Authors Best, Best Books, Bibliography By First Name, Bibliography By Last Name, Children & Teen, Fiction & Literature, First Name: A-B, Kids, Last Name: S-T, Literature, Nonfiction, YA (Young Adult)

Ranking Author Alexander McCall Smith’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

“What are Alexander McCall Smith’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Smith’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Alexander McCall Smith and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Alexander McCall Smith



120 ) Boing Boing

 Boing Boing

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 106
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

Jane has always been just a little bit different – she has springs in her knees! She bounce, bounce, bounces all over town and they call her Springy Jane. She wins all the high jump competitions and can reach the top book shelf, and if anyone stares too hard she just bounces right over them! But a terrible flood and a trapped old lady mean Springy Jane is called on for help – will her springs save the day? Part of Barrington Stoke’s picture book range for all the family, with easy-read font.



118 ) Monkey Boy

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 105
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

Professor Frederick J. Dodd from the institute of Monkeyology thinks George O’Tang looks amazingly like a monkey. George is perfect to help the Professor save the rare Congo Stripy Monkeys from a gang of evil gorillas. Join George on his tree-swinging, crocodile bashing mission.



118 ) Ox-Tales:Air

 Ox-Tales:Air

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 108
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 90



117 ) The Forever Girl

 The Forever Girl

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 109
  • Amazon: 96
  • LibraryThing: 89

At the age of four Clover chooses her own name. Aged six, she falls in love with her best friend, James. But in the adult world, things are not so simple: Clover’s mother finds she’s fallen out of love with her husband, and realises that James’s father is interested in her. As Clover and James, and their parents, navigate their irresistible but baffling mazes of emotion, we are given a beautifully realised tale about how love can shape a life.



115 ) The Baboons Who Went This Way And That

 The Baboons Who Went This Way And That

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 104
  • Amazon: 96
  • LibraryThing: 91

A man with a tree growing out of his head? A woman with children made of wax? A bird that can be milked? With more stories from his original celebration of African folktales, The Girl Who Married A Lion, let Alexander McCall Smith once again take you to a land where the bizarre is everyday and magic is real.



115 ) Portuguese Irregular Verbs

 Portuguese Irregular Verbs

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 88
  • LibraryThing: 93



114 ) Heavenly Date

 Heavenly Date

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 107
  • Amazon: 95
  • LibraryThing: 85

In these hilarious stories of perverse meetings, casual dates and romantic encounters, we are enthralled, saddened, inspired and surprised by the encounters we witness. McCall Smith, a master of the unexpected and a seamless storyteller, revels in offering us the quirky complications inherent in entanglements which human beings engineer for themselves – entanglements that can be shocking, edifying, compulsive, complicated and sometimes, completely disastrous. This is an exceptional collection of stories from an author whose rapidly growing audience delights in his extraordinary imagination and delicious insights into the endlessly fascinating peculiarities of the human condition.



113 ) Better Than Fiction

 Better Than Fiction

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 100
  • Amazon: 92
  • LibraryThing: 93

An exciting new anthology of travel literature; Features international authors , incl. Alexander McCall Smith, Joyce Carol Oates and DBC Pierre; Brings to life the idea that travel can inspire, entertain, enlighten and change lives



112 ) One City

 One City

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 101
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 84



111 ) The Perils of Morning Coffee

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 93

In this Isabel Dalhousie original short story, available exclusively in electronic format, our intrepid heroine–accused by a distraught wife of being the “other woman”–makes a surprising discovery as she attempts to defend her reputation. Summer in Edinburgh is a season of delicate sunshine and showers, picnics with loved ones in blossoming gardens, and genteel celebrations of art and music. But Isabel Dalhousie’s peaceful idyll is broken when a single meeting over coffee with fellow philosopher Dr. George McLeod brings an irate phone call from his wife, Roz, who implacably accuses Isabel of conducting an affair with her husband. Wounded by the injustice of Roz’s wild allegation and concerned both for her standing among the gossipy group of her scholarly peers and for Roz’s apparent state of hysteria, Isabel sets out to discover more about the McLeods, and to set the record straight before the bitterness in their marriage poisons her own reputation. For insight into the McLeods’ relationship she turns to Millie, who is both an old acquaintance of Isabel’s and a university colleague of George’s. In this engaging, intelligently observed story, Alexander McCall Smith’s sharp-eyed heroine is reminded once again to avoid jumping to hasty conclusions about the lives of others, and to value friendship wherever it’s found.



110 ) Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party

 Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 103
  • Amazon: 92
  • LibraryThing: 79

An all-new, never-before-published original short novel by the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, about a hapless American tourist’s larger-than-life comical trip to Ireland. Shortlisted for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction. Cornelius P. “Fatty” O’Leary and his wife, Betty, plan a vacation in Ireland for his 40th birthday, where they will tour his ancestral homeland and relax in the countryside. Almost immediately things go terribly wrong: the seats in economy class on the plane are too small; the country hotel’s dinner spread and bathroom fixtures leave much to be desired; and the down-to-earth O’Learys find their fellow guests are more than a little snobbish. In this amusing and touching portrayal of a kindly, misunderstood soul, McCall Smith has created yet another memorable character who will become an instant favorite to his many fans.



109 ) The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

 The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 76
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

In this the second os a three part series, von Igelfeld goes on an American author tour where he is forced to present a lecture on the finer points of sausage dogs.



108 ) The Sunday Philosophy Club

 The Sunday Philosophy Club

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 101
  • Amazon: 88
  • LibraryThing: 78

Amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher who also uses her training to solve unusual mysteries. Isabel is Editor of the Review of Applied Ethics – which addresses such questions as ‘Truth telling in sexual relationships’ – and she also hosts The Sunday Philosophers’ Club at her house in Edinburgh. In this first book in McCall Smith’s new series Isabel investigates how a yong man caould have fallen to his death from the top balcony of the Usher Hall. She is aided in this by her beautiful niece, Cat, Hugo, Cat’s ex- boyfriend (whose own good looks Isabel is tantalised by) and her strict housekeeper, Grace. Isabel is drawn into the heart of Edinburgh’s well-heeled if somewhat shady business community as she sets out to discover the truth.



107 ) At the Reunion Buffet

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 93

Isabel Dalhousie, Alexander McCall Smith’s wonderful heroine, learns valuable lessons about inviting the past (and everyone in it) back into your life. Isabel Dalhousie–philosopher, mother and friend–has generously agreed to host the opening dinner for her school reunion weekend. Twenty-five former classmates will descend upon her home, bringing with them new names, new looks, and old reputations. While some will see the reunion as an opportunity to forge new friendships and reaffirm old ones, others aren’t interested in changing their minds about the past. One particular classmate, Barbara Grant, was known as an especially mean girl who bullied the others relentlessly.



106 ) Calculator Annie

 Calculator Annie

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 93
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 69

No matter how hard Annie tries, she just cannot do even the simplest sums. Until one day, that is, when she goes to sleep with a calculator under her pillow, and a strange thing happens.



105 ) The Girl Who Married a Lion

 The Girl Who Married a Lion

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 99
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 76

The Ndebele people of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, from whom these stories originate, are renowned as the proud descendants of the Zulu nation. They are also the possessors of a language rich in beauty and musicality. From animal fables to mysterious forces residing in the landscape, this collection demonstrates the wealth and variety of African folk tales and the particular magic of Africa’s spiritual roots: a sense of unity with the environment. Simple, surprising, cruel and humorous, these beautifully rendered tales remain as fresh and vital as the original African idiom.



104 ) The Cleverness of Ladies

 The Cleverness of Ladies

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 97
  • Amazon: 72
  • LibraryThing: 83

There are times when ladies must use all their wisdom and good sense to face life’s problems and mysteries. Mma Ramotswe, owner of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, keeps her wits about her as she looks into why the country’s star goalkeeper isn’t saving goals. Georgina turns her rudeness into a virtue when she opens a successful hotel. Italian shop-keeper Fabrizia shows her bravery when her husband betrays her. And in Suffolk during the Second World War, gentle La proves that music really can make a difference. With his trademark gift for storytelling, international bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith brings us five tales of love, heartbreak, hope and the cleverness of ladies.



103 ) School Ship Tobermory

 School Ship Tobermory

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 91
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 82

Follow the exploits of the children who go to a most unusual school – the sail-powered training ship Tobermory. When a film crew arrives in Tobermory Bay, Ben and Fee are invited to be extras. But their suspicions are soon aroused – is the film crew genuine, or are they up to something sinister? Ben and Fee soon discover the truth when they uncover a dastardly plan masterminded by a South American businessman…



101 ) Who Built Scotland

 Who Built Scotland

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 56
  • Amazon: 98
  • LibraryThing: 93

What we build always reveals things that are deeply and innately human. Because all buildings are stories one way or another.’ Kathleen Jamie Alexander McCall Smith Alistair Moffat James Robertson and James Crawford travel across the country to tell the story of the nation from abandoned islands and lonely glens to the heart of our modern cities. Whether visiting Shetland’s Mousa Broch at midsummer following in the footsteps of pilgrims to Iona Abbey joining the tourist bustle at Edinburgh Castle scaling the Forth Bridge or staying in an off-the-grid eco-bothy the authors unravel the stories of the places people and passions that have had an enduring impact on the landscape and character of Scotland.



101 ) The Charming Quirks of Others

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 59

In this latest, felicitous addition to the Isabel Dalhousie series, our inquisitive heroine comes to see that there are very few of us who are not flawed . . . herself included. A couple who are old friends of Isabel’s ask for her help in a rather tricky situation: A successor is being sought for the headmaster position at their alma mater. The board has four final candidates but has received an anonymous letter alleging that one of them has a very serious skeleton in the closet. Could Isabel discreetly look into it? And so she does. What she discovers about all the candidates is surprising, but what she discovers in herself turns out to be equally revealing – and she finds that she has also unwittingly upset Jamie, the father of her young son. Isabel’s investigation will have her exploring issues of charity, forgiveness, and humility as she moves nearer and nearer to some of the most hidden precincts of the heart.



100 ) Jeffrey’s Joke Machine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 47
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

Jeffrey spends his Saturdays working in Mr Prendergast’s junk shop. One day, while they are sorting things out, they uncover a mysterious machine. Jeffrey takes it home to see if he can make it work. It turns out to be a joke-producing machine, and an extremely funny one at that! Soon everyone in town wants one of its jokes. Everyone except Mr Jenkinson, that is, the miserable owner of the shop next door. Of course, what Mr Jenkinson really needs to do is get a sense of humour instead of trying to ruin everyone’s fun. But who will get the last laugh?



99 ) The Race to Kangaroo Cliff

 The Race to Kangaroo Cliff

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 44
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

In this third and final installment of the School Ship Tobermory adventure series, the same loveable cast and crew are back, sailing to new locales in Australia with adventures that don’t disappoint. Ben and Fee MacTavish and the rest of the school ship Tobermory crew head to Australia to take part in a tall ships race. But after a good start, the Tobermory unexpectedly changes course to rescue a local boy, Will, who is stranded on the rocks. When the ship’s dog, Henry, disappears, Will helps Ben, Fee, and their friends find him, but as the trail leads them deeper into the Outback, they begin to realize that a missing dog is the least of their problems. Join the crew aboard the Tobermory as they set sail from their home base in Mull to the Southern Hemisphere on an adventure they won’t soon forget.



98 ) Corduroy Mansions

 Corduroy Mansions

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 87
  • Amazon: 85
  • LibraryThing: 63

Following on from the huge success of the “44 Scotland Street” series, Alexander McCall Smith ‘moved house’ to London’s Pimlico and into his brand new daily novel, “Corduroy Mansions”. The building itself – described in a guide to the architecture of the area as ‘a building of no interest whatsoever’ – is believed to have been built as an asylum, or possibly a school, or maybe it was a mansion block – nobody is very sure. In fact, nothing of its history is known, although it does have some nice Arts and Craft features. At the moment it is inhabited by an assortment of characters – including amongst others a literary agent, a wine merchant, one accountant, possibly the first ever nasty Liberal Democrat MP and his long-suffering PA, and a small dog in his prime. At least one character is on a voyage of self-discovery, which has taken him to Cheltenham so far.



97 ) 44 Scotland Street

 44 Scotland Street

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 81
  • Amazon: 85
  • LibraryThing: 67

The Story Revolves Around The Comings And Goings At No. 44 Scotland Street, A Fictitious Building In A Real Street In The Author’s Home City Of Edinburgh. With Its Multiple-occupancy Flats, Scotland Street Verges On The Bohemian, Where Haute Bourgeoisie Rub Shoulders With Students And The More Colourful Members Of The Intelligentsia.



96 ) Teacher Trouble

 Teacher Trouble

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 44
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 85

Jenny is very tall for her age, and when her mum makes her dress smartly for her first day at a new school, she looks very grown-up indeed. So grown-up, in fact, that when she arrives at the school, she is mistaken for a new teacher, and left in charge of a classroom of kids! Jenny’s first instinct is to escape, but on her way out she gets caught by Miss Ice, the strict school principal, who is not very impressed to find a new teacher sneaking around the corridors. Petrified by the terrifying Miss Ice, Jenny is forced to keep up the act, and soon finds herself in all sorts of tricky situations, culminating in a rather explosive chemistry lesson. How long will it be before Jenny is found out? Will she and her pupils survive the day? Whatever happens, it’s going to be a real education!



95 ) What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

 What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 87
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 62

In this book, McCall Smith has written a charming personal account about what Auden has done for him–and what he just might do for you.Part self-portrait, part literary appreciation, the book tells how McCall Smith first came across the poet’s work in the 1970s, while teaching law in Belfast, a violently divided city where Auden’s “September 1, 1939,” a poem about the outbreak of World War II, strongly resonated. McCall Smith goes on to reveal how his life has related to and been inspired by other Auden poems ever since. For example, he describes how he has found an invaluable reflection on life’s transience in “As I Walked Out One Evening,” while “The More Loving One” has provided an instructive meditation on unrequited love.



94 ) Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

 Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 81
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 67

Isabel Dalhousie thinks often of friends, sometimes of lovers, and on occasion of chocolate. As an Edinburgh philosopher she is certain of where she stands. She can review a book called In Praise of Sin with panache and conviction, but real life is…well, perhaps a bit more challenging – particularly when it comes to her feelings for Jamie, a younger man who should have married her niece, Cat. Jamie’s handsomeness leaves Isabel feeling distinctly uneasy, and ethically disturbed. ‘I am a philosopher’, she thinks, ‘but I am also a woman’. And more disturbance is in store. When Cat takes a break in Italy, Isabel agrees to run her delicatessen. One of the customers, she discovers, has recently had a heart transplant and is now being plagued by memories that cannot be rationally explained and which he feels do not belong to him. Isabel is intrigued. So intrigued that she finds herself rushing headlong into a dangerous investigation. But she still has time to think about the things that possess her – things like love and friendship, and, of course, temptation. The last of these comes in many forms – chocolate, for example, or seductive Italians…



93 ) The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean

 The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 84
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 88



88 ) The Case of the Vanishing Granny

 The Case of the Vanishing Granny

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

A brilliant McCall Smith adventure story, brimming with wit, wisdom and larger than life characters. Billy, Fern and Joe Shortbread ar,e the stars of their family circus, but they also have another talent…they’re experts at solving mysteries! When their circus moves into a new town they soon make friends with a young boy named Tom. But Tom can’t enjoy the circus because his granny has disappeared and he’s worried he’ll never see her again. With the help of their astonishing circus skills can the Shortbread circus stars crack the clues and find Tom’s granny?



88 ) The Tin Dog

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93



88 ) Max Champion and the Great Race Car Robbery

 Max Champion and the Great Race Car Robbery

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

When Max finds an old car that has his last name – Champion – on the bonnet, he learns that his grandfather used to make some of the best cars around… and race them! That is, until his ideas book and his favourite car, Arabella, were stolen by greedy rival Mr Grabber. Can Max find a way to get back what Grandfather Gus lost? And will Arabella ever be seen again?



88 ) Marvellous Mix-ups

 Marvellous Mix-ups

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

Spaghetti Tangle John and Nicky would give anything in the world for a bowl of chips or a piece of chocolate cake, but they live with their strange aunty and she won’t let them eat anything that’s not raw! One day they sneek out and slurp down a plate piled high with spaghetti. Now they want more … Lucky for them, there’s a competition to visit the spaghetti factory and eat as much as you like. What will aunty say? Teacher Trouble It’s Jenny’s first day at a new school and she looks very grown-up – her mum has made sure of it. But when she arrives at the school, she looks so smart that the rest of her class think she is their new teacher! Soon Jenny finds herself in all sorts of tricky situations. How long will it be before Jenny is found out? And what will happen then?



88 ) Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine

 Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 93

Philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie has an unstinting commitment to her principles. Sticking to her promises has always been one of them. Then Isabel runs into an old classmate facing marital and financial troubles, who reveals a secret that becomes more and more difficult for Isabel to keep. Thankfully, Isabel’s devoted husband, Jamie, is there to help our heroine navigate her competing moral obligations. Beautifully perceptive and witty, this original short story by Alexander McCall Smith shows Isabel calling upon all of her intelligence, charm, and tact. A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Original Selection. An ebook short.



87 ) At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances

 At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 84
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 73



86 ) Unusual Uses for Olive Oil

 Unusual Uses for Olive Oil

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 79
  • Amazon: 72
  • LibraryThing: 63

Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, author of the highly regarded Portuguese Irregular Verbs (200 LTD copies sold!) and a pillar of the Institute of Romance Philology in the proud Bavarian city of Regensburg, finds that life is very difficult these days. His academic rival (and owner of a one-legged dachsund) Detlev-Amadeus Unterholzer has been winning undeserved recognition. With help from the matchmaking Ophelia Prinzel, he stumbles towards a romance with Frau Benz, a charming widow who owns her very own Schloss and a fleet of handsome cars. While on the annual student study retreat in the Alps, von Igelfeld fearlessly plunges 3,000 feet into mountaineering history, only to suffer the ignominy of giving inspirational lectures about the experience. And at a dinner party, he is the only kind soul who can aid the aforementioned unfortunate dachshund, whose sticky wheels are in need of lubrication.



85 ) My Italian Bulldozer

 My Italian Bulldozer

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 95
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 53

When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already late book, it seems like the perfect escape from stressful city life. Upon landing, however, things quickly take a turn for the worse when he discovers his hired car is nowhere to be found. With no record of any reservation and no other cars available, it looks like Paul is stuck at the airport. That is, until an enterprising stranger offers him an unexpected alternative. While there may be no cars available, there is something else on offer: a bulldozer. With little choice in the matter, Paul accepts, and so begins a series of laugh-out-loud adventures through the Italian countryside, following in the wake of Paul and his Italian bulldozer. A story of unexpected circumstance and a lesson in making the best of what you have, My Italian Bulldozer is a warm holiday listen guaranteed to put a smile on your face.



84 ) Who Invented Peanut Butter?

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 1

Rebecca has been learning about inventions and on her way home from school she asks who invented peanut butter. The search for the answer changes Rebecca’s life forever. The author’s book “Akimbo and the Elephants” was shortlisted for the Earthworm Award.



82 ) The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean

 The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 76
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 80

When Harriet discovers that she has yet another lost aunt—a cowgirl named Formica—she jumps at the chance to join her two detective aunts on a visit. Aunt Formica’s ranch is being plagued by devious cattle rustlers, and she needs Harriet’s help to track down the bandits and save the ranch. But the Wild West carries dangers all its own



82 ) Trains and Lovers

 Trains and Lovers

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 87
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 58

In the words of Alexander McCall Smith: ‘You feel the rocking of the train, you hear the sound of its wheels on the rails; you are in the world rather than suspended somewhere above it. And sometimes there are conversations to be had, which is what the overarching story in this collection is all about. It is a simple device: people brought together entertain one another with tales of what happened to them on trains. It takes place on a journey I frequently make myself and know well, the journey between Edinburgh and London. It is best read on a train, preferably that one.’



81 ) The Chocolate Money Mystery

 The Chocolate Money Mystery

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 84
  • Amazon: 47
  • LibraryThing: 76

Another great young readers’ series from the creator of Mma Ramotswe, Isabel Dalhousie, Harriet Bean and Akimbo! Max and Maddy Twist have a flair for solving crimes. You might even say it’s in their blood. That’s because their parents once ran a thriving detective agency – until their nemesis, the notorious Professor Claude Sardine, shut them down. But now Max and Maddy are ready to pick up where their parents left off. In Max & Maddy and the Chocolate Money Mystery, a Swiss businessman asks for their help in catching a bank robber. But little do the brother-and-sister detectives expect to find themselves hot on the trail of a gang of . . . St. Bernard dogs. Who can be the dastardly mind behind this evil and cunning plot? The daring duo don their disguises and fly to Switzerland to find out!



80 ) La’s Orchestra Saves the World

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 78
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 65

Thank you for the music… It’s 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, the generous and determined widow, La, forms an amateur orchestra to entertain the locals and soothe her own broken heart. She recruits Felix, a refugee from Poland, to play the flute, and a touching friendship emerges. When the war is over and the orchestra disbands, La is left pondering her next move. What role can she play in her community now the war is over? And can she let herself love again? “La’s Orchestra” is another delightful story celebrating friendship and the healing power of music, told with the warmth and charm we’ve come to love from one of the nation’s favourite storytellers.



79 ) The Right Attitude to Rain

 The Right Attitude to Rain

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 71
  • Amazon: 78
  • LibraryThing: 56

The delectable new installment in the bestselling and already beloved adventures of Isabel Dalhousie and her no-nonsense housekeeper, Grace. When friends from Dallas arrive in Edinburgh and introduce Isabel to Tom Bruce – a bigwig at home in Texas – several confounding situations unfurl at once. Tom’s young fiancée’s roving eye leads Isabel to believe that money may be the root of her love for Tom. But what, Isabel wonders, is the root of the interest Tom begins to show for Isabel herself? And she can’t forget about her niece, Cat, who’s busy falling for a man whom Isabel suspects of being an incorrigible mama’s boy. Of course Grace and Isabel’s friend Jamie counsel Isabel to stay out of all of it, but there are irresistible philosophical issues at stake – when to tell the truth and when to keep one’s mouth shut, to be precise – and philosophical issues are meat and drink to Isabel Dalhousie, editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. In any case, she’s certain of the ethical basis for a little sleuthing now and again – especially when the problems involve matters of the heart.



76 ) No Rest for the Dead

 No Rest for the Dead

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 81
  • Amazon: 72
  • LibraryThing: 51

When Christopher Thomas, a curator at San Francisco’s Museum of Fine Arts, is murdered and his decaying body is found in an iron maiden in Berlin, his wife Rosemary Thomas is the prime suspect. Long suffering under Christopher’s unfaithful ways, Rosemary is tried, convicted and executed. Ten years later, Jon Nunn, the detective who cracked the case, becomes convinced that the wrong person was put to death. Along with financier Tony Olsen, he plans to gather everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally uncover the truth about what happened that fateful evening. Could it have been the ne’er do well brother Peter Hausen, interested in his sister’s trust fund having got through his own; the curatorial assistant Justine Olengard, used and betrayed by Christopher; the artist Belle who turned down his advances only to see her career suffer a setback; or someone else all together? No Rest for the Dead is a thrilling, page-turning accomplishment that only the very best thriller writers could achieve.



76 ) Akimbo and the Snakes

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 93

Akimbo can’t believe his luck when his father allows him to visit his uncle Peter’s snake park. And when a local village calls to report a sighting of a green mamba snake—the rarest and most deadly one of all—Akimbo hopes to help his uncle catch it for the park. But little does he expect to find himself trapped face to face with the deadliest of reptiles.  Bestselling novelist Alexander McCall Smith brings the majesty and dangers of Africa to life in this vividly imagined adventure for young readers.



76 ) Spaghetti Tangle

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 93

John and Nicky hate the health food that their Aunt Rebecca gives them, and would give anything for chips, chocolate cake – and especially spaghetti. Then they enter a competition which changes their mealtimes – for good.



74 ) The Careful Use of Compliments

 The Careful Use of Compliments

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 60
  • Amazon: 88
  • LibraryThing: 53

Isabel Dalhousie is back, in the latest installment of this enchanting, already beloeved, best-selling series. In addition to being the nosiest and most sypathetic philosopher you are likely to meet, Isabel is now a mother. Charlies, her newborn son, presents her with a myriad wonders of a new life, and doting father Jamie presents her with an intriguing proposal: marriage. In the midst of all this, she receives a disturbing letter announcing that she has been ousted as editor of the Review of Applied Ethics by the ambitious Professor Dove. None of these things, however, in any way diminshes Isabel’s curiosity. And when she attends an art auction, she finds an irresistable puzzle: two paintings attributed to a now-deceased artist appear on the market at the same time, and both of them exhibit some unusual characteristics. Are these paintings forgeries? This proves to be sufficient fodder for Isabel’s inquisitiveness. So she begins an investigation… and soon finds herself diverging from her philosophical musings about fatherhood onto a path that leads her into the mysteries of the art world and the soul of an artist.



74 ) Precious and the Monkeys

 Precious and the Monkeys

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 60
  • Amazon: 94
  • LibraryThing: 47

Well before Precious Ramotswe founded her Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency, as an eight-year-old girl she was already solving mysteries. Here, in this delightful, enchanting tale for children, we find out just who has been stealing her schoolfriends’ snacks and how the young Precious became the crafty and intuitive private investigator we all know and love!



73 ) An Innocent Abroad

 An Innocent Abroad

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 87
  • Amazon: 72
  • LibraryThing: 41



72 ) The Ice-cream Bicycle

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93



71 ) Akimbo and the Elephants

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 14
  • LibraryThing: 74

When Akimbo Sees What Poachers Do To The Elephants On His Game Reserve, He Is Determined To Stop Them. There’s Only One Way To Do It, And That’s To Become An Elephant Hunter Himself! But It’s Going To Take Strength And Courage, And Will Involve Facing Danger.



70 ) Hari and His Electric Feet

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

Hari is a dreamer with an unusual talent. He spends the few coins he earns washing cars on cinema trips to watch (and learn from) his beloved Bollywood films. Then one day Hari’s gloriously fancy footwork is spotted by Mr Ram, a man on a mission to resolve conflicts near and far., Hari so entrances everyone with his magical dancing that soon he is travelling all over the world and his electric feet bring harmony to all who see him dance. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+



68 ) Alix and the Tigers

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93



68 ) Paddy and the Ratcatcher

 Paddy and the Ratcatcher

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

When the ratcatcher is called in to rid the town of rats, a strange thing happens. The rats go, but so do the grown-ups. Paddy and his friend run the town and everyone has a great time until the money runs out. They know people get money from the bank, but where does the bank get the money from?



67 ) The Second Worst Restaurant in France

 The Second Worst Restaurant in France

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 93

Paul Stewart has returned to Scotland to continue his successful career. His agent and girlfriend, Gloria, has arranged for him to write The Philosophy of Food in Six Easy Chapters, a project he relishes but that will have to be delivered in six months. It is not going well, as Paul finds his domestic circumstances unsuited to concentrated hard work: Gloria has now moved in with him (not specifically invited) and has brought with her two extremely vocal and demanding Siamese cats. The cats give Paul no peace. Beginning to worry that The Philosophy of Food will never be written Paul calls on the aid of his cousin, Chloe, who suggests a radical course of action. She has taken a six-month lease on a house in a French village not far from Poitiers and invites him to join her there and get the book finished in peace. He needs no second bidding and it is not long before he escapes to France. Once there, however, Paul finds his fortunes tangled up with the fate of one eating establishment in the village: the infamous Second Worst Restaurant in France …



65 ) A Time of Love and Tartan

 A Time of Love and Tartan

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 60
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 29

The latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s perennially popular and irresistibly charming 44 Scotland Street series. When Pat accepts her narcissistic ex-boyfriend Bruce’s invitation for coffee, she has no idea of the complications in her romantic and professional life that will follow. Meanwhile, Matthew, her boss at the art gallery, attracts the attention of the police after a misunderstanding at the local bookstore. Whether caused by small things such as a cup of coffee and a book, or major events such as Stuart’s application for promotion and his wife Irene’s decision to pursue a PhD in Aberdeen, change is coming to Scotland Street. But for three seven-year-old boys–Bertie Pollock, Ranald, and Big Lou’s foster son, Finlay–it also means getting a glimpse of perfect happiness. Alexander McCall Smith’s delightfully witty, wise and sometimes surreal comedy spirals out in surprising ways in this new installment, but its heart remains where it has always been, at the center of life in Edinburgh’s New Town.



65 ) The Bursting Balloons Mystery

 The Bursting Balloons Mystery

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 96
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 91

When international detectives, Max and Maddy twist, tackle the Bursting Balloons Mystery, they’re on to a tough case. Someone wants to sabotage a hot-air balloon race across America, and they’ll stop at nothing–bursting balloons, stealing sandbags, breaking baskets, and guzzling gas! So it’s up, up and away for the daring detective duo, as they join the race to Bust the Bursting Balloons Mystery!



63 ) The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

 The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 73
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 50

Isabel, Jamie and Charlie are off to Highland Perthshire to visit an old schoolfriend of Isabel’s, who married into a family of wealthy newspaper owners. The weekend is a success apart from one thing: Charlie witnesses a fox being shot by the estate manager, and is very upset. A few weeks later, the Edinburgh press reports a major art theft from the friend’s Highland estate, including a valuable Dutch masterwork that was going to pay the estate tax. In helping her friend and the team of lawyers to negotiate the ethical dilemmas of paying ransom for the painting’s return, Isabel will face her first real criminals. The lawyers are distinctly suspect, and may be closely tied to the thieves–they may even be the thieves themselves. At the same time, she must confront the thorny issues of old friendships that have run their course and truth-telling in the provision of references.



63 ) Better than Fiction 2

 Better than Fiction 2

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 93
  • Amazon: 88
  • LibraryThing: 5



61 ) The Great Cake Mystery

 The Great Cake Mystery

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 60
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 93

The Great Cake Mystery Years before the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was established, a young Precious Ramotswe thought she might like to be a detective. When a piece of cake goes missing, a young boy is tagged by his classmates as the culprit. Precious, however, is unconvinced and sets out to discover the truth.



61 ) The Dog Who Came in From the Cold

 The Dog Who Came in From the Cold

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 67
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 55

Following on from the huge success of the “44 Scotland Street” series, Alexander McCall Smith has ‘moved house’ to a crumbling four-storey mansion in Pimlico – Corduroy Mansions. It is inhabited by a glorious assortment of characters: among them, Oedipus Snark, the first every nasty Lib Dem MP, who is so detestable his own mother, Berthea, is writing an unauthorised biography about him; and one small vegetarian dog, Freddie de la Hay, who has the ability to fasten his own seatbelt.



60 ) Tears Of The Giraffe

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 40

Among her cases this time are wayward wives, unscrupulous maids, and the challenge to resolve a mother’s pain for her son who is long lost on the African plains. Indeed, Mma Ramotswe’s own impending marriage to the most gentlemanly of men, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, the promotion of Mma’s secretary to the dizzy heights of Assistant Detective, and the arrival of new members to the Matekoni family, all brew up the most humorous and charmingly entertaining of tales.



59 ) Akimbo and the Crocodile Man

 Akimbo and the Crocodile Man

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 59
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 69

When Akimbo Is Offered The Chance To Help Tag Baby Crocodiles, He Is Very Excited. John The Crocodile Man Wants To Keep An Eye On The Latest Batch Of Crocodiles, And Akimbo Is Keen To Learn More About The Dangerous Creatures. Then John Is Attacked By An Angry Croc, And Akimbo Has To Use All His Courage To Save Him!



57 ) The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse

 The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 54
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 61

Little persuasion was needed for Mike to take Peter Woodhouse to the airbase, and over time he became the mascot of the American squad, flying with them whenever their Mosquitoes took to the skies. When their plane is shot down over Holland, both Mike and Peter Woodhouse are feared lost. But unknown to their loved ones at home, Mike and Peter Woodhouse survived the crash. Taken in by the Dutch resistance and with the help of Ubi, a German officer, the pair remain in hiding until the end of the war, when they are reunited with Val. We then follow Val, Mike and Peter Woodhouse as they rebuild a life in England and Ubi as he returns to Germany at the end of the war and tries to build a new life for himself. His dream is to run a Wall of Death, a circus ring that pits motorcyclists against gravity as they attempt to stay upright at ever increasing speed….



57 ) The Perfect Hamburger and Other Delicious Stories

 The Perfect Hamburger and Other Delicious Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 56
  • Amazon: 47
  • LibraryThing: 75

The Appetizer: The Perfect Hamburger When a snazzy fast-food chain moves into town, business at Joe’s favorite hamburger restaurant begins to suffer. He gets an idea that’s sure to bring back the diners, but there’s just one problem. The secret recipe for the burgers is missing! Can Joe figure out the ingredients to recreate the perfect hamburger before it’s too late? The Entree: The Spaghetti Tangle John and Nicky, forced to live with their vegetable-loving Aunt Rebecca, dream of eating spaghetti for every meal. So when they enter a recipe contest and win a trip to Mr. Pipelli’s spaghetti factory, they couldn’t be happier! But are they prepared for an encounter with the spaghetti spinner? The Dessert: The Doughnut Ring Jim thinks a doughnut sale is the perfect fund-raiser to help his friend, Mr. Pride. And it is – at first. But when an e-mail chain asking for donations gets out of control, Jim finds himself up to his ears in doughnuts! Will he ever be able to sell all the stock, and stop the doughnut ring for good?



55 ) The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday

 The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 65
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 57

Isabel Dalhousie is a new mother and a connoisseur of philosophy; she’d rather not be a sleuth. But when a chance conversation at a dinner party draws her into the case of a doctor whose career has been ruined, she cannot ignore what may be a miscarriage of justice. Because for Isabel ethics are not theoretical at all, but an everyday matter of life and death. As she attempts to unravel the truth behind Dr Thompson’s disgrace, Isabel’s patient intelligence is also required to deal with challenges in her own life. There is her baby son Charlie; Cat’s deli to look after, not to mention her vulnerable assistant Eddie; and a mysterious and unlikeable composer who has latched on to Jamie, making Isabel fear for the future of her new family. Isabel treads a difficult path between trust and gullibility, philanthropy and interference, while keeping in her sights the small but certain comforts of family, philosophy and a fine Saturday morning.



55 ) The Department of Sensitive Crimes

 The Department of Sensitive Crimes

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 91
  • Amazon: 72
  • LibraryThing: 11

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo introduced us to ‘Scandi noir’. Now, welcome to Alexander McCall Smith’s world of Scandi blanc . . . Ulf Varg works in Malmo’s Department of Sensitive Crimes. Like all Scandinavian detectives he has his issues. In his case these include his unresolved feelings for his colleague, Anna; his impatience over the seeming incompetence of his irritating colleague Blomquist; and his concerns for the health of his hearing-impaired dog, Marten, the only dog in Sweden (and possibly all Scandinavia) who is able to lip-read (in Swedish). Along with his colleagues, Ulf is called upon to investigate a bizarre attack on a market trader, the disappearance of a handsome man who may or may not exist, and the affairs of a variety of young female students whose relationships with one another leave a great deal to be desired. Ulf and his team come to realise that the world is a puzzling place, lycanthropy (were-wolfism) exists and fish might have something to teach us. There is so much to learn if you are a Swedish detective, and in the first book in this new quasi-Scandinavian series, Ulf Varg embarks on these lessons with spirit and good humour.



54 ) The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

 The Forgotten Affairs of Youth

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 51
  • Amazon: 72
  • LibraryThing: 47

In the eighth installment of the beloved Isabel Dalhousie series, our inquisitive heroine helps a new friend discover the identity of her father. Isabel and her fiancé know who they are and where they come from. But not everybody is so fortunate, and some, like Jane, a visiting Australian philosopher on sabbatical in Edinburgh, have more questions than answers. Jane, adopted at the age of six, is trying to trace her biological father, but all she knows about him is that he was a student in Edinburgh years ago. When she asks for Isabel’s help in this seemingly impossible search . . . well, of course Isabel obliges. Still, Isabel manages to find time for her own concerns: her young son, Charlie, already walking and talking, and his keen new (and demanding!) interest in kites; her housekeeper, Grace, whose spiritualist has lately been doubling as a financial advisor; and the ever-pressing question of whether or not Isabel and Jamie should finally get married, though of course that would entail an actual wedding . . .



53 ) The Banana Machine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 69
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 1



52 ) Freddie Mole, Lion Tamer

 Freddie Mole, Lion Tamer

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 79
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 85

From the bestselling adult author of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series as well as the middle-grade series School Ship Tobermory comes an exciting tale of bravery set in and around the circus, with fun, energetic illustrations throughout. Freddie Mole loves his family They are tight-knit, but they struggle day to day to make ends meet. Times are tough, and Freddie is determined to help. Then Freddie finds out about a job opening at a local circus–and he can’t believe his luck when he is hired. At the circus, Freddie sweeps and cleans and is praised for his work. One thing leads to another, and he’s asked to be understudy for some of the acts. The trapeze stunts are daunting enough–can Freddie face the lion’s cage?



51 ) The Kalahari Typing School for Men

 The Kalahari Typing School for Men

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 93

The Kalaharl Typing School for Men’ is the fourth novel in the widely acclaimed No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Following on from ‘Morallty for Beautiful Girls’ we find Precious Ramotswe, the founder of Botswana’s only detective agency now running her business from the garage of her fiance, that most gracious of men, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. Having recovered from his illness, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni is back at the helm of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, and plans for the couple’s wedding need to be made. But when, If ever, will they wed? Intriguing cases present themselves and Mma Ramotswe juggles new clients with her usual formidable talent, but things become unusually complicated when her first-class assistant Mma Makutsi decides to expand the agency by opening a much-needed typing school for men. Amongst her puplis Mma Makutsl finds an admirer, but Mma Ramotswe, knowing how men are, decides to dig deeper.



49 ) Harriet Bean and the League of Cheats

 Harriet Bean and the League of Cheats

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 72
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 80

Harriet Bean loves nothing more than a good mystery. And together with her five extraordinary aunts (Veronica, Harmonica, Majolica, and twins Japonica and Thessalonika), she is always ready to take on a new case. Harriet doesn’t think twice when her mind-reading detective aunts Japonica and Thessalonika enlist her help in catching a cheat at the racetrack. After all, Harriet is just the right size to go undercover as a jockey. But when the plan takes an unexpected turn, Harriet finds herself in the saddle!



49 ) Akimbo and the Lions

 Akimbo and the Lions

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 73
  • Amazon: 14
  • LibraryThing: 66

Ten-year-old Akimbo lives on a game preserve in Africa. His father is the head ranger, and Akimbo is eager to help him whenever he can—even if it means getting into some pretty dangerous situations. In Akimbo and the Lions, Akimbo helps his father set a trap for a lioness that has been attacking cattle on nearby farms. But when the lion they catch turns out to be a cub, Akimbo must find a way to care for the young lion until it’s old enough to be released in the wild.



47 ) The Perfect Hamburger

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 56
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 93

If Joe could remember what he had thrown into the mixing-bowl, he knew that his hamburger could revive his friend Mr Borthwick’s ailing business and drive other fast-food store off the high street. A great opening announcing the perfect hamburger is arranged – but will Joe find the ingredients.



47 ) The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 110
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 20

The eighth installment in the universally beloved, internationally bestselling series. In the life of Mma Ramotswe – a woman duly proud of her fine traditional build – there is rarely a dull moment, and in her newest round of adventures, challenges and intrigues, the same certainly holds true. But one thing above all else is keeping her occupied – her estimable husband, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni. He has been hinting for some time now that he intends to do something special for their adopted daughter, Motholeli, and it seems that the time for this good deed has come. Of course, good deed or not, his plan is bound to hit some snags. And that’s when he will undoubtedly consider himself doubly – perhaps even triply – lucky to be married to the ever-resourceful, ever-understanding Precious Ramotswe.



46 ) The Lost Art of Gratitude

 The Lost Art of Gratitude

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 55
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 42

The sensational sixth installment in the best-selling chronicles of the irrepressibly curious Isabel Dalhousie. Isabel’s son, Charlie, is now of an age – eighteen months – to have a social life, and so off they go to a birthday party, where, much to Isabel’s surprise, she finds Minty Auchterlonie, the high-flying financier she first encountered in The Sunday Philosophy Club. Minty had seemed to Isabel a woman of ruthless ambition, but the question of her integrity had never truly been answered. Now, when Minty takes Isabel into her confidence about the complicated troubles at the investment bank she heads, Isabel finds herself going another round: Is Minty to be trusted? Or is she the perpetrator of an enormous financial fraud? Not that this is the only dilemma facing Isabel: she also crosses swords again with her nemesis Professor Dove, in an argument over plagiarism. Her niece, Cat, of course, has a new, problematic man (a stunt man!) in her life. And Jamie – doting father of Charlie – is still pressing Isabel to solve his dilemma: getting her to marry him. As always, there is no end to the delight in accompanying Isabel as she makes her way toward the heart of every problem: philosophizing, sleuthing, and downright snooping, in her inimitable – and inimitably charming – fashion.



45 ) Chance Developments

 Chance Developments

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 65
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 51

From the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series comes this splendid collection. Inspired by vintage photographs, these five lyrical stories capture the surprising intersections of love and friendship that alter life’s journeys. A smiling girl leading a younger girl astride a pony, and a boy in a kilt on a tricycle beside them, gives rise to a story of a lifelong romance between the two riders. A dapper, roguish-looking man perching on a lady’s knee sparks the story of a ventriloquist and an animal handler who work in a circus, and who, under the most delightfully unexpected circumstances, fall in love. The image of a woman haloed by light in a train station becomes the lighthearted tale of a nun’s decision to leave the sisterhood and discover what the big city has to offer. Charming and poignant, this collection brims with the flourishes of grace and humor that could only come from the pen of Alexander McCall Smith. (With black-and-white photographs throughout.)



44 ) The Joke Machine

 The Joke Machine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 47
  • Amazon: 99
  • LibraryThing: 1



41 ) A Conspiracy Of Friends

 A Conspiracy Of Friends

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 49
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 45

Following on from the huge success of the 44 Scotland Street series, Alexander McCall Smith has ‘moved house’ to a crumbling four-storey mansion in Pimlico – Corduroy Mansions. It is inhabited by a glorious assortment of characters: among them, Oedipus Snark, the first ever nasty Lib Dem MP, who is so detestable his own mother, Berthea, is writing an unauthorised biography about him; and one small vegetarian dog, Freddie de la Hay, who has the ability to fasten his own seatbelt.



41 ) A Distant View of Everything

 A Distant View of Everything

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 60
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 34

In this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s ever-delightful and perennially best-selling series, amateur sleuth and philosopher Isabel Dalhousie is called upon to help when a matchmaker begins to question her latest match. A new baby brings an abundance of joy to Isabel Dalhousie and her husband, Jamie – but Isabel’s almost four-year-old son, Charlie, is none too keen on his newborn brother. In fact Charlie refuses to acknowledge Magnus, and Isabel must find a way to impress upon her older son the patience and understanding that have served as guiding principles in her own life. These are, of course, the qualities that bring Rosemary Hipple, an old acquaintance of Isabel’s, to seek her help in a tricky situation. Rosemary is something of a matchmaker and has brought together a cosmetic surgeon and a successful banker at her most recent dinner party.



41 ) The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

 The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 67
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 47

Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you’ve got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s only – and finest – female private detective. Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she’s got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J.L.B. Maketoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger . . . Delightfully different, THE NO.1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY offers a captivating glimpse of an unusual world.



39 ) Precious and the Zebra Necklace

 Precious and the Zebra Necklace

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 24
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 69

A photograph, a necklace and a missing family . . . A new pupil, Nancy, arrives at Precious Ramotswe’s school, and the two girls soon become firm friends. When Precious finds out that all Nancy has to remind her of her missing parents is a photograph and a necklace of beautifully carved zebras, she offers to help find them. This is the start of an exciting adventure that leads the two girls deep into the remotest parts of Botswana, where they meet an old lady who recognises the necklace and has some extraordinary news for Nancy. Find out what it is in the latest book to feature the girl who grew up to become one of the most famous detectives in the world: Precious Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.



39 ) Espresso Tales

 Espresso Tales

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 49
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 44

It was a chance encounter with Armistead Maupin (of Tales of the City fame) in San Francisco which inspired Alexander McCall Smith to write his daily novel about the residents of 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in the author’s home town of Edinburgh. With its multiple-occupancy flats, Scotland Street is an interesting corner of the city, verging on the Bohemian, where haute bourgeoisie rub shoulders with students and the more colourful members of the intelligentsia. The comings and goings at 44 Scotland Street first made their way into print in The Scotsman newspaper in the first half of 2004. Espresso Tales features further escapades from the fringes of the New Town which appeared in The Scotsman during 2005. This new novel gives Scotland Street aficionados a chance to catch up with the occupants of what must surely be Edinburgh’s most well-known literary address, and to meet more of the inhabitants of this unique corner of the city. Espresso Tales is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters’ struggles to resolve them.



38 ) Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill

 Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 38
  • Amazon: 47
  • LibraryThing: 59

Precious Ramotswe of the hugely popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels is still a schoolgirl in this story for young readers, which is also set in Botswana. A family’s most valuable possession, their cow, has gone missing. Precious has a plan to find it, but she won’t be able to solve the mystery on her own. Delightful illustrations complement the author’s talent for spinning a tale rich in atmosphere and a sense of place.



37 ) Imagined Lives

 Imagined Lives

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 53
  • Amazon: 85
  • LibraryThing: 4



36 ) What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur

 What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 98
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 11

A stellar collection from Newbery medalists and bestselling authors written to benefit Darfuri refugees With contributions from some of the best talent writing for children today, What You Wish For is a compelling collection of affecting, inspiring, creepy, and ofttimes funny short stories and poems all linked by the universal power of a wish-the abstract things we all wish for-home, family, safety and love. From the exchange of letters between two girls who have never met but are both struggling with the unexpected curves of life, to the stunning sacrifice one dying girl makes for another, to the mermaid who trades her tail for legs, to the boy who unwittingly steals an imp’s house, and to the chilling retelling of Cinderella, What You Wish For brings together a potent international roster of authors of note to remember and celebrate the Darfuri refugees and their incredible story of survival and hope.



35 ) The Popcorn Pirates

 The Popcorn Pirates

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 69
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 69

Lucy, Hermione and Sam are off on a sailing trip. It sounds fun–but it may be dangerous. Captain Foster and his dog Biscuit need their help. Pirates have raided the ship and stolen the popcorn harvest–and all Biscuit’s dog-food! Now the Pirates aren’t just after more popcorn … they want some new sailors too! will three children–and a dog–defeat the greediest gang of grub-guzzling Pirates ever to sail the high seas? It’s going to be an explosive adventure!



34 ) The Novel Habits of Happiness

 The Novel Habits of Happiness

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 51
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 25

Isabel Dalhousie is one of Edinburgh’s most generous (but discreet) philanthropists – but should she be more charitable? She wonders, sometimes, if she is too judgmental about her niece’s amorous exploits, too sharp about her housekeeper’s spiritual beliefs, too ready to bristle in battle against her enemies. As the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, she doesn’t, of course, allow herself actual enemies, but she does feel enmity – especially towards two academics who have just arrived in the city. Isabel feels they’re a highly destabilizing influence; little tremors in the volcanic rock upon which an Enlightened Edinburgh perches., Equally troubling is the situation of the little boy who is convinced he had a previous life. When Isabel is called upon to help, she finds herself questioning her views on reincarnation. And the nature of grief., And – crucially – the positioning of lighthouses. The only questions Isabel doesn’t have to address concern her personal life. With her young son and devoted husband her home life is blissfully content., Which is the best possible launching pad for the next issue of the Review – the Happiness issue. As Isabel is beginning to appreciate, happiness, for most people, is not quite what it seems . ., .



33 ) The Bertie Project

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 63
  • LibraryThing: 46

Bertie’s respite from his overbearing mother, Irene, is over. She has returned from the middle-east, only to discover that her son has been exposed to the worst evils of cartoons, movies and Irn Bru, and her wrath falls upon her unfortunate husband, Stuart. Meanwhile, Bruce has fallen in love with someone other than himself; Big Lou wants to adopt her beloved Finlay; Matthew and Elspeth host the Duke of Johannesburg for supper and Bertie decides he wants to move out of Scotland Street altogether and live with his grandmother, Nicola. Can Irene and Stuart’s marriage survive? Will Bruce’s newfound love last? And will Bertie really leave Scotland Street? Find out in the next instalment of this charming, beloved series.



31 ) The Doughnut Ring

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 93

Jim and his friends are upset to hear that their school janitor’s car has been stolen, and just before he’s due to retire too. So Jim comes up with a bright idea for a way to help raise money to buy a new car: selling doughnuts. They start by making their own very delicious doughnuts to sell, but run into problems when demand exceeds supply. That’s when Jim has another brainwave and decides the only way to make enough is to write a chain letter asking people to make more doughnuts. The doughnuts start rolling in and rolling in and soon Jim is up to his ears in them.



31 ) The Muscle Machine

 The Muscle Machine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 31
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 93



30 ) The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

 The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 43
  • Amazon: 47
  • LibraryThing: 25

The story of Bertie and his dysfunctional family continues in this fifth instalment alongside the familiar cast of favourites – Big Lou, Domenica, Angus Lordie, Cyril and others – in their daily pursuit of a little happiness. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith has again given us a clever, witty and utterly delightful new novel.



29 ) Morality for Beautiful Girls

 Morality for Beautiful Girls

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 38
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 39

The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency introduced the engaging and sassy owner of Botswana’s only detective agency, Precious Ramotswe. This latest novel finds her expanding her business to take in the world of car repair and a beauty pageant.



28 ) The Revolving Door of Life

 The Revolving Door of Life

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 47
  • LibraryThing: 42

Once more we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, now running in its ninth season in The Scotsman. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang….



27 ) The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe

 The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 38
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 35

Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma Ramotswe – with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi – navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humor, and the occasional cup of tea. Over the years Mma Ramotswe has found many lost things, but never before has she been asked to help a woman find herself – until now. A kindhearted brother and sister have taken in a nameless woman with no memory of her own history or how she came to Botswana. It falls to Precious Ramotswe and her new co-director, Grace Makutsi, to discover the woman’s identity. Meanwhile, motherhood proves to be no obstacle to Mma Makutsi’s professional success, as she launches a new enterprise of her own: the Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe, a restaurant for Gaborone’s most fashionable diners. And next door, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is forced to make a choice that will directly affect not only Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, but the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency as well.



26 ) Good Dog Lion

 Good Dog Lion

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 93

A beautiful, heartwarming story set in Africa about a young boy and his yearning for a pet dog. From internationally bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith. Timo and his mother do not have much money – in fact, they have almost none., But that does not matter too much, because Timo has his mother and she has him. They have their little house. They have friends and neighbours., They have the world about them. All of that can be enough for happiness. There is one more thing, though, that Timo would like to have …A dog! High quality cream paper and a special easy-to-read font ensure a smooth read for all.



25 ) The Full Cupboard of Life

 The Full Cupboard of Life

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 29
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 38

Mma Ramotswe is still engaged to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni. She wonders when a day for the wedding will be named, but she is anxious to avoid putting too much pressure on her fiance. For he has other things on his mind – notably a frightening request made of him by Mma Potokwani.



24 ) Sunshine on Scotland Street

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 27
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 35

As the sun rises over the Georgian townhouses of Scotland Street, its most delightfully eccentric residents have burning questions on their minds. Will Big Lou find true love at last? How will Bertie’s healthy snacks go down at his school fair? And has Bruce Anderson really won the lottery? With his trademark charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith writes the eighth instalment in his popular series.



23 ) The Quiet Side of Passion

 The Quiet Side of Passion

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 30
  • Amazon: 52
  • LibraryThing: 10

It is summer in Edinburgh and Isabel Dalhousie is once again caught between ‘gossip’ and significant rumour. It is none of her business that Patricia, the mother of her son Charlie’s little friend Basil, is estranged from Basil’s father, or that the woman has a somewhat brazen attitude to childcare. And yet, it is curious. Isabel, however, has much else on her mind as editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. Along with the work involved for its impending next issue, she really needs to get her house in order and tend to the demands of her niece, Cat. Thankfully, the arrival of Antonia, the exuberant Italian au pair, will take care of urgent chores. And the hiring of Claire, a diligent if unsettlingly beautiful new assistant at the Review, surely means that Isabel can breathe, at least a little. But her sharp observation and assured role as confidante soon have Isabel doubting all her recent decisions. What’s more, her instinct to help others may have put her in real danger. In her desire to run both a smooth household and working life, has she simply created more chaos? Perhaps the quiet side of passion is, after all, the best side on which to be?



22 ) The Bubblegum Tree

 The Bubblegum Tree

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 73
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 11

Billy, Nicola and Mr Gopal are off to India to solve a baffling mystery–the Mystery of the Missing Bubblegum Trees! Because without the bubblegum trees, there’ll be no more Gopal’s Best Pink Bubblegum, and even more importantly, no more Bubblegummies–the people who live in the trees. It’s not an easy mystery to solve–and soon they’re all involved in a bungy-jumping, tiger-trouncing, woodcutter-walloping, bubblegum-blowing adventure!



21 ) The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

 The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 26
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 37

The latest instalment of the beloved and best-selling series – as endearing and delectable as ever! Business is slow at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, so at Mma Makutsi’s suggestion, Mma Ramotswe is persuaded to take her first-ever holiday. But just as she’s about to depart, a new client arrives: a young woman whose father was considered a hero in Botswana but whose reputation is now being called into question. Mma Ramotswe almost cancels her trip, but Mma Makutsi is adamant that she and Charlie have the situation in hand. Precious can’t relax, however, if she doesn’t know what’s going on at the agency, so she enlists Charlie to be her eyes and ears while she’s away. But Charlie may not be an altogether reliable emissary, particularly with much of his attention devoted to his newly adopted dog. In the end it’s an investigation that will affect everyone at the agency and a reminder for us all that ordinary human failings should be treated with a large helping of charity and compassion.



20 ) Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion

 Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 44
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 18

Well before Precious Ramotswe founded her Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency, as an eight-year-old girl she was already solving mysteries. Here, in this delightful, new, enchanting tale for children, we see how the young Precious became the crafty and intuitive private investigator we all know and love! Find out as Alexander McCall Smith tells the story of in another adventure featuring Precious Ramotswe.



19 ) Love Over Scotland

 Love Over Scotland

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 38
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 23

The third installment in Alexander McCall Smith’s beloved 44 Scotland Street series is sure to delight his many fans. This just in from Edinburgh: the complicated lives of the denizens of 44 Scotland Street are becoming no simpler. Domenica Macdonald has left for the Malacca Straits to conduct a perilous anthropological study of pirate households. Angus Lordie’s dog, Cyril, has been stolen, and is facing an uncertain future wandering the streets. Bertie, the prodigiously talented six-year-old, is still enduring psychotherapy, but his burden is lightened by a junior orchestra’s trip to Paris, where he makes some interesting new friends. Back in Edinburgh, there is romance for Pat with a handsome young man called Wolf, until she begins to see the attractions of the more prosaically named Matthew. Teeming with McCall Smith’s wonderful wit and charming depictions of Edinburgh, Love Over Scotland is another beautiful ode to a city and its people that continue to fascinate this astounding author.



18 ) The World According to Bertie

 The World According to Bertie

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 27
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 18

The World According to Bertie is the fourth in the series and revolves around the many colourful characters that come and go at No. 44 Scotland Street. McCall Smith handles the characters with his customary charm and deftness – the stalwart Tory chartered surveyor, the pushy mother, and, most importantly in this novel, the beleaguered Italian-speaking prodigy, Bertie. This is classic McCall Smith – clever, witty and entertaining – and beautifully illustrated. A chance encounter with Armistead Maupin in San Francisco inspired Alexander McCall Smith to write this series of novels based around the fictional No. 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh’s New Town.



17 ) In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

 In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 21
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 23

Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful Botswanan private investigator of ‘traditional build’, is well-known to millions across the world through the best-selling No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Those who have been following her exploits in five previously published novels will soon be able to savour the next instalment, in which, as usual, circumstances are never as straightforward as they seem and events take a more than unexpected turn. Precious Ramotswe, is now married to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The Agency is busy, but Mma Ramotswe cannot ignore the plea which is made to her by a woman who comes to her with a tale of particular misfortune. Unfortunately, her attempts to help are interrupted by a close encounter between her tiny white van and a bicycle, and by a spectacular disagreement between her assistant, Mma Makutsi, and one of the apprentices at the garage.



16 ) Blue Shoes and Happiness

 Blue Shoes and Happiness

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 24
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 31

In this seventh installment in the internationally bestselling, universally beloved series, there is considerable excitement at the shared premises of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. A cobra has been found in Precious Ramotswe’s office. Then a nurse from a local medical clinic reveals to Mma Ramotswe that faulty blood-pressure readings are being recorded there. And it looks as though Aunty Emang, the advice columnist in the local newspaper, may not be what she seems. It all means a lot of work for Mma Ramotswe and her inestimable assistant, Grace Makutsi, and they are, of course, up to the challenge. But there’s trouble brewing in Mma Makutsi’s own life. Her greedy uncles are demanding an extra-large bride price from her well-to-do fiancé, a man of substance, Phuti Radiphuti, and though money may buy her that fashionably narrow (and uncomfortable) pair of blue shoes, it won’t buy her the happiness that Mma Ramotswe promises her she’ll find in simpler things – in contentment with the world and enough tea to smooth over the occasional bumps in the road.



15 ) The Importance of Being Seven

 The Importance of Being Seven

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 31

The story of Bertie and his dysfunctional family continues in this sixth instalment alongside the familiar cast of favourites – Big Lou, Domenica, Angus Lordie, Cyril and others – in their daily pursuit of a little happiness. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith has, yet again, given us a clever, witty and utterly delightful new novel.



14 ) The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 21
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 29

The twelfth installment in the beloved, best-selling series is once again a beautiful blend of wit and wisdom, and a profoundly touching tale of the human heart. Precious Ramotswe is haunted by a dream in which she is driving her dear old white van. Grace Makutsi dreams that her 97 percent on the Botswana Secretarial College exam was a mistake. When Mma Ramotswe discovers that her van is actually still in use (and, of course, sets out to retrieve it), Mma Makutsi wonders whether her dream will turn out to be prophetic as well. They can only wait and see, but, in the meantime, one of Phuti Radiphuti’s apprentices has gotten a girl pregnant and, under pressure to marry her, has run away. Naturally, it is up to Precious and Grace to help the couple work things out. In other developments, Mma Ramotswe investigates a case of rural jealousy in which cattle are being poisoned.



13 ) The Double Comfort Safari Club

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 21
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 25

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are called to a safari lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta to carry out a delicate mission on behalf of a former guest. The Okavango makes Precious appreciate once again the beauty of her homeland: it is a paradise of teeming wildlife, majestic grasslands and sparkling water. However, it is also home to rival safari operators, fearsome crocodiles and disgruntled hippopotamuses. What’s more, Mma Makutsi still does not have a date for her wedding to Phuti Radiphuti and is feeling rather tetchy herself. But Precious knows that with a little patience, just as the wide river will gently make its way round any obstacle, so will everything work out for the best in the end …



12 ) The Miracle at Speedy Motors

 The Miracle at Speedy Motors

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 16

In the ninth installment of this infinitely enjoyable and bestselling series, Precious Ramotswe is doing what she does best – solving crimes and taking care of business: her own and everybody else’s. Investigating her latest case, Mma Ramotswe has to trek to a game preserve, where she rediscovers the breathtaking beauty of her beloved Botswana. She is there to uncover the truth about an elderly American traveller whose safari proved to be his last journey. What she discovers is a surprise to everyone concerned. Meanwhile, problems are also brewing back at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: Mma Makutsi has instituted the Complaint Half Hour in order to air her grievances – which works well for her until Mma Ramotswe decides to institute her own version. And life is no less complicated at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, where Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni – Mma Ramotswe’s estimable husband – has suddenly decided to mortgage the garage. But without a doubt – and after several cups of bush tea – Precious Ramotswe will make sure, as only she can, that everything turns out as it should.



11 ) Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers

 Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 31

As summer blooms in Edinburgh’s gardens and Bertie Pollock’s birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce’s first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie’s birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie’s mother Irene to a warmer – if not a better – place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.



10 ) The Sands of Shark Island

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 42
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 11

Imagine going to school on a boat! The rip-roaring excitement continues in the second volume of this adventure-mystery series set on the high seas, from the author of the beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency! Ben and Fee MacTavish and their schoolmates onboard the School Ship Tobermory are headed thousands of miles from their base in Mull to a small island in the Caribbean. They will learn extraordinary details about Captain Macbeth’s past and come face to face with modern-day pirates. The students and crew aboard the Tobermory will have to band together and use their wits to escape harm and overcome the evil pirates.



9 ) Bertie Plays The Blues

 Bertie Plays The Blues

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 25

Once more, we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, currently running in The Scotsman. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang, especially with an invitation to one of Scotland’s premier jazz festivals –



7 ) Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

 Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 20

The tenth installment of this universally beloved and best-selling series finds Precious Ramotswe in personal need of her own formidable detection talents. Mma Ramotswe’s ever-ready tiny white van has recently developed a rather disturbing noise. Of course, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni–her estimable husband and one of Botswana’s most talented mechanics-‘”is the man to turn to for help. But Precious suspects he might simply condemn the van and replace it with something more modern. And as usual, her suspicions are well-founded: without telling her, he sells the van and saddles his wife with a new, characterless vehicle . . . a situation that must be remedied. And so she sets out to find the van, unaware, for the moment, that it has already been stolen from the man who bought it, making recovery a more complicated process than she had expected. In the meantime, all is not going smoothly for Mma Makutsi in her engagement to Mr Phuti Radiphuti (to make matters worse, Violet Sephotho, who could not have gotten more than fifty percent on her typing final at the Botswana Secretarial School, is involved).



7 ) The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection

 The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 22

The new installment in the perpetually delightful and bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Precious Ramotswe is back and, as usual, her plate is full! She’s called in to tackle a mysterious disciplinary problem at her adopted daughter’s school… Her infinitely trustworthy assistant, Grace Makutsi, is having trouble adjusting to wedded bliss, a problem to test even the formidable talents of Mma Ramotswe… And the estimable Clovis Andersen, author of The Principles of Private Investigation – the No. 1 Ladies’ prized manual – has arrived, right there, in Botswana, on a case of his own. Bush tea anyone?



6 ) Precious and Grace

 Precious and Grace

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 11

One bright morning, Precious Ramotswe – head of Botswana’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – receives a visitor: a woman from Australia. This woman asks Precious to take on a case: to find the nursemaid who raised her during her childhood in Botswana. The woman wants to thank her for being such an important part of her life. Precious has a history of successfully solving cases, but this one proves difficult and throws up a number of surprises and challenges. Back in her office, next door to the Speedy Motors Garage on Twokleng Road, Precious also has a team to manage: Mr Polopetsi, a part-time science teacher and new assistant at the agency; she mentors Charlie, a former apprentice and young man too handsome and charming for his own good – a man who has gotten himself in deep water; and then there is Precious’s tumultuous but heart-warming friendship with her co-director, the fiery Grace Makutsi. Precious and Grace is a story about being a detective, the complexities of human nature, as well as lessons about gratitude and obligation.



5 ) The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

 The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 17

Modern ideas get tangled up with traditional ones in the latest intriguing installment in the beloved, best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Mma Ramotswe agrees to visit the farm and find out what she can about the self-professed nephew. Then the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon comes to Mma Ramotswe for advice. The opening of her new salon has been shadowed by misfortune. Not only has she received a bad omen in the mail, but rumors are swirling that the salon is using dangerous products that burn people’s skin. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business? Meanwhile, at the office, Mma Ramotswe has noticed something different about Grace Makutsi lately. Though Mma Makutsi has mentioned nothing, it has become clear that she is pregnant . . .



4 ) A Work of Beauty

 A Work of Beauty

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 32
  • LibraryThing: 6

I love this city, and always shall. I write about it. I dream about it., I walk its streets and see something new each day – traces of faded lettering on the stone, still legible, but just; some facade that I have walked past before and not noticed; an unregarded doorway with the names, in brass, of those who lived there sixty years ago, the bell-pulls sometimes still in place, as if one might summon long-departed residents from their slumbers. Edinburgh is a city of stories – a place that has witnessed everything from great historical upheavals, to the individual lives of a remarkable cast of characters. Every spire, cobblestone, bridge, close and avenue has a tale to tell.



3 ) The Colours of all the Cattle

 The Colours of all the Cattle

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 20
  • LibraryThing: 8

Precious Ramotswe dips her toe into the world of politics in the newest addition to the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the city council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded. Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. Although Violet is intent on using every trick in the book to secure her election, Mma Ramotswe refuses to promise anything beyond what she can deliver – hence her slogan: ‘I can’t promise anything – but I shall do my best’. To everyone’s surprise, she wins. As it turns out, politics does not agree with Mma Ramotswe. Though everyone is supportive, she eventually resigns. She thinks there will be a new election, but she discovers that the rules state that in such an event, the runner-up automatically takes the seat. Violet is triumphant and sure that she will get the Big Fun Hotel planning application through without a hitch. But Mma Makutsi and Mma Potokwane are not about to make it easy for her. Through it all, Mma Ramotswe uses her good humour and generosity of spirit to help the community navigate divisive issues and proves that honesty and compassion will always carry the day.



2 ) The House of Unexpected Sisters

 The House of Unexpected Sisters

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 8

The latest instalment of the irresistibly charming, perennially best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Precious Ramotswe has always idolised her father, the late Obed Ramotswe. She feels that she knows all about his life – but does she? Sometimes our parents surprise us, and we discover that things were not quite what we thought them to be. And the same goes for Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe’s feisty assistant, who also makes certain discoveries about her own past that cause some surprise. The placid world of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is further disturbed by the arrival in Gaborone of somebody whom Mma Ramotswe – and Mr JLB Matekoni, for that matter – definitely do not want to see. Of course calm eventually prevails – as it always does in the timeless world of these remarkable ladies. Fans around the world adore the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In this delightful series, Mma Ramotswe – with help from her loyal codirector, Mma Makutsi – navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humour and the occasional cup of tea.



1 ) Akimbo and the Baboons

 Akimbo and the Baboons

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 7

Akimbo is excited to have his cousin, Kosi, visit him on the game reserve where he lives,. and when a visiting scientist invites the boys to join her when she studies a pack of baboons, they can’t wait to assist her in the bush. The baboons they find are fun to observe, but when a black leopard threatens the pack – and the scientist – Akimbo and Kosi are reminded that danger is ever present in the African bush. Alexander McCall Smith takes young readers on a safari to his beloved Africa in this perfect first chapter book, beautifully brought to life with illustrations by LeUyen Pham.



Alexander McCall Smith’s Best Books



Alexander McCall Smith Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Akimbo and the Baboons 14 1 7 1
The House of Unexpected Sisters 10 16 8 2
The Colours of all the Cattle 9 20 8 3
A Work of Beauty 5 32 6 4
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon 14 16 17 5
Precious and Grace 19 20 11 6
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built 12 20 20 7
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection 14 16 22 7
Bertie Plays The Blues 12 16 25 9
The Sands of Shark Island 42 1 11 10
Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers 8 20 31 11
The Miracle at Speedy Motors 17 32 16 12
The Double Comfort Safari Club 21 20 25 13
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party 21 20 29 14
The Importance of Being Seven 11 32 31 15
Blue Shoes and Happiness 24 20 31 16
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies 21 32 23 17
The World According to Bertie 27 32 18 18
Love Over Scotland 38 20 23 19
Precious and the Mystery of the Missing Lion 44 20 18 20
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine 26 20 37 21
The Bubblegum Tree 73 1 11 22
The Quiet Side of Passion 30 52 10 23
Sunshine on Scotland Street 27 32 35 24
The Full Cupboard of Life 29 32 38 25
Good Dog Lion 6 1 93 26
The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe 38 32 35 27
The Revolving Door of Life 19 47 42 28
Morality for Beautiful Girls 38 32 39 29
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones 43 47 25 30
The Doughnut Ring 31 1 93 31
The Muscle Machine 31 1 93 31
The Bertie Project 17 63 46 33
The Novel Habits of Happiness 51 52 25 34
The Popcorn Pirates 69 1 69 35
What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur 98 32 11 36
Imagined Lives 53 85 4 37
Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill 38 47 59 38
Precious and the Zebra Necklace 24 52 69 39
Espresso Tales 49 52 44 39
A Conspiracy Of Friends 49 52 45 41
A Distant View of Everything 60 52 34 41
The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency 67 32 47 41
The Joke Machine 47 99 1 44
Chance Developments 65 32 51 45
The Lost Art of Gratitude 55 52 42 46
The Perfect Hamburger 56 1 93 47
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive 110 20 20 47
Harriet Bean and the League of Cheats 72 1 80 49
Akimbo and the Lions 73 14 66 49
The Kalahari Typing School for Men 31 32 93 51
Freddie Mole, Lion Tamer 79 1 85 52
The Banana Machine 69 99 1 53
The Forgotten Affairs of Youth 51 72 47 54
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday 65 52 57 55
The Department of Sensitive Crimes 91 72 11 55
The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse 54 63 61 57
The Perfect Hamburger and Other Delicious Stories 56 47 75 57
Akimbo and the Crocodile Man 59 52 69 59
Tears Of The Giraffe 110 32 40 60
The Great Cake Mystery 60 32 93 61
The Dog Who Came in From the Cold 67 63 55 61
The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds 73 63 50 63
Better than Fiction 2 93 88 5 63
A Time of Love and Tartan 60 99 29 65
The Bursting Balloons Mystery 96 1 91 65
The Second Worst Restaurant in France 1 99 93 67
Alix and the Tigers 2 99 93 68
Paddy and the Ratcatcher 2 99 93 68
Hari and His Electric Feet 4 99 93 70
Akimbo and the Elephants 110 14 74 71
The Ice-cream Bicycle 7 99 93 72
An Innocent Abroad 87 72 41 73
The Careful Use of Compliments 60 88 53 74
Precious and the Monkeys 60 94 47 74
No Rest for the Dead 81 72 51 76
Akimbo and the Snakes 110 1 93 76
Spaghetti Tangle 110 1 93 76
The Right Attitude to Rain 71 78 56 79
La’s Orchestra Saves the World 78 63 65 80
The Chocolate Money Mystery 84 47 76 81
The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean 76 52 80 82
Trains and Lovers 87 63 58 82
Who Invented Peanut Butter? 110 99 1 84
My Italian Bulldozer 95 63 53 85
Unusual Uses for Olive Oil 79 72 63 86
At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances 84 63 73 87
The Case of the Vanishing Granny 31 99 93 88
The Tin Dog 31 99 93 88
Max Champion and the Great Race Car Robbery 31 99 93 88
Marvellous Mix-ups 31 99 93 88
Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine 110 20 93 88
The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean 84 52 88 93
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate 81 78 67 94
What W. H. Auden Can Do for You 87 78 62 95
Teacher Trouble 44 99 85 96
44 Scotland Street 81 85 67 97
Corduroy Mansions 87 85 63 98
The Race to Kangaroo Cliff 44 99 93 99
Jeffrey’s Joke Machine 47 99 93 100
Who Built Scotland 56 98 93 101
The Charming Quirks of Others 110 78 59 101
School Ship Tobermory 91 78 82 103
The Cleverness of Ladies 97 72 83 104
The Girl Who Married a Lion 99 78 76 105
Calculator Annie 93 99 69 106
At the Reunion Buffet 110 63 93 107
The Sunday Philosophy Club 101 88 78 108
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs 76 99 93 109
Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party 103 92 79 110
The Perils of Morning Coffee 110 78 93 111
One City 101 99 84 112
Better Than Fiction 100 92 93 113
Heavenly Date 107 95 85 114
The Baboons Who Went This Way And That 104 96 91 115
Portuguese Irregular Verbs 110 88 93 115
The Forever Girl 109 96 89 117
Monkey Boy 105 99 93 118
Ox-Tales:Air 108 99 90 118
Boing Boing 106 99 93 120

You Might Also Like