Story Calendar

A Poem for June: In a Garden

Alexander McCall Smith joined the Cyrenians charity last week, along with patients and volunteers, at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for a book reading, where he presented a new poem written for the occasion and gifted books to hospital patients and staff. Here is that poem.   In a Garden   The Community Gardens   The human soul […]

A Story for May: The Man with the Silver Saab

The Man with the Silver Saab is the third book in the Detective Varg series, it will be published in paperback in June. Below is an extract from the first chapter. Chapter One: An Attack with Impunity It happened very quickly. One moment, Ulf Varg’s hearing impaired dog, Martin, was enjoying his outing to the […]

A Story for April: Balerno

A family of three lived in a large house in Balerno, just outside Edinburgh. The family consisted of a man, a  woman, and a daughter of nineteen. The man had a goods-in, goods-out business just outside Livingston. He bought goods, moved them in, and then moved them out, with a larger price attached. “I’m a […]

A Story for March: From the South

There was an Italian town, possibly Verona, in which the people discouraged incomers and made it difficult for them to be accepted. In particular, they objected to the influx of southerners – people with names like Valentino, Salvatore, or Pasquale. These were typical Neapolitan or Sicilian  names, and these arrogant northerners regarded them with disdain. […]

A Story for February: Free Return

She was lonely. Exactly six years earlier, her husband, the director of a firm that planted trees across Scottish hillsides, informed her that he had been conducting an affair with his secretary, a woman named Bernie. Bernie was twenty eight and was keen to meet a man of substance so that she would no longer […]

A Story for December: Bertie’s Christmas

A vintage short story from the master storyteller. First published in The Scotsman in 2010.

A Story for November: Australia Deprivation Syndrome

Some light-hearted writing in recognition of those who love Australia and have been unable to visit for some time.

A Story for October- Belgian Shoes

This is an extract from the upcoming novel, Love in the Time of Bertie, the fifteenth book in the 44 Scotland Street series. Available in the US and Canada in February.

A Story for September: The Joy & Light Bus Company

An extract from the first chapter of the latest novel in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, The Joy & Light Bus Company, published in the US & Canada in October.

A Story for August: The Pavilion in the Clouds

 An extract from some new writing, currently being worked on by Alexander.

A Story for July: Three Friends By Themselves

A note from the author: This happened some time ago, before we all found ourselves facing a rather long period of enjoying our own company. Three friends had gone for a hike in a remote part of Argyll. It was a rugged and beautiful part of the country – a landscape dominated by towering Munros, […]

A Story for June: Trams, and other big questions

There are no trams in Scotland Street, nor buses for that matter. The street’s dimensions are generous, though, and would allow for a tramline, were anyone to wish to construct one. They would allow for a bicycle lane, too, and still leave room for cars and for the pedestrians who like to stroll down this […]