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One of McCall Smith's particular talents is his ability to portray archetypes without resorting to stereotype or cliche. Thus we immediately recognise the Edinburgh chartered surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who dreams of membership to Muirfield golf club. We have the pushy Stockbridge mother, and her prodigiously talented five-year-old son, who is making good progress with the saxophone and with his Italian. Then there is Domenica Macdonald who, rather like Miss Jean Brodie, is that type of Edinburgh lady who sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual world. In McCall Smith's hands such characters retain charm and novelty, simultaneously arousing both mirth and empathy. 44 Scotland Street is vintage McCall Smith, tackling issues of trust and honesty, snobbery and hypocrisy, love and loss, but all with great lightness of touch. Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters' struggles to resolve them.
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Bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith brings all the warmth of his extraordinary No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books and the Sunday Philosophy Club series to this witty novel chronicling the lives of the residents of 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh. Originally serialized in "The Scotsman, 44 Scotland Street is already an international sensation.
When twenty-year-old Pat rents a room from handsome and cocky Bruce, she inherits some delightfully colourful neighbours: Domenica, an insightful and eccentric widow; Bertie, a five-year-old who's mastered both saxophone and Italian; and Irene, his overbearing mother. Pat's new job at a gallery seems easy enough. Her boss spends most of his time drinking coffee in a local cafe and discussing matters great and small, and Pat's duties are light. That is until she realizes that one of their paintings may be an undiscovered work of a renowned Scottish artist and she discovers that one of their customers may be in on the secret. Add to this a fancy ball, love triangles and an encounter with a famous crime writer, and you have Alexander McCall Smith's entertaining and witty portrait of Edinburgh society.
As author of the world-wide best-selling No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith needs no introduction.
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