Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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:





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.

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency selected for World Book Night 2013

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

We are delighted to announce that Alexander McCall Smith’s wonderful first novel, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency has been selected by readers as part of World Book Night 2013.

The first of Alexander McCall Smith’s much loved and bestselling Botswana series, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency has become one of the most  beloved books of recent years since it was first published in 1998, and introduced the world to the unforgettable Mma Ramotswe. Next year will be the 15th anniversary of the series, and the World Book Night celebrations will mark the highlight of a year of activity and celebration around the books.

World Book Night 2013 launches today with the announcement of the full list of titles, and the official opening of the giver recruitment process.  20,000 members of the public will volunteer to give away 20 copies of one of 20 books on 23rd April 2013 to help spread a love of reading.  In total, 400,000 books will be distributed by individual givers  –  the equivalent of an average day’s book sales in the UK. An additional 100,000 books will be distributed centrally by World Book Night through charity partners and institutions.

World Book Night CEO Julia Kingsford said:

“Fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary, prize winners and bestsellers; this year’s World Book Night books are united by being brilliantly enjoyable reads. With the help of 20,000 passionate volunteers putting them directly into the hands of those who don’t regularly read, they’ll inspire hundreds of thousands of people across the country to fall in love with reading.”

If you would like to be a giver at next year’s World Book Night, here’s how you can register to take part:

And for more information on WBN, and the full list of next year’s books, see here for details:

Alexander McCall Smith launches The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Alexander McCall Smith today announced the launch of an ambitious and exciting project to stitch the entire story of Scotland from pre-history to modern times.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is the brainchild of the author, and together with historian Alistair Moffat, and with the artistic talents of Andrew Crummy, (not to mention stitchers from all over Scotland!) they haved formed a team set to produce one of the world’s longest tapestries through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.

The aim is to create a series of over one hundred and fifty panels that tell the key stories in Scottish history- everything from Duns Scotus to the formation of Rangers. Each panel will focus on a specific historical chapter, and interwoven through each will be other tales of the time.

Alexander McCall Smith said: ‘A great project is about to be launched. I believe that it will bring happiness and delight to many people.’

The project will take over a year to complete and the finished tapestry will go on display from August 2013.

For more information on the tapestry, visit the website

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series covers – statement from the publisher

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Since we relaunched the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series with a new cover style from designer Mark Ecob, we have received quite a number of comments from fans. Many have been positive, but it’s also fair to say there has been some less favourable reaction from those who are unhappy with the change in style.

When we first started talking about changing the cover style, we realised it would be a difficult decision to make. In many ways, it’s unusual for a long-running series to have maintained its original look for so long – and a testament to how good those illustrations were. Next year will mark a decade of Little, Brown and Abacus publishing Alexander McCall Smith’s books, and 15 years since The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency was first released. Quite simply, we felt it was time for a change, and that we needed to keep the series feeling fresh, and Alexander McCall Smith agreed.

The process for finding suitable designers and deciding on a new direction certainly wasn’t taken lightly nor in isolation – it was the result of over a year’s conversation and debate between ourselves, retailers and the author himself. Our aim was to create something fresh, vibrant and lively which showed the colour and warmth of the books, while also clearly reflecting the African setting, and we feel Mark’s designs achieve this brilliantly. Alexander McCall Smith himself said:

‘I am delighted with the new design, which has lovely humour in it while at the same time capturing the atmosphere of Mma Ramotswe’s world.’

There’s no doubt that they are very different from Hannah’s wonderful illustrations, and it’s easy to see why they might initially surprise those expecting the same approach on The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party and The Limpopo Academy for Private Detection.

One key thing we feel about the new covers is that they are designed to be part of a series, and we think it is when the whole series is viewed together that they really come into their own. In the end though, we know book jackets are a very subjective issue (we have enough disagreements in house every week to prove that point!) and we will never win everyone over. The most important thing  is what’s inside the covers, and that remains unchanged – and as brilliant – as ever.

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