Number 10 Scotland Street

14 05 2016

The Revolving Door of Life (The 44 Scotland Street Series Book 10) by Alexander McCall Smith


For seven-year-old Bertie Pollock, life in Edinburgh’s most celebrated fictional street has just got immeasurably better. The enforced absence of his endlessly pushy mother Irene – currently consciousness-raising in a Bedouin harem (don’t ask) – has manifold and immediate blessings: no psychotherapy, no Italian lessons and no yoga classes. Bliss.

For Scotland Street’s grown-ups, life throws up some new dilemmas. Matthew makes a discovery that could make him even richer but also leaves him worried. Pat makes one that could make her poorer and her father miserable – unless that uber-narcissist, Bruce, can help her out. And the Duke of Johannesburg, we discover, isn’t exactly who he says he is.

From what happens behind Edinburgh Airport’s luggage carousel to Machiavellian manoeuvrings at the Association of Scottish Nudists, Alexander McCall Smith guides us through the brighter, lighter and frankly unexpected side of Edinburgh life. As ever with his 44 Scotland Street series, his readers will make their own discovery: that its blend of wit and wisdom mark it out as a comedic tour de force.

Can’t quite believe we’re already at number 10 in this series. Starting as a weekly serial in the Scotsman this McCall Smith series really has taken on a life of its own. I’ve enjoyed every one of these and the latest one really is one of the best with this being a particular highlight:

“Angus had seen such irritation bring to an untimely end the marriage of a friend who, having married for the first time at forty-three, had found his new wife’s minor idiosyncrasies to be unbearable. The straw that eventually broke the back of that marriage had been her insistence on pronouncing Gullane as it was written, rather than as Gillane, which was what it really was – a highly divisive issue in Scotland, even if not one that might be expected to bring a marriage to an end.”

Having grown up there I can, of course, confirm that the correct pronunciation is as it is written.

Fun for all the family.

four stars



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