Just a Thought: Readalikes for Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith, perhaps best known for his “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series, is an author who is difficult to categorize. His characters are fully rounded, though often quirky. His settings are often small towns or villages, but range geographically from Scotland to Africa. His storylines deal with real, very serious issues, but maintain a light and whimsical touch as they do so. Light, but literary, and always engaging, there is little wonder that his books are so very popular. Because of this popularity, we are often asked for suggestions for similar authors. But because of his unique style, it can be very difficult to find authors with the same mix of reality and whimsy. Here are some of the suggestions we’ve been collecting!


Bradley, Alan. “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”

Drayson, Nicholas. “A Guide to the Birds of East Africa”

Edgerton, Clyde. “Lunch at the Piccidilly”

Flagg, Fannie. “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven”

Narayan, R.K. “The Guide”

Owens, Sharon. “The Tea House on Mulberry Street”

Parkin, Gaile. “Baking Cakes in Kigali”

Simonson, Helen. “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”

Smith, D.L. “The Miracles of Santo Fico”

Solomons, Natasha.  “Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English”

Zama, Farahad. “The Marriage Bureau for Rich People 

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