newgen books for YA readers
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith

Blue Shoes and Happiness

Part of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series
Crime / Mystery   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Crime/Mystery/Thriller Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

Fans of the The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency will revel in the tricky new challenges the traditionally built Mma Ramotswe faces with her unique combination of common sense and kindness. Those who are yet to discover McCall Smith's witty and delightful writing will find that Botswana provides an evocative background for all the great problems of the world: justice, respect, whistle-blowing, feminism, forgiveness, friendship - and, of course, how to deal with an angry ostrich. Oh, and does money buy you happiness? Yes, if you use it to buy Blue Shoes (but perhaps not if you are Mma Makutsi, assistant to, though less traditionally built than, Mma Ramotswe herself). Why can't all the world be like this?

If you like Alexander McCall Smith you might also like to read books by Tarquin Hall, Ian Sansom and Tim Parks.


Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith

The seventh book in the phenomenally popular, successful and much loved ‘No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series

More adventures for Precious Ramotswe and her fine assistant Mma Makutsi, including an encounter with a cobra, a sinister blackmail plot, a rather tight-fitting pair of blue shoes, as well as plenty more bush tea and Botswana skies.


[BLUE SHOES AND HAPPINESS has] the quiet sophistication of the previous novels and its simplicity is deceptive . . . these novels take us through the looking glass into an Africa we rarely hear about, but their main purpose is to hold a mirror to our own society -- Amanda Craig * Independent * Nothing will dim the charm of McCall Smith's series, with its portraits of goodness, its sorrow over greed and its profound love of Africa. They are among the greatest comfort-reads of all time, written in plain, elegant prose * Sunday Times * Nothing spoils [McCall Smith's] vision of Botswana as a place where decent people triumph over mischief-makers * Telegraph *

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith was our Guest Editor in July 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman newspaper, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award. Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country. Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Alexander McCall Smith by Mary Hogarth.

A Lovereading guide to the works of Alexander McCall Smith...

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency was first published in 1998 and then, suddenly, it took off in America to the extent that no less than11 reprints were required in 2003.

Since then, so prolific has been his output, and so has his popularity soared, that there was a time when the sheer multitude of McCall Smith's books led to confusion as to which book fitted into each of the various series under which he writes. One has hardly been able to keep up with the sheer abundance of books published - we reckon at least thirty in less than a decade.

Now, thankfully, things have settled down and the legions of McCall Smiths avid fans can compartmentalise his new books into the four main series under which they sit - The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, The Isabel Dalhousie Novels, The 44 Scotland Street Series and The Corduroy Mansions Series with a few more on top!

There are constant features across the whole panoply of McCall Smith's output. Wry and witty observations about the day-to-day lives of normal people. An innocence and delight in the human condition. And, always, a twinkle on the eye shared by writer and reader. He is a happy writer and that makes for happy readers.

He is best known for the following 4 series of novels (they are shown below in the order they were published) :-

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, The Full Cupboard of Life, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Blue Shoes and Happiness, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, The Double Comfort Safari Club, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, Precious and Grace.

Isabel Dalhousie series: The Sunday Philosophy Club,Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, The Right Attitude to Rain, The Careful Use of Compliments, The Comfort of Saturdays, The Lost Art of Gratitude, The Charming Quirks of Others, The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, The Novel Habits of Happiness.

44 Scotland Street series: 44 Scotland Street, Espresso Tales, Love Over Scotland, The World According to Bertie, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, The Importance of Being Seven, Bertie Plays the Blues, Sunshine on Scotland Street, Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers, The Revolving Door of Life, The Bertie Project, A Time of Love and Tartan.

Corduroy Mansions Series: Corduroy Mansions, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, A Conspiracy of Friends.

Author Photo © Graham Clark

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

11th February 2006


Alexander McCall Smith

More books by Alexander McCall Smith
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Little, Brown Book Group


256 pages


Crime / Mystery
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!