Monday, 25 August 2008

Book Festival - Part 5

Last Tuesday we went to hear Alexander McCall Smith. He's made at least three appearances at the Festival and could probably have filled the 500-seater big tent with his fans a few more times. We were rather shocked to hear that the next Number One Ladies' Detective book was just about to be started and would be finished by the end of October! He's contracted to write 14 of these novels. In addition, McCall Smith writes an Isabel Dalhousie and a 44 Scotland Street book every year. Everyone's favourite character from "44" is Bertie, the six-year-old, Italian speaking and saxophone playing prodigy. When once lost by his mother in Paris Bertie earns money busking and ends up out-arguing the professor at a Sorbonne lecture. Bertie is undergoing psychotherapy for having set fire to his father's copy of the Guardian. That's always good for a laugh. Bertie for Prime Minister.

In an incident in the latest book Bertie meets Ian Rankin, a near neighbour of McCall Smith. Bertie announces that he'd just seen one of Rankin's books in a second hand bookshop priced 25P. On being shown the first draft Rankin declared: "25p! Make it a bloody quid!"

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