Alexander is the author of the very popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books which I like to call ‘gentle crime’ – crime novels with more humour and charm than blood and guts! Coincidentally both Alexander and my daughter Elizabeth have just been to the Northern Territory. Elizabeth saw the first TV episode of ‘No. 1 Ladies’….’up there and was struck by the visual similarity of the series’ Botswana landscape and that of the territory. I asked Alexander about this and he also thought that the look and feel of the two places was much akin.
We also chatted about book covers and house swaps. Alexander mentioned how pleased his American publishers were that his second book featured a dog. They felt that being able to put a dog on the cover virtually guaranteed good sales!
When Alexander’s family were young he and his wife often holidayed with house swaps and loved it – worth a thought if you have a young family or even if you don’t!
Alexander is a really lovely man as well as a delightful writer and he deserves all his success.
Alexander McCall Smith is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie series and the Corduroy Mansins series of books.
Photo: Philip on the left, Alexander on the right.