News & Events


New short stories to start exclusively in The Sunday Times online this weekend.

Date Published: 9th January 2019

A picture can paint a thousand words, but what about a vintage photograph? In 2015 Alexander McCall Smith wrote a book entitled Chance Developments: Unexpected Love Stories, in which he imagined the stories behind five chanced-upon black and white photographs. Who were those people, why were they smiling, what made them sad? He so enjoyed the experience that […]

Celebrate with us! The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – 20 years of humanity, kindness, humour, forgiveness and sheer joy

Date Published: 2nd April 2018

A very good reason to celebrate: 2018 is the twentieth anniversary of publication of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith—20 years of delightfully different books, page-after-page of humanity, kindness, humour and forgiveness, and in short, sheer joy. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series started life as a short story written for friends but took hold […]

Australian response to Alexander McCall Smith’s 2018 visit

Date Published: 15th March 2018

Australian response: Alexander would like to thank all of his readers who came out to meet him on his visit to Dubai for the Emirates Festival and his tour of Australia this month (March 2018), both of which he enjoyed very much indeed. He is very fond of the people of Australia and the land […]


Alexander McCall Smith – ‘Why I like writing about photographs’, Buckingham (UK)

Date: 19 March 2019
Venue: The Vinson Centre, Hunter Street, Buckingham, MK18 1EG
Time: 6.30pm

A number of Alexander McCall Smith’s books have been inspired by photographs or give photographs a central place in the narrative. In this talk he discusses how photographs may inspire the writing of fiction and how the well-conceived photograph may be as powerful an expression of feeling as a line of poetry. McCall Smith says: “I […]

The Department of Sensitive Crimes Launch, Blackwells, Oxford (UK)

Date: 21 March 2019
Venue: Blackwell's Bookshop, 51 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BQ
Time: 7.00pm

Blackwell’s are delighted to have Alexander McCall Smith joining us to talk about his latest book The Department of Sensitive Crimes, the first Detective Varg novel. The detectives who work in Malmo Police’s Department of Sensitive Crimes take their job very seriously. The lead detective, Ulf Varg, prioritizes his cases above even his dog’s mental health. […]

Alexander McCall Smith at Aye Write, Glasgow (UK)

Date: 24 March 2019
Venue: Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Time: 6.30pm

The Department of Sensitive Crimes is a Scandinavian Blanc novel. Scandinavian Blanc is different from Scandinavian Noir: there is nothing noir about the world of Ulf Varg, a detective in the Sensitive Crimes Department in the Swedish city of Malmo. Ulf is concerned with very odd, but not too threatening crimes – young women who […]