First published in 110 episodes in The Scotsman newspaper, 44 Scotland Street revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in the author's home city of Edinburgh. One of McCall Smith's particular talents is his ability to portray archetypes without resorting to stereotype or cliche. We immediately recognise the Edinburgh chartered surveyor, stalwart of the Conservative Association, who dreams of membership of Scotland's most exclusive 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 is that type of Edinburgh lady who sees herself as a citizen of a broader intellectual world. 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.More
"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)
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Charming and wittily observed novel.
Charming, entertaining, a great listen
- Donn Edwards