Books

What's New in Books?

“I always get a little shiver of excitement when I have a new book by Alexander McCall Smith. These are the books that I devour regardless of my normal day-to-day, mother-of-two activities and I have been known to carry on reading them whilst cooking, book in one hand, spatula in the other, much to the detriment of the sausages left burning under the grill!”
BOOKBAG

Quite literally ‘hot-off-the-press’: the latest books in each series are all here along with new books that are not part of any series. Everything published recently is to be found right here. From these books you can link through to the full range of titles or, simply scroll further down this page.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series

“I find it impossible to think about these novels without smiling”
Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series started life as a short story written for friends. The story soon took hold of its author and grew first to one novel and then to many more. Now, with over 20 million copies sold in English and translations in 46 languages, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is one of the most successful and beloved in the world.

Precious Ramotswe, a cheerful woman of traditional build, is the founder of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Gabarone, Botswana. Since her first appearance in 1998, Mma Ramotswe has established herself as one of the most famous private detectives in world-literature. Her gentle interpretation of the detective role is helped along the way by a host of delightful characters: the patient and noble Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, her long standing fiance; her loyal and enterprising assistant, Mma Makutsi; and the wily Mma Potokwane, matron of the nearby orphan farm.

With her friends by her side, Mma Ramostwe navigates her cases and her personal life with her innate wisdom, good humour and the occasional cup of tea.

“A tapestry of extraordinary nuance and richness”
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“These books, like their author, have charm. You cannot overstate the power of this—it's the missing ingredient in contemporary fiction”
THE GUARDIAN

44 Scotland Street

“[McCall Smith] can make decency sparkle, and honour seem like the holy grail”
THE AGE (Melbourne)

“McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humour, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books [to] readers”
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

The sparkling city of Edinburgh, and the residents of a special part of the city—44 Scotland Street—come vividly to life in Alexander McCall Smith’s gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, with little Bertie Pollock at the centre of it all. Readers everywhere will doubtless recognise their neighbours and themselves in this shrewd send-up of urban society which started out as a series of daily episodes in The Scotsman newspaper and now reaches readers acround the world in book form.

“Amusing, eyebrow raising and full of satisfying warmth and love, this is an enchanting and joyful read”
LOVEREADING.CO.UK

“Entertaining... McCall Smith has been doing the writerly equivalent of bread-baking—giving Scotland its daily novel”
THE GUARDIAN

Isabel Dalhousie / The Sunday Philosophy Club Series

“The No. 2 Lady Detective... anyone who loves Precious cannot fail to be charmed”
MAIL ON SUNDAY

No one captures the charm of Edinburgh quite like Alexander McCall Smith in his series featuring the insatiably curious professional philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie, one of fiction’s most richly developed women detectives. Whether she is investigating a case or a problem of philosophy, the indefatigable Isabel is always ready to pursue the answers to all of life’s trickiest questions, large and small.

“Isabel is a force to be reckoned with”
USA TODAY

“Remarkable... [Isabel] is such good company, it's hard to believe she's fictional”
NEWSWEEK

Professor Dr von Igelfeld / Portuguese Irregular Verbs Series

“In the halls of academe, a setting fraught with ego-driven battles for power and prestige, [Alexander McCall Smith] has rendered yet another one-of-a-kind character: the bumbling but brilliant Dr. Mortiz-Maria von Igelfeld”
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs series slyly skewers academia, chronicling the comic misadventures of the incorrigible, endearingly awkward Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, and his long-suffering colleagues at the Institute of Romantic Philology in Regensburg, Germany. Perpetually engaged in a quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due, the adventures of von Igelfeld have a tendency to go hilariously awry.

Corduroy Mansions Series

“Quirky and original... Told with warmth, wit, and intelligence, and [McCall Smith's] characters are beautifully observed. It's a page-turner with many happy endings. Perfect”
DAILY EXPRESS

Welcome to Corduroy Mansions in Pimlico: a temple, though slightly dilapidated, of arts-and-crafts architecture in the heart of London and home to a delightfully eccentric cast of characters. With his trademark humour and insight, Alexander McCall Smith deftly weaves together the strands of their comic exploits, including his first canine hero, Freddie de la Hay—perhaps the world’s cleverest terrier.

“Filled with charming eccentrics... McCall Smith, a master of weaving the many strands of his complex stories together, does so here with supreme virtuosity”
THE WASHINGTON POST

Stand-alone Books

“McCall Smith’s novels are beautifully precise and psychologically acute”
THE INDEPENDENT

Alexander McCall Smith's stand-alone books, fiction and non-fiction alike, feature a wide-ranging vision always full of wit and charm, creating a world in which complex characters can safely explore new situations. These books capture the joy of a moment, the inspirations of travel, the significance of chance encounters, and many other delights.

“[McCall Smith's] accomplished novels... [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities... These novels are gentle probes into the mysteries of human nature”
NEWSDAY

School Ship Tobermory Children's Series

Illustrated by award-winning artist Iain McIntosh.

“The most fun, informative book I have ever read!”
LOVEREADING4KIDS (Emily Yates, age 9)

Ben and Fee are twins (though Fee is older by two minutes), whose parents are marine scientists and spend much of their time travelling the world in their own private submarine. Since they are away from home so often, they decide to enroll Ben and Fee in a boarding school. But this isn't just any boarding school - this is the School Ship Tobermory, where pupils train to be sailors and learn about all things nautical. What adventures the twins will have ,with fellow pupils Badger and Poppy, and the less savoury pupils Maximilian Flubber and Geoffrey Shark. And of course, there is a host of other colourful characters, including the Captain, whose previous ship was captured by pirates; Matron, an ex-champion highdiver; Fergus, the cook, whose speciality dish is seaweed pie; and Sea Biscuit, the ship's dog, with a penchant for mermaids.

A Lovereading Book of the Year, 2015

Precious Children’s Series / Precious Ramotswe Mysteries for Young Readers

Illustrated by award-winning artist Iain McIntosh

“Deftly written, delightful to read, and perfect for bedtime sharing or for those more confident in their reading to head off upstairs with by themselves... The illustrations throughout... are lovely, very evocative of the countryside and the people of Botswana”
BOOKBAG

Well before Precious Ramotswe founded her No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, she was already solving mysteries. These gorgeous children's books capture the beauty of Botswana through the enquiring mind of an eight-year-old already well on her way to becoming a detective.

“Really fun... [The] mini-mystery and its jaw-dropping illustrations will please porto-detectives, both large and small”
SCHOOL LIBRARIAN JOURNAL