Alexander McCall Smith was born in what is now Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He is now Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has written more than fifty books, including a number of specialist titles, but is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has achieved bestseller status on four continents. In 2004 he was awarded British Book Awards Author of the Year and Booksellers Association Author of the Year.
Fans of bestseller Smith's two mystery series set in Botswana and Edinburgh will find the same understanding, affectionate look at human frailties and foibles in this sunny series about the adventures and misadventures of a precocious six-year-old, Bertie Pollock, and a host of other folks in contemporary Edinburgh. In the superlative fifth entry (after The World According to Bertie), Bertie's parents engage in a Wodehousian power struggle about how their young child should be raised, wondering whether his desire to become a scout is a good thing. The neatly interwoven story lines include the travails of a young, newly married couple and an artist who finds himself saddled with too many dogs. One character's scheme to recover a Spode tea cup that her neighbor has permanently appropriated is particularly evocative of P.G. Wodehouse, though Smith's characters are less broadly drawn and more multidimensional than, say, Jeeves and Wooster. (Jan.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.