A Series of Smiths

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I’ve blogged about the books of Alexander McCall Smith before, because he’s one of my all-time favourite authors.

Alexander McCall Smith began by writing the now famous No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, that features, of all things, a lady detective in Botswana. If you’re looking for light, comfortable reads, then he is the author for you. He writes about Botswana with affection, and I suppose most fans like me want to visit the place after reading his book. This series is now 20 books old! I’ve followed the journey of Mma Ramotswe for years now, and won’t stop until the author does. It also has a TV series to its name, which did quite well.

One of the major hallmarks of his books is the gentle humour, like a light breeze lifting your spirit. This is most apparent in his series featuring the German Professor Dr Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld. The Portuguese Irregular Verbs is one of the lesser known series but in my opinion it is the funniest. How can one resist a book that starts like this?

Professor Dr Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld often reflected on how fortunate he was to be exactly who he was, and nobody else. When one paused to think of who one might have been had the accident of birth not happened precisely as it did, then, well, one could be quite frankly appalled. Take his colleague Professor Dr Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer, for instance. Firstly, there was the name: to be called Detlev was a misfortune, but to add that ridiculous Mozartian pretension to it, and then to culminate in Unterholzer was to gild a turnip.

From Botswana and Germany, we travel to the author’s hometown of Edinburgh. With a motley crew of characters varying from senior citizens to child prodigies and young millennials in between, the 44 Scotland Street series is funny and full of drama at the same time.

I embarked upon the Corduroy Mansions series last, and I’m glad to say the great author has imbued it with as much humour as his other books! The second book in this series is titled ‘The Dog Who Came in from the Cold’ and that was enough to set me chuckling.

And that’s not all – he writes at least four other series apart from this, including books for children! He is a prolific author, and even publishes a new short story on his website every month. If you haven’t read any of his books, I suggest you pick up one pronto!

Do you have any favourite books you would like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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