women and has succeeded in separating a number of then from their money. Bea asks Isabel to investigate; she herself tried to warn her friend of the danger she was in but was rebuffed badly. Isabel starts to make enquiries. At first the pattern that emerges confirms her friend's dire diagnosis, but as things develop it emerges that not only is the surgeon innocent, but he himself is the one in danger! In the meantime, as a sub-plot, Isabel finds that the man who warned her of the surgeon's proclivities, is taking an interest in her (Isabel). He appears to be smitten by her; she tries to get away from him but discovers that she has inadvertently given Jamie grounds to believe that she (Isabel) is having an affair. This is awkward, but is resolved satisfactorily. Her final conclusion: match-make at one's peril. Never tell people half-truths for paternalistic reasons. Mind your own business (a lesson that Isabel never seems to learn).
  • AQAJP 5 years +
    Alexander McCall Smith
    5 years +
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    Jeffrey spends his Saturdays working in Mr Prendergast's junk shop. One day, while they are sorting things out, they uncover a mysterious machine. Jeffrey takes it home to see if he can make it work. It turns out to be a joke-producing machine, and an extremely funny one at that! Soon everyone in town wants one of its jokes. Everyone except Mr Jenkinson, that is, the miserable owner of the shop next door. Of course, what Mr Jenkinson really needs to do is get a sense of humour instead of trying to ruin everyone's fun. But who will get the last laugh?
  • AQAJR 5 years +
    Alexander McCall Smith
    5 years +
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    Patty lives with her Aunt Bat on a banana plantation in Jamaica. Unfortunately, as it's such a small plantation, they're having trouble keeping up with the competition, and Aunt Bat is worried they'll have to sell up. Patty needs to think of an idea to turn things around, and fast! Inspiration comes to her as she's digging into a chocolate banana special at her local ice-cream parlour. All she needs to do is invent a machine - a banana machine. Will Patty's mechanical wizardry help the plantation out of its crisis? Or, like the bananas, are her ideas round the bend?
  • APWIU 5 years +
    Alexander McCall Smith
    5 years +
    • £8.13
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    Roll up, roll up for a sensational circus story from the bestselling author of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, with fun, energetic illustrations by Kate Hindley throughout. Join Freddie Mole as he tumbles through the air, flies around the big tent and tames four growling lions! Freddie is an ordinary boy who joins the circus one day. He can't believe his luck as he is asked to understudy some of the acts. But is he brave enough to go into the lions' cage? A joyful, exciting tale of bravery and showbusiness glamour by a much loved author.
  • ASQOA
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Isabel Dalhousie is one of Edinburgh's most generous (but discreet) philanthropists - but should she be more charitable? She wonders, sometimes, if she is too judgmental about her niece's amorous exploits, too sharp about her housekeeper's spiritual beliefs, too ready to bristle in battle against her enemies. As the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, she doesn't, of course, allow herself actual enemies, but she does feel enmity - especially towards two academics who have just arrived in the city. Isabel feels they're a highly destabilizing influence; little tremors in the volcanic rock upon which an Enlightened Edinburgh perches. Equally troubling is the situation of the little boy who is convinced he had a previous life. When Isabel is called upon to help, she finds herself questioning her views on reincarnation. And the nature of grief. And - crucially - the positioning of lighthouses. The only questions Isabel doesn't have to address concern her personal life. With her young son and devoted husband her home life is blissfully content. Which is the best possible launching pad for the next issue of the Review - the Happiness issue. As Isabel is beginning to appreciate, happiness, for most people, is not quite what it seems ...
  • ANHYP
    Alexander McCall Smith
    • £6.89
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    Three classic adventure tales from the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, now together in paperback for the first time. Imagine living in the heart of Africa. Imagine living in a place where the sun rises every morning over blue mountains. Akimbo and his parents live on the edge of an African game reserve. It's his father's task to protect the thousands of amazing animals who make it their home, and wildlife-loving Akimbo dreams of helping him. In these three adventures, Akimbo protects elephants from poachers, saves a lion cub from a trap, and rescues a man from a crocodile! This 3-in-1 collection contains Akimbo and the Elephants, Akimbo and the Lions and Akimbo and the Crocodile Man.
  • ANHEW
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Even the arrival of her baby can't hold Mma Makutsi back from success in the workplace, and so no sooner than she becomes a full partner in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - in spite of Mma Ramotswe's belated claims that she is only 'an assistant full partner' - she also launches a new enterprise of her own: the Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe. Grace Makutsi is a lady with a business plan,but who could predict temperamental chefs, drunken waiters and more? Luckily, help is at hand, from the only person in Gaborone more gently determined than Mma Makutsi ...Mma Ramotswe, of course.
  • AAAHR
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    A tale that leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, much like that experienced by jolly lead character Mma Ramotswe, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built is the tenth No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel from award-winning writer Alexander McCall Smith. A meandering story of Ramotswe's sunny life in Botswana, we follow the heroine as she attempts to discover what has been causing local football team Kalahari Swoopers' recent slump. Wise and warm-hearted, Mma finds that sometimes differences between the two sexes cannot be more stark. There are plenty of cups of tea along the way as we deal with Mma's upsetting loss - her tiny white van. A hugely enjoyable read.

  • AHAKG
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    Scotland Street witnesses the wedding of the century of Angus Lordie to Domenica Macdonald, but as the newlyweds depart on honeymoon Edinburgh is in disarray. Recovering from the trauma of being best man, Matthew is taken up by a Dane called Bo, while Cyril eludes his dog-sitter and embarks on an odyssey involving fox-holes and the official residence of a cardinal. Narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a sinister doppelganger; Bertie, set up by his mother for fresh embarrassment at school, yearns for freedom; and Big Lou goes viral. But the residents of Scotland Street rally, and order - and Cyril - is restored by the combined effects of understanding, kindness, and, most of all, friendship.
  • AKBDM
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    As summer blooms in Edinburgh's gardens and Bertie Pollock's birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce's first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie's birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie's mother Irene to a warmer - if not a better - place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.
  • PREC
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    It's always a delight to catch up with Alexander McCall Smith's beloved characters Precious and Grace - also known as Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi - and the latest No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novel is no exception.

    For years the two women have been helping people through various problems, but their latest case is testing their partnership. One of their clients wants to rediscover the life she lost when she left Botswana 30 years ago. But this quest soon takes them in different directions and both believe they're right - but what if they're actually both wrong?

    Mma Ramotswe is also having to deal with extracting the part-time assistant detective Mr. Polopetsi from a potential disaster, deal with a stray dog and deal with the agency's arch-enemy.

    As Precious and Grace's friendship is put under pressure during a sweltering summer in Botswana, the ladies must learn how to deal with the past they have to face the future.
  • AOVVG 5 years +
    Alexander McCall Smith
    5 years +
    • £5.89
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    An irresistible bind-up edition of two fabulously fun, wonderfully witty adventure mysteries, from the bestselling author of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, and with amazing illustrations by Kate Hindley throughout. Popcorn Pirates The greediest gang of grub-guzzling pirates ever to sail the high seas is after the Popcorn Islands' harvest. Can Lucy, Hermione and Sam stop them? The Bubblegum Tree The secret ingredient for Gopal's Best Pink Bubblegum has not been delivered for two months. Billy, Nicola and Mr Gopal are off to the jungle in a flying boat to solve the baffling mystery ...
  • ATAPE
    Alexander McCall Smith
    • £7.19
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    Mma Ramotswe is not one to sit about. Her busy life as the proprietress of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency gives her little time for relaxation. Nonetheless, she is persuaded by her co-director Mma Makutsi to take a holiday. But Mma Ramotswe finds it impossible to resist the temptation to interfere with the agency's cases - secretly, she intends ...This leads her to delve into the past of a man whose reputation has been called into question. It also leads her to an orphan named Samuel. Meanwhile, Violet Sephotho, Mma Makutsi's arch-enemy, has had the temerity to set up a new secretarial college - one that aims to rival that great institution, the Botswana Secretarial College. Will she get her comeuppance? It will be a close-run thing.
  • ATAPB
    Alexander McCall Smith
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    For seven-year-old Bertie Pollock, life in Edinburgh's most celebrated fictional street has just got immeasurably better. The enforced absence of his endlessly pushy mother Irene - currently consciousness-raising in a Bedouin harem (don't ask) - has manifold and immediate blessings: no psychotherapy, no Italian lessons and no yoga classes. Bliss. For Scotland Street's grown-ups, life throws up some new dilemmas. Matthew makes a discovery that could make him even richer but also leaves him worried. Pat makes one that could make her poorer and her father miserable - unless that uber-narcissist, Bruce, can help her out. And the Duke of Johannesburg, we discover, isn't exactly who he says he is. From what happens behind Edinburgh Airport's luggage carousel to Machiavellian manoeuvrings at the Association of Scottish Nudists, Alexander McCall Smith guides us through the brighter, lighter and frankly unexpected side of Edinburgh life. As ever with his 44 Scotland Street series, his readers will make their own discovery: that its blend of wit and wisdom mark it out as a comedic tour de force.
  • ATAPF
    Alexander McCall Smith
    • £6.99
    A beautiful, heartwarming story set in Africa about a young boy and his yearning for a pet dog. From internationally bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith. Timo and his mother do not have much money - in fact, they have almost none. But that does not matter too much, because Timo has his mother and she has him. They have their little house. They have friends and neighbours. They have the world about them. All of that can be enough for happiness. There is one more thing, though, that Timo would like to have ...A dog! High quality cream paper and a special easy-to-read font ensure a smooth read for all.