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University of Iowa News Release


April 20, 2007

Alexander McCall Smith Reads From New Ladies Detective Novel May 5

Alexander McCall Smith, whose lighthearted, No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels have been international bestsellers, will read from the newest installment, "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive," at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in Buchanan Auditorium on the University of Iowa Pappajohn Business Building. Listen live via the UI Writing University Website:

The reading will be recorded for broadcast on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series, originating on UI radio station WSUI, AM 910. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on AM 910 WSUI in Iowa City, AM 640 WOI in Ames and AM 1010 KRNI in Cedar Falls. A program is also broadcast at 5 p.m. Sundays on 91.7 FM KSUI in Iowa City.

A starred review in Publishers Weekly concluded, "Smith once again combines a loving depiction of ordinary life in modern Botswana with memorable characters and an engaging mystery in the eighth installment in his beloved No. 1 Ladies Detective. . . . The author's subtlety of touch and humane portrayal of figures at all levels of society will continue to win him new readers even as his deepening of the ties binding the main figures will satisfy those who have followed the lady detectives from their first recorded case."

A Newsweek review called Smith's series, "utterly charming and compulsively readable." And a Los Angeles Times review described the books as "smart and sassy (with) the power to amuse or shock or touch the heart, sometimes all at once."

Smith is the author not only of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series but also the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;