In this profile, the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series recounts the creation of his popular Botswanan sleuth.
In 1998, Mma Precious Ramotswe made her debut in Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The Plain Dealer hailed the novel as “One of the best, most charming, honest, hilarious and life-affirming books to appear in years.” Decades and many books later, Precious has her own bestselling series, but readers may be wondering how exactly this beloved character came to be.
In this profile, the prolific McCall Smith offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the development of his delightful detective. He recounts his childhood spent in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and working in Botswana in the 1980s. He reveals the inspiration for Precious and discusses the experience of creating the first book and getting it published. Those and other tales are sure to entertain fans of Precious old and new.
Praise for Alexander McCall Smith and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series
“The Miss Marple of Botswana.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Smart and sassy . . . Precious’ progress is charted in passages that have the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once.” —Los Angeles Times
“The author’s prose has the merits of simplicity, euphony and precision. His descriptions leave one as if standing in the Botswana landscape. This is art that conceals art. I haven’t read anything with such alloyed pleasure for a long time.” —Anthony Daniels, The Sunday Telegraph
“McCall Smith is a master. . . . There’s beauty and revelation of one kind or another woven expertly into every line.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Comfort-food reading, and never more welcome.” —Kirkus Reviews