Alexander McCall Smith

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Alexander McCall Smith

Goodreads Author


in Bulawayo (formerly the British colony of Southern Rhodesia), Zimbabwe



member since
April 2010

About this author

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland. Visit him online at, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Average rating: 3.84 · 520,767 ratings · 42,057 reviews · 144 distinct works · Similar authors
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective...
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 147,338 ratings — published 1998 — 93 editions
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Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1...
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 32,688 ratings — published 2000 — 63 editions
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Morality for Beautiful Girl...
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 26,963 ratings — published 2001 — 59 editions
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The Kalahari Typing School ...
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 25,343 ratings — published 2002 — 58 editions
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The Full Cupboard of Life (...
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 20,503 ratings — published 2003 — 43 editions
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Blue Shoes and Happiness (N...
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 18,205 ratings — published 2006 — 47 editions
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In the Company of Cheerful ...
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 18,874 ratings — published 2004 — 52 editions
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The Good Husband of Zebra D...
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 16,806 ratings — published 2007 — 50 editions
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The Miracle at Speedy Motor...
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 15,345 ratings — published 2006 — 41 editions
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Tea Time for the Traditiona...
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 13,684 ratings — published 2009 — 39 editions
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More books by Alexander McCall Smith…
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective... Tears of the Giraffe Morality for Beautiful Girls The Kalahari Typing School ... The Full Cupboard of Life In the Company of Cheerful ... Blue Shoes and Happiness
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (15 books)
3.8990133827750304 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 375,931 ratings

The Sunday Philosophy Club Friends, Lovers, Chocolate The Right Attitude to Rain The Careful Use of Compliments The Comforts of a Muddy Sat... The Lost Art of Gratitude The Charming Quirks of Others
Isabel Dalhousie (10 books)
3.629607341657891 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 53,176 ratings

44 Scotland Street Espresso Tales Love Over Scotland The World According to Bertie The Unbearable Lightness of... The Importance of Being Seven Bertie Plays the Blues: A 4...
44 Scotland Street (10 books)
3.853929762067863 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 43,794 ratings

Portuguese Irregular Verbs The Finer Points of Sausage... At the Villa of Reduced Cir... Unusual Uses for Olive Oil
Portuguese Irregular Verbs (4 books)
3.5619239631336406 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 13,888 ratings

Corduroy Mansions The Dog who Came in from th... A Conspiracy of Friends
Corduroy Mansions (3 books)
3.6456644433042587 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 9,745 ratings

More series by Alexander McCall Smith…

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February 2014, Alexander McCall Smith
"His Favorite Books Set in the Tropics: Take your imagination to the Cayman Islands in his new novel, The Forever Girl, and in these five recs set in warmer climes." ...More

more interviews »

Alexander's Recent Updates

" Kathy wrote: "How much input did you get in the making of this series, and which episodes do you especially like, if any?

I like the casting and the f
...more "
" Suzanne wrote: "Hello Mr.Smith. When you created Precious and her series, did you intend to write a simple plot and simple cast of characters that wou ...more "
" Jamie wrote: "Hi Mr. McCall Smith,

I was just wondering, what does it mean at the end of the books when you write Africa, Africa, Africa, ect.?

I love t
...more "
" Anna wrote: "Dear Mr McCall Smith, I am the person to whom you kindly answered for an interview published on a Italian Review of Books. Just a questio ...more "
" In the next book, The Importance of Being Seven, Bertie goes fishing with his father. They have various adventures and he gets a glimpse of what might ...more "
Who is your favorite character from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series?

He voted for: Precious Ramotswe
More of Alexander's books…
“You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.”
Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

“It is sometimes easier to be happy if you don't know everything.”
Alexander McCall Smith, Morality for Beautiful Girls

“She was made for untidy rooms and rumpled beds.”
Alexander McCall Smith, The Sunday Philosophy Club


What would you like to read for October's group read? The theme is cozy mysteries.

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Topics Mentioning This Author

32846 Q&A with Alexander McCall Smith — 495 members — last activity May 05, 2015 07:39PM
THIS Q&A HAS CONCLUDEDBest-selling author Alexander McCall Smith joined Goodreads fans for a Q&A and group chat May 10-17, 2010. The official Q&A is n ...more

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