Alexander McCall Smith, best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, has turned his hand to humour. The delightful result is a creation of comic genius. For in the unnaturally tall form of Professor Doctor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, we are invited to meet a memorable character whose sublime insouciance is a blend of the cultivated pomposity of Frasier Crane and of Inspecteur Clouseau’s hapless gaucherie.
Von Igelfeld inhabits the rarefied world of the Institute of Romance Philology at Regensburg, a world he shares with his equally tall and equally ridiculous colleagues, Professors Florianus Prinzel and Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer. Their unlikely adventures are described in three deliciously funny instalments: Portuguese Irregular Verbs, The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances.