Alexander McCall Smith to launch crime writing festival in Stirling

A crime writing festival is to mark the launch of its 2018 programme with the first appearance of writer Alexander McCall Smith.

McCall Smith will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of his most popular novel. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival will announce the line-up on June 4 as the author celebrates the 20th anniversary of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

Bob McDevitt, director of Bloody Scotland, said: “From the first Bloody Scotland festival in 2012, we have tried to get the wonderful Alexander McCall Smith on the programme but sadly his schedule and ours have never been in sync. Until now.”

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The festival will mark the milestone anniversary of the books which introduced Precious Ramotswe to a global audience.

Since then, Mma Ramotswe, Grace Makutsi and Mr JLB Matekoni have entertained readers in a further 17 novels set in Botswana.

The launch in Stirling will be followed by afternoon tea in the Ballroom of The Golden Lion Hotel.

McCall Smith, who pens the 44 Scotland Street series for The Scotsman, said: “I can’t think of any better way to celebrate 20 years of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency than with afternoon tea at the launch of Scotland’s biggest crime book festival.

“I have always wanted to appear at Bloody Scotland and am glad we have managed to make it work as I’ll be in Botswana when the actual festival takes place.”

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Video: Alexander McCall Smith on 44 Scotland Street