Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Read an exclusive extract from The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

The latest novel in Alexander McCall Smith’s wonderful No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is published tomorrow!

In Mma Ramotswe’s fifteenth adventure, Grace Makutsi launches a new enterprise of her own: The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café. She is an ambitious lady with a business plan, but who could predict temperamental chefs, drunken waiters and more? Luckily, help is at hand, from the only person in Gaborone more gently determined than Mma Makutsi . . .

As a special treat, here’s an exclusive extract from The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Café, in which Mr J. L. B. Matekoni reflects on Mma Ramotswe’s uncanny sense of intuition:

As he returned to his porridge, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni reflected on how there had been so many instances in which Mma Ramotswe had shown a quite uncanny ability to notice things that he himself had simply missed, or to know things about others that most people – most ordinary people, or men, to be specific – would not be expected to know. He remembered how, while out shopping with her a few weeks earlier, she had whispered to him that a woman walking towards them was probably one of Mma Potokwani’s cousins. He had cast an eye discreetly over the woman and wondered whether he had ever met her in the company of Mma Potokwani, but decided that he
had not. How, then, could Mma Ramotswe tell?

‘She was carrying one of those bags that the orphans make in Mma Potokani’s craft workshop,’ said Mma Ramotswe. ‘That’s the first thing I noticed. Then I saw the shoes that she was wearing. They were very unusual shoes, and I had seen them before – when they belonged to Mma Potokwani. She must have passed them on.’

He had dismissed this as fanciful, but several days later, when he had gone out to the Orphan Farm to attend to one of the vans, on a pro bono basis of course, he had remembered the incident and asked Mma Potokwani whether she had any cousins visiting her. She did. And had she passed on an unusual pair of shoes to this cousin? ‘As it happens,’ said Mma Potokwani, ‘I did. But let’s not waste time talking about these small things, Rra. Now there is something wrong with the spare van too, and I was hoping that you would have the time to look at that one as well.’

He had sighed. ‘I am always happy to help you, Mma Potokwani,’ he said. ‘But there are places called garages, you know, and they are there to fix vehicles. That is their job. Perhaps you might try in future to—’

Mma Potokwani did not let him finish. ‘Oh, I know all about garages,’ she said lightly. ‘But I would never go to one of them – your own garage excluded, of course, Rra. Ow, those garages are expensive! You drive onto their forecourt and straight away that’s two hundred pula. You get out of the car – that’s another fifty pula. They say, “Good morning, Mma, and what can we do for you?” That costs seventy-five pula to say, and so it goes on. No, Rra, I will not go near those places; not me.’

Now, as he finished the last of his porridge, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni reminded himself that the one thing he felt certain about when it came to women was that you could never be sure. If Mma Ramotswe said she had a feeling about something, then it was perfectly possible that her instinct was correct. So rather than say, ‘We shall see, Mma,’ he muttered, ‘Well, you’re probably right, Mma.’ And then he added, very much as an afterthought – and a hesitant afterthought at that – ‘Who knows, Mma, what will happen? Who knows?’

 

Journey to the Heart of Botswana with Alexander McCall Smith

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Journey to the Heart of Botswana with Alexander McCall Smith

We are delighted to announce a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Mma Ramotswe’s homeland and see the lush haven of Botswana through the eyes of Alexander McCall Smith on a remarkable seven-day journey.

Alexander McCall Smith accompanies you throughout your stay in this beautiful country. He was based at Eagle Island Lodge while writing his early novels, and he will share his stories and love for the region over dinner each evening.

The full itinerary includes:

  • Six nights luxury accommodation (two nights each at Eagle Island Lodge, Khwai River Lodge and Savute Elephant Lodge)
  • Welcome gift
  • Curio shopping voucher
  • All meals and drinks (excluding imported champagne, VSOP spirits and South African Reserve wines)
  • Laundry service
  • Scheduled inter-camp light aircraft flights
  • Cheese and wine tasting experience
  • Daily safari activities, including after-dark drive and helicopter safari
  • National park fees
  • Emergency insurance

This once in a lifetime journey takes place on the 24–30 November. Spaces are highly limited, so early booking is extremely advisable.

To reserve your place on the safari email safaris@belmond.com

And for more information, visit Belmond Safaris here

Bertie’s Guide to Life & Mothers is out now in paperback!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

If you haven’t already, it’s time to catch up with the latest delightful adventures from those charming eccentrics of Scotland Street – Bertie’s Guide To Life & Mothers is out now in paperback!

As summer blooms in Edinburgh’s gardens and Bertie Pollock’s birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie’s birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie’s mother Irene to a warmer – if not a better – place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is published in paperback today!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The latest novel in the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is out in paperback today! The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is Mma Ramotswe’s fourteenth wonderful adventure, in which seismic upheaval is taking place at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Not only is Mr J. L. B. Matekoni attempting to reform himself into a modern husband, but after her marriage to Phuti Radiphuti, Mma Ramotswe’s challenging but irreplaceable associate Mma Makutsi has joyful news.

And look out for a new novel in the series this autumn, called ‘The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café’.

44 Scotland Street voted one of the ten favourite Scottish novels of the last 50 years!

Friday, November 29th, 2013

As part of Book Week Scotland, The Scottish Book Trust asked the public to vote for their favourite Scottish novel of the last 50 years, with titles coming from a shortlist curated by literary critic Stuart Kelly in collaboration with staff from Scottish Book Trust.

More than 8,800 votes were cast and a lively debate started with book lovers from around the globe getting involved in the poll, with votes coming in from 57 different countries including the USA, Ethiopia, Iceland and South Korea.

The results have been announced today, and we’re delighted to say that Alexander McCall Smith’s novel, 44 Scotland Street, has been chosen as one of the ten titles.

You can see the full list here, and read what the authors – including Alexander McCall Smith – had to say about being chosen by the public.

WIN – a signed, gift-wrapped copy of The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

What could be more perfect to receive as a Christmas present than the new No.1 Ladies Detective Agency novel? Well, how about a specially gift-wrapped hardback edition of The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, signed by the author himself?

We are offering 10 of these to giveaway – it’s up to you whether you keep them for yourselves or treat someone special to a memorable gift this Christmas!

To win one, just answer the following question correctly by Friday 13th December – we’ll announce the winners the following week, and send out the copies at the same time so they are received in time for Christmas!

Question: How many books are there (including this one!) in the Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency series?

Good luck!

Out now: The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

The new Botswana book from bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, this is Mma Ramotswe’s fourteenth wonderful adventure is out now in bookstores. Order your copy today!

Only one week to go until The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is published!

Friday, September 27th, 2013

It may not be Christmas yet, but there’s surely no better gift than a new No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel – and The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon is available to buy next week in hardback and ebook!

Here’s what the author himself has to say about this latest instalment:

‘This new Mma Ramotswe book involves quite a few important developments for Mma Ramotswe. It also involves a very significant event for Mma Makutsi and her husband, Phuti Radiphuti – the birth of their first child. This is an occasion for great joy, but it is not without its problems – mainly in the shape of Phuti’s unpleasant aunt, who has very traditional views about the care of babies. More of that in the book. We also see the hand of Violet Sephotho in various developments, but of course she is usually dealt with quite firmly by Mma Ramotswe. Firmly but gently, of course.’

Order your copy now!

The Slice of No.1 Celebration Storybook – out now!

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Announcing an exclusive short collection from Alexander McCall Smith, to celebrate 15 years of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency!

In this delicious short collection to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the international phenomenon The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith’s wise, generous heroine finds that dieting is not for everyone and sometimes it is simply better to be traditionally built, especially when there is cake to be had. And when the Ladies’ Club of Gaborone invites Mma Ramotswe as their keynote speaker, she reaches some thought-provoking conclusions about the problems – or otherwise – of ladies and men. The Slice of No. 1 Celebration Storybook also features reflections from the author on his much-loved series.

The Slice of No.1 Celebration Storybook is available to download now from the following online stores:

Apple

Amazon

Kobo

Google

Sunshine on Scotland Street – out today in paperback!

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

The latest novel in the bestselling Scotland Street series is published in paperback today! You can read the first chapter here or for a brief summary, read on . . .

Scotland Street witnesses the wedding of the century of Angus Lordie to Domenica Macdonald, but as the newlyweds depart on honeymoon Edinburgh is in disarray. Recovering from the trauma of being best man, Matthew is taken up by a Dane called Bo, while Cyril eludes his dog-sitter and embarks on an odyssey involving fox-holes and the official residence of a cardinal. Narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a sinister doppelganger; Bertie, set up by his mother for fresh embarrassment at school, yearns for freedom; and Big Lou goes viral. But the residents of Scotland Street rally, and order – and Cyril – is restored by the combined effects of understanding, kindness, and, most of all, friendship.

Welcome to the World of Alexander McCall Smith