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Publisher's Summary

The 12th instalment in the beloved and perennially best-selling 44 Scotland Street series.

If only Pat Macgregor had an inkling of the embarrassment - romantic, professional, even aesthetic - that flowed from accepting narcissistic ex-boyfriend Bruce Anderson's invitation for coffee, she would never have said yes. And if only Matthew, her boss at the art gallery, hadn't wandered into his local bookshop and picked up a particular book at a particular time, he would never have knocked over his former English teacher or attracted the attentions of the police.

Whether caused by small things such as a cup of coffee and a book or major events such as Stuart's application for promotion and his wife Irene's decision to go off and study for a PhD in Aberdeen, change is coming to serial fiction's favourite street. But for three seven-year-old boys - Bertie Pollock, Ranald Braveheart Macpherson and Big Lou's foster son Finlay - it also means a getting a glimpse of perfect happiness.

Alexander McCall Smith's delightfully witty, wise and sometimes surreal comedy spirals out to include tennis-playing Rwandan Forest People, research into levitating Celtic saints, bogus headhunters in Papua New Guinea and primary school performances of Beckett. But its heart remains where it has always been true to life: love and laughter in Edinburgh's New Town.

©2017 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging...[his] novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling." ( Mail on Sunday)

What members say

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-18

Some issues resolved, others redirected

This seems to be the final chapter in the 44 Scotland saga. At first I was very confused with the narrative, as there is no reference to the happenings in the previous book, except for once near the end. Beyond this, very enjoyable and well read. While some reviewers are disappointed with Irene's part, I am glad that Mr. McC-S did not give her the fate I hoped for! May Bertie stay the lovely man he is (or a Irene would say, the lovely person they are).

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  • Abra
  • 08-13-18

I want to live in Scotland Street.

I love the Scotland Street novels. I've read them all and I know the characters so well that I feel like one of the neighbours. Alexander McCall Smith is a national treasure, he makes us really love and care about the characters. Roll on the next one.

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  • pc
  • 07-05-18

Wonderful journey

I laughed, I cried and I pondered the awesome talent that is Alexander McCall Smith.
The author and the narrator are both superb story tellers.
Thank you.

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  • Gillian Hollis
  • 01-04-18

Another delightful Scotland street tale

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this delightful book - the reader was excellent- well done

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  • flytiki
  • 12-18-17

Another brilliant installment of 44 Scotland Stree

Wonderful catch up with the residents especially young Bertie. Like meeting up with old friends, comforting and entertaining a lovely listen.

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  • mcawood
  • 11-18-17

David Rintoul is superb

I love this series of novels. They are witty and poignant. Life is beginning to come right for Bertie and his father, Stuart. As stated above, David Rintoul is an excellent narrator. Why hasn't he done the earlier ones? Please, an English accent on the earlier ones? They need to be redone. I'll buy them all when Rintoul does them.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-18

Goodbye Irene ?

This is the usual for 44 Scotland Street, which is to say very good. If you enjoyed the preceding eleven books, and you wouldn't be here otherwise, you will appreciate the author's gentle and enlightened but nevertheless tough approach to life and relationships.

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  • sarah
  • 12-27-17

heart warming humour

Another great story from scotland street. I knew stuart had it in him! maybe bertie doesnt have to wait until he's eighteen to be happy

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  • Carolyn
  • 11-19-17

A absolute joy

Alexander MacCall Smith at his very best. I love the “Bertie” series and this has been my favourite of them all. A few ends were tied up very neatly (without giving anything away), so I hope it is not the last in the series .... Splendidly read as well. Thank you for the entertainment.