Alexander McCall Smith is a remarkably prolific writer, adding to several popular series each year. The "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" follows the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the first female private detective in Botswana. The thirteenth book in the series, "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon," will be published in November.
His newest series, "Corduroy Mansions," introduces eccentric characters living in a four-story mansion in London, including a clever terrier named Freddie de la Hay. "A Conspiracy of Friends," the third in the series, was published last year.
If you have been wondering about McCall Smith, but are wary of taking on a series, check out his latest book "Trains and Lovers." This brief stand-alone novel presents the stories of four people who sit together by chance in a train compartment.
The travelers tell each other their stories, each connected to love and trains, and each tinged with sadness and loss. The novel is heart-warming, beautifully written, and full of human insight. It is a fine introduction to the work of Alexander McCall Smith.
--Jennifer A., Headquarters