The peppermint tea chronicles A 44 Scotland Street novel

Alexander McCall Smith, 1948-

Book - 2019

Summer has come to Scotland Street. The long days have prompted its denizens to engage in flights of fancy. Some, like the Duke of Johannesburg's plan to create a microlite seaplane, are literal flights, and some, like the vain Bruce Anderson's idea of settling down with one of his many admirers, are more metaphorical. With the domineering Irene off pursuing academic challenges, Stuart and Bertie are free to indulge in summer fun. Stuart reconnects with an old acquaintance over refresh...ing peppermint tea while Bertie takes his friend Ranald Braveheart Macpherson to the circus. But their trip to the big top becomes rather more than the pleasant diversion they were hoping for. Once again, Scotland Street teems with the daily triumphs and challenges of those who call it home, and provides a warm, wise, and witty chronicle of the affairs in this corner of the world.--

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Series
McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948- 44 Scotland Street series ; 13.
Subjects
Genres
Humorous fiction
Published
New York : Anchor Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC 2019.
Language
English
Item Description
Series numeration from www.goodreads.com.
"This book is excerpted from a series that originally appeared in The Scotsman newspaper."--Title page verso.
Physical Description
310 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781984897817
1984897810
Main Author
Alexander McCall Smith, 1948- (author)
Other Authors
Iain McIntosh (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The 44 Scotland Street series is something of a high-wire act, a cross between soap opera and serialized novel. It began in 2004 when McCall Smith introduced, in sketches in the The Scotsman newspaper, a handful of characters living in an upper-middle-class apartment building in Edinburgh. The action has proceeded at a reflection-filled, leisurely pace but with sudden lurches, advances, and reversals. Almost from the outset, a little boy, Bertie, now seven, the victim of a mother who sees him more as a project than a child, has been the beating heart of the series. In this thirteenth installment, Bertie has been largely freed from his domineering mother, a development that readers who have seen the evil influence of that mother will welcome. New readers, though, may be confused by the way some plot threads are woven and then all but abandoned. And even with the breakneck pace of serialization, there should have been some extra proofing to catch errors (like identifying the Slough of Despond as appearing in Dante, rather than Bunyan). Still, especially for continuing readers, a new Scotland Street will always be a cause for rejoicing. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

There are changes afoot for Bertie and his family and friends in this next in the popular series by the redoubtable McCall Smith. Bertie is aging, if gracefully, and Irene is having her dramas, but Edinburgh keeps on keeping on. In a handy paperback original format and moving to a fall publication (think holidays). Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Smith's meandering 13th 44 Scotland Street novel (after 2017's A Time of Love and Tartan), the latest personal developments among the residents of the Edinburgh street will strike many as ho-hum: a child's acquisition of a pet dog, a battle with a bureaucracy over disposing of a dead animal, and a coffee shop owner's fears for her business's future. Cat lovers will be taken aback by an anthropomorphized projection of the life of a dead feline, which, in order to make a pseudo-profound point about its finder's worldview, suggests that the cat couldn't have had an attachment to anything or anyone beyond its own life. Others may find odd one character's attitude that only men can have a sentimental attachment to old clothing. Readers will struggle to care about the child and the coffee shop owner and how their personal stories play out. The author's usual charm and humor aren't enough to redeem a tale without a dominant or memorable story line. Fans of Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective series will be disappointed. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency. (Dec.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Changes come to 44 Scotland Street as Bertie and his friends and family are drawn into drama that surprisingly brings them closer than ever before. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's popular 44 Scotland Street series is a sheer delight.  Summer has come to Scotland Street. The long days have prompted its denizens to engage in flights of fancy. Some, like the Duke of Johannesburg’s plan to create a microlite seaplane, are literal flights, and some, like the vain Bruce Anderson’s idea of settling down with one of his many admirers, are more metaphorical.With the domineering Irene off pursuing academic challenges, Stuart and Bertie are free to indulge in summer fun. Stuart reconnects with an old acquaintance over refreshing peppermint tea while Bertie takes his friend Ranald Braveheart Macpherson to the circus. But their trip to the big top becomes rather more than the pleasant diversion they were hoping for. Once again, Scotland Street teems with the daily triumphs and challenges of those who call it home, and provides a warm, wise, and witty chronicle of the affairs in this corner of the world.  AN ANCHOR BOOKS ORIGINAL