Sir Alexander McCall Smith is a highly respected author known for his extensive work in various genres, including mystery, fiction, and children's literature.

His most popular series features characters like Mma Precious Ramotswe in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which is set in Botswana and beloved for its warmth, wisdom, and engaging storytelling.

Smith's writing is loved for its gentle pacing, insightful observations, and the heart he brings to his stories.

His ability to create vivid, endearing worlds has made him a favorite among readers globally.

Alexander McCall Smith

Mini Biography

Alexander McCall Smith was born on August 24, 1948, in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He grew up in Zimbabwe and later moved to Scotland, where he attended the University of Edinburgh.

He earned a PhD in law and went on to teach at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Edinburgh.

His academic background in medical law and bioethics greatly influenced his writing, contributing to the depth and authenticity of his characters and plots.

Beginning of Writing Career

Smith's professional writing career began with academic texts, but he soon transitioned to fiction.

He first gained recognition for his children's books, which showcased his talent for storytelling and his ability to engage young readers.

Alexander McCall Smith has written over 100 books, spanning various genres and, in addition to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has created several other popular series.

These include the 44 Scotland Street series, set in Edinburgh and serialized in The Scotsman newspaper; the Isabel Dalhousie series, featuring a philosopher and amateur sleuth; and the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, which humorously explores the world of academia.

Smith's versatility extends to children's literature, where he has written numerous acclaimed books. 

Marriages and Family

Alexander McCall Smith married Elizabeth Parry, a physician, and they have two daughters, Lucy and Emily. The family resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Smith's personal life and his experiences living in different countries have significantly influenced his writing, infusing his stories with diverse cultural perspectives and rich detail.

Literary Achievements

Alexander McCall Smith has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, reflecting his talent and contributions to literature.

Some of his most notable awards and honors include:

  1. Knighted by King Charles III: In July 2024, Sir Alexander McCall Smith was Knighted for his services to literature.
  2. British Book Awards: "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" won the British Book Awards Author of the Year.
  3. Booksellers Association Author of the Year: Recognizing his significant impact on book sales and popularity among readers.
  4. Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Dagger in the Library Award: Honoring his entire body of work in the crime genre.
  5. Waterstones Booksellers' Award: Acknowledging his widespread popularity and impact on readers.


Click '+' to view the full list of books

  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (1998)
  • Tears of the Giraffe (2000)
  • Morality for Beautiful Girls (2001)
  • The Kalahari Typing School for Men (2002)
  • The Full Cupboard of Life (2003)
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (2004) 
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness (2006)
  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (2007)
  • The Miracle at Speedy Motors (2008)
  • Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (2009)
  • The Double Comfort Safari Club (2010)
  • The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (2011)
  • The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (2012)
  • The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (2013)
  • The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café (2014)
  • The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (2015)
  • Precious and Grace (2016)
  • The House of Unexpected Sisters (2017)
  • The Colors of All the Cattle (2018)
  • To the Land of Long Lost Friends (2019)
  • How to Raise an Elephant (2020)
  • The Joy and Light Bus Company (2021)
  • A Song of Comfortable Chairs (2022)
  • From a Far and Lovely Country (2023)
  • The Sunday Philosophy Club (2004)
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (2005)
  • The Right Attitude to Rain (2006)
  • The Careful Use of Compliments (2007)
  • The Comfort of Saturdays (2008)
  • The Lost Art of Gratitude (2009)
  • The Charming Quirks of Others (2010)
  • The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (2011)
  • The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (2012)
  • The Novel Habits of Happiness (2015)
  • A Distant View of Everything (2017)
  • The Quiet Side of Passion (2018)
  • The Geometry of Holding Hands (2020)
  • The Sweet Remnants of Summer (2022)
  • The Conditions of Unconditional Love (2024)
  • 44 Scotland Street (2005)
  • Espresso Tales (2005)
  • Love Over Scotland (2006)
  • The World According to Bertie (2007)
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Scones (2008)
  • The Importance of Being Seven (2010)
  • Bertie Plays The Blues (2011)
  • Sunshine on Scotland Street (2012)
  • Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers (2013)
  • The Revolving Door of Life (2015)
  • The Bertie Project (2016)
  • A Time of Love and Tartan (2017)
  • The Peppermint Tea Chronicles (2019)
  • A Promise of Ankles (2020)
  • Love in the Time of Bertie (2021)
  • The Enigma of Garlic (2022)
  • The Stellar Debut of Galactica MacFee (2023)


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