Jeffrey spends his Saturdays working in Mr Prendergast's junk shop. One day, while they are sorting things out, they uncover a mysterious machine. Jeffrey takes it home to see if he can make it work. It turns out to be a joke-producing machine, and an extremely funny one at that! Soon everyone in town wants one of its jokes. Everyone except Mr Jenkinson, that is, the miserable owner of the shop next door. Of course, what Mr Jenkinson really needs to do is get a sense of humour instead of trying to ruin everyone's fun. But who will get the last laugh?
Alexander McCall Smith is professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the author of over fifty books. These range from adult fiction to specialist titles, such as Forensic Aspects of Sleep, to a wide selection of children's books. In 1999 The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was published. This book quickly became a bestseller and was voted one of the 'International Books of the Year and the Millennium' by the Times Literary Supplement. In America the success of the series was instant with sales exceeding two million in the USA alone. Winner of three Author of the Year awards in 2004 (British Book Awards, Booksellers' Association and Waterstone's), Bloomsbury Publishing are very proud and excited to be re-publishing Alexander's key children's books.