Spotlight on: Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander mccall smithAlexander McCall Smith was born in 1948 in what was then called Rhodesia, the British Colony that became Zimbabwe. Long before he was known for writing the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series of books, McCall Smith wrote children’s novels with an African flavour. However his first profession was in Law, studying in Edinburgh and then teaching Law at the University of Botswana. He was then Professor of Medical law at Edinburgh, and was chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee (until 2002), the former vice-chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the U.K. and a former member of the International Bioethics commission. His children’s novels were quite successful, but international writing acclaim came in 1998 with the release of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, a book featuring the first (hence No. 1) female private investigator in Botswana, the agency she opens and the cases she investigates. The book was so successful it spawned nine sequels.