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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)

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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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  • 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.