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Publisher's Summary

The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. His award-winning wit, made famous through that series, is fully on display in 44 Scotland Street.

When Pat rents a room in Edinburgh, she acquires some interesting neighbors, including a pushy Stockbridge mother and her talented, sax-playing, 5-year-old son. Pat's job at an art gallery hardly keeps her busy, until she suspects one painting in the collection may be an undiscovered work from a Scottish master. As Pat handles the mystery of the painting, she and the people surrounding her confront issues of trust, love, and loss.

Chalk up another winner for McCall Smith, whose endlessly entertaining and perceptive novel is filled with delightfully authentic sketches of all the archetypes of Edinburgh society.

©2005 Alexander McCall Smith; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Readers needn't possess plaid clothes or a brogue to savor this wise, witty send-up of Edinburgh rogues." (Booklist)
"The possibility of romance, the ongoing ups and downs of the large, well-drawn cast of characters, the intricate plot, and the way Smith nimbly jumps from situation to situation and POV to POV...works beautifully." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • judith
  • clemson, SC, United States
  • 12-05-12

Yawn

Not much humor and no mystery, unless it came at the end, which I didn't listen to.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Disappointed McCall fan

As a fan of the Number 1 Ladies Detective series, I looked forward to the same kind of rich cultural experience wrapped in a bit of a mystery. Unfortunately, the characters here are shallow and insipid, their bland stories strung together like an endless string of digressions from what is billed as the main plot line. I gave up after seven hours of listening. Disappointing to this fan of the author.

16 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Tedious

I am a big fan of the HBO series Ladies Number One Detective Agency so I thought this might be good. To be honest I could not finish the book. I really tried but I gave up after 43 chapters. I had hoped to gain some insight into life in Edinborough but this seemed to be overshadowed by the lives of a group of odd characters. I couldn't find much of a reason to like any of them. The plot twists were obvious and tedious. Sorry, I can't really think of a single positive thing to say about it.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Oswego, IL, United States
  • 10-21-17

It deserves a million stars!

I have never heard a story like this before. On the surface, it seems rather simplistic, but as the story continues one sees how intricate the characters are developed and interwoven. I told my Husband that it reminded me of a Seinfeld episode where what seemed to be an arbitrary incident would cause a domino to fall in one of the characters lives thus moving the sequence of all the characters lives forward in unexpected ways. This story is HYSTERICALLY funny and I had to apologize to my Husband a few times for lol in our quiet, dark bedroom at three in the morning (I listen to audible to help me sleep.)Much to my astonishment, he answered me a few times with a "No problem. I was listening, too." That has NEVER happened before. He really liked the book and both of us agreed the narrator is FABULOUS! He only added to the hilarity. His interpretation of the text is spot on. Get this book. It's absolutely wonderful.

  • Overall
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  • Story

No end in sight!

And of these characters with rather ordinary lives and not a single one of them has an ending. It took me a long time to get into the story as it was so disjointed, jumping from character to character, but I finally did and I was excitedly wondering how it would end. And then... it didn't. The only thing you know is the outcome of the painting. It was not at all satisfying! Maybe some future book will give readers closure but I won't be making that leap of faith.

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Amazing characters!

So smart and funny, with great Edinburgh references. I loved it - enjoyed every minute! Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series.

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enjoyable story

A little slow for my taste but gets interesting. A nice listen when you want something a little slower.

  • Overall
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A Pleasant Read

Nice to read a book without violence or bad language. Story is slow in places but still it was entertaining.

  • Overall
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Character Driven

Characters were the driving force of the book and if they didn't catch ones interest then the book wasn't enjoyable. I love McCall Smith's characters in # 1 Detective Agency but didn't enjoy the characters in this story.

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 08-04-16

NOT the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

44 Scotland Street has it's merits . . . it is entertaining . . . to a point . . . but for fans of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, I fear that many will find it shallow and lacking . . . a little on the meandering side, filled with folks with too much money and time on their hands to be able to relate to us commoners, and caught up with psychoanalyzing a five year old, saxophone playing boy . . . I was forever waiting for the other shoe to drop, for lover boy, Bruce to get a big fat dose of reality dropped on his head . . . for Pat, in her second gap year to get off her parents dole, get the stars out of her eyes and GROW UP . . . my favorites were Angus and his dog Cyril, and Domenica, Pat's sixties-something neighbor . . . and of course, five-year-old Bertie . . . if you are looking for a light listen, this one fits the bill . . .

1 of 2 people found this review helpful