Alexander McCall Smith In Conversation With Suzy Feay

Author of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency chats at Wimbledon Bookfest

Wimbledon Bookfest
Alexander McCall Smith at Wimbledon Bookfest

Alexander McCall Smith kept the audience at the Baillie Gifford auditorium enthralled with accounts of the plots, characters and places behind his numerous novels.

Producing around five novels per year, he has written more than 100 books including his most popular series: No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and 44 Scotland Street – 24 and 17 books respectively, and has also published not only a collection of poems but also a recipe book (based on the latter series).

Admitting he was not the greatest of cooks, he told us how he agreed to the recipe book when it was pointed out to him, how often the characters in Scotland Street sit down to a meal.

Asked about whether he ever got the characters in his novel confused, he had the audience in stitches telling of one occasion when he had introduced a new character who had lost an arm in a logging accident, his editor had pointed out that the author had then gone on, a few pages later, to describe him rowing a boat two-handed!

He continued to entertain the audience with some more anecdotes and is obviously a great verbal story-teller too.

Following a Q&A session, Alexander read the poem ‘So Yesterday’ from his latest collection ‘I Think of You’ which ended a very enjoyable hour.

By Anne Horsburgh

October 15, 2023