It's fun to be able to introduce a new writer to patrons and then to have them come back for more by the same author. For the last year or two, we've been steering folks toward a wonderful series of detective novels by Alexander McCall Smith. The books have an offbeat setting--the African county of Botswana, and the main character is a wise and patient woman detective named Precious Ramotswe. If you have not yet enjoyed any of these books, you have a treat in store.
But Smith is a prolific author who has more up his sleeve than the adventures of Mma. Ramotswe. He has written many short stories and has recently published the beginning book in another detective series featuring a Scottish editor named Isabel Dalhousie.
Bookslut offers an interview with the prolific Mr. Smith:
While Mma Ramotswe really sprang fully formed into McCall Smith’s mind about 15 years ago while he was waiting for an African woman to wring a chicken’s neck, the more sophisticated Isabel Dalhousie, like 44 Scotland Street, reflects his roots in Edinburgh.
“I think the places do inform who the characters are and who they become,” he said. “Mma Ramotswe is obviously a person who makes sense in her surroundings and in her particular culture. Similarly, Isabel Dalhousie is a product of a particular country and city. She’s Scottish and she is from Edinburgh, which involves quite a lot of baggage. I think we all carry the baggage of our origins with us, even if it’s a place we have adopted. It determines us to a great extent but not entirely. I think you can escape it. You can rise above it. You can recreate yourself to an extent but the baggage is always there."