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A Conspiracy of Friends (Corduroy Mansions #3)

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3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,296 Ratings  ·  329 Reviews
CORDUROY MANSIONS - Book 3

In the Corduroy Mansions series of novels, set in London’s hip Pimlico neighborhood, we meet a cast of charming eccentrics, including perhaps the world’s most clever terrier, who make their home in a handsome, though slightly dilapidated, apartment block.

It seems the universe itself is conspiring against the residents of Corduroy Mansions, as they
...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Brittany
Dec 29, 2013 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
We read books for so many reasons. We read to educate ourselves. We read to challenge ourselves. We read to explore new ideas and feelings. We read to think thoughts we've never thought before. We read to visit places, people, and times we'd otherwise never be able to. We read to escape the present. We read to bask in the beauty of the written word. And sometimes we just want a good story, the sort you tell over dinner with friends or the sort that makes a comforting bedtime story, no matter ...more
Barbara

3.5 stars

This laid back series centers around an apartment building called 'Corduroy Mansions' in the Pimlico section of London - its residents, their friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and co-workers. In this book we visit with some familar characters and see what they're up to.

Twenty-something Caroline Jarvis has a degree in art history and works as a photograher's assistant. Caroline's parents want their daughter to spend less time with her best friend James, a gay young man who
...more
Linda
Jun 17, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everytime I read a book by Alexander McCall Smith I wish that I could live among his characters and in his locations! This third installment in the Corduroy Mansions series is no exception. The life events of the characters - while (in most cases) not earth-shattering and described so thoroughly and thoughtfully it is like we are experiencing them ourselves, or at least sitting on the sofa and hearing about them from a friend. Freddy de la Hay has an adventure (again) and both William and his ...more
Jessie
Sep 15, 2012 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always with Corduroy Mansions & 44 Scotland Street, a total delight and a balm to the soul.
Lucy
Nov 09, 2012 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This novel is the latest and third book in the Corduroy series by Alexander McCall Smith and it is outstanding. This whole series is my very favorite of what I've read of his books, which is all but two of the Isabel Dalhousie series and about 1/3 of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series...those series are very wonderful and remarkable in their own rights. Yet, there's just something so incredibly charming about this set, though...maybe because one of the main characters is a ...more
Lucy
Nov 09, 2012 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This novel is the latest and third book in the Corduroy Mansions series by Alexander McCall Smith and it is outstanding. This whole series is my very favorite of what I've read of his books, which is all but two of the Isabel Dalhousie series and 1/3 of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series...those sets are very wonderful and remarkable in their own rights. There's just something so incredibly charming about this set, though...Maybe because one of the main characters is a quintessentially ...more
Graeme Roberts
I admit that I am addicted to Alexander McCall Smith, a sucker for his gentle universe, a place where really bad things happen in the most human ways (view spoiler), but kindness and wisdom prevails. And in the ultimate test of all fiction, I find meaning and learn to live better.

I do have to admit, however, that he seems to be in production mode, throwing the cast of Corduroy cha
...more
Jon
May 02, 2013 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to admit it, but this serialized string of intertwined plot lines, gently and kindly narrated, is starting to appeal to me. Generally I think McCall Smith writes too much for his own good. I only patiently tolerated the first ones in this series, but I've been listening to the recorded versions and have now begun to feel comfortable with some of the characters. The plots are not as predictable as I had expected, and some of them actually do come to an end. This third volume included the ...more
Joyce
A Conspiracy of Friends by Alexander McCall Smith is the 2nd book in his Corduroy Mansions. I was fortunate to have just read the preceding book in the series and having that background greatly added to my enjoyment of this book. Smith makes frequent use of understated dry humor in his writing, and I love the way he gently pokes fun at people through that dry humor. There were many times while reading the book that I found myself chuckling over his descriptions of people's quirks and foibles. ...more
Anna Grace
This book is the third in the series of corduroy mansions, although sometimes spookily similar to other Alexander McCall Smith books. It does address moral issues and causes us to think about the relationships we have in our life. He confirms to some social stereotypes which I found a little disappointing and he also in most/all of his books (even in different series) he has a unfaithful or simply fickle girl although he does sometimes do that with males also I find it sad that he has this view ...more
Mary
Jul 05, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, I did really enjoy this book. It's reliably sharp and funny and human. But I like the Mma Ramotswe mysteries arebetter than the Corduroy Mansions series; they seem deeper and more coherent. In this episode of "Corduroy Mansions", I was interested in all the characters and quite engaged - but I got frustrated in the end, because we didn't see a confrontation I expected to see. I also think the attempt of the literary agency to book the Yeti who's written an autobiography was - well, ...more
Barbara
Jun 16, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Really ended up enjoying this series. I remember finding the first book a bit sad but I enjoyed the second and the last one in this series. I love hot the author seems to realistically see the world through a dogs eyes and mind. The dog is not a big part of the book at all. In fact, he is hardly in this book at all, but when he is, I'm fascinated by his portrayal by the author. Who know what a dog really thinks and feels; but to me, the author's view seems pretty realistic and how I image a dog ...more
Sonia
Jan 15, 2012 Sonia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, scotland, fiction, 2012
This one started out a little slowly with a lot of "philosophizing" and I was wondering if I'd like it. But then it slowly took on the qualities I love in AMS's books - those unexpected turns in the story, his "right on" depictions of the quirks of modern life and modern people, his subtle humor (although I laughed out loud a few times), his getting into the mind of Freddie de la Hay (is it possible for a dog to fasten a seatbelt?) and, most of all, the feeling that he's teaching me something ...more
Nat
Feb 05, 2013 Nat rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Chenoweth
An online novel, with installments released every weekday, that just finished on Friday. It was actually sort of fun to be unable to skip ahead - you had to wait and see what would happen. There were some interesting twists in this one, and some memorable scenes (like the one involving a magnet!) A gentle, enjoyable read!
Lori
Jul 20, 2012 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best
Freddie de la Hay and his cast of characters, never fail to bring the quirks of mankind to a humorous read. Alexander McCall Smith is amazing in his observations of people. His stories with the story are light hearted while driving home a load of philosophy. I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. McCall Smith read and speak and he is just as wonderful as his characters. Totally fun reading.
Mary
Jun 25, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love how McCall Smith gently causes you to think about philosophical, moral, and ethical questions in the context of the everyday lives or ordinary characters. Don't like the Corduroy Mansions series as much as the Scotland Street series, but I'll never turn down one of his stories set in GB.
Sharla
Oct 10, 2012 Sharla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Alexander McCall Smith's books and this series is one of my favorites. That said, I thought this book was a bit repetitive in many ways. Still, I enjoyed the usual gentle wit and subtle humor. Would like to see more of Freddie and wish William would learn to hang onto him!
Diana
Feb 19, 2015 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any book by Alexander McCall Smith is better than the vast majority of books in print. Although the Corduroy Mansion series is my least fave of the author's huge library, I found myself smiling & nodding as I read this sweet book.
Connie
Oct 03, 2015 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading McCall Smith's books is, to me, the equivalent of a cup of tea, a rainy day and a comfortable chair. There aren't many better ways to spend a day.
Judith
Dec 03, 2016 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in a series about Corduroy Mansions and it's delightful if a bit predictable. Smith is an incredibly prolific writer and it always surprises me that this Scottish man can so easily switch perspectives from a middle-aged African woman (The #1 Ladies Detective Agency) to a Pimlico terrier in London. (The Corduroy Mansion series). He is amazingly versatile. His characters are all pretty one dimensional but like watching cartoons, this is just good clean fun. So put your feet up ...more
Emma
Dec 10, 2016 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed most of this book and the characters within but felt there were too many characters to keep up with. It's made up of separate stories following people who live in Corduroy Mansions and I think I'd prefer to hear from them one at a time. I wanted to find out more about some of them and know less about others. As always with Alexander McCall Smith it was well written with an inciteful look into how people think but I enjoyed it less than other books by him.
Julie
This was my first experience of Corduroy Mansions, and I find I'm not as invested in the characters as with isobel Dalhousie, or Precious Ramotswe. I may revisit the series when I run out of more interesting characters....
Fiona
Oct 12, 2016 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this Author,mix of kindness, philosophy and humour.
SA_Aslam_
I finished this book more quickly than others I've recently read: I think that was because it was a "gentle read" and I was less emotionally involved.
It's written from different points of view (POV) - as is my own second book. Whereas I'm concerned the reader might lose track of who's who, McCall Smith doesn't seem to care. Changing POV from chapter to chapter is okay, but his style becomes less effective, the flow of narrative is interrupted, and the reader can't use their own brain when it ch
...more
Evelyn Brooks
Sep 30, 2016 Evelyn Brooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Delightful Episode with Corduroy Mansions' Ensemble Cast

Alexander McCall Smith never fails to produce wildly wonderful characters who get all mixed up in adventures that we just know could've happened to us or a friend of ours. If you haven't read any of this series I suggest starting with Book One so you can meet the cast, however the author always does a skillful and subtle job of recapping previous scenes so each book is stand alone. Enjoyable read!
Marianne
Sep 25, 2012 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Conspiracy of Friends is the third novel in the Corduroy Mansions series by Alexander McCall Smith. In this instalment: psychotherapist Berthea Snark considers the possibility that she is not really the mother of the least-liked Lib Dem MP, Oedipus Snark; wine merchant William French ponders the purpose of his life; William’s unqualified and unemployed son, Eddie, engages a designer to turn his fiancée, Merle’s house on St Lucia into a hotel; literary agent, Barbara Ragg retracts a promise to ...more
Lara Beth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trudy
Jun 13, 2014 Trudy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne
Aug 06, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Storyteller Alexander McCall Smith takes readers back for a third visit with the denizens of Corduroy Mansions, a slightly shabby, but cozy, apartment building in London. If you like the author's 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series, you will enjoy the gentle humor and ruminative narrative style of this series also. The friends and apartment mates in these tales find and lose love, advise and ignore adult children, lose and take in stray dogs, all the while thinking about these everyday ...more
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Corduroy Mansions (3 books)
  • Corduroy Mansions (Corduroy Mansions, #1)
  • The Dog who Came in from the Cold (Corduroy Mansions, #2)

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“Has anyone sen Mr Snark "
"I saw him in the tunnel about 15 minutes ago."
"Oh no " wailed Dr Ferman "he will have been atomised."
"Oh dear" muttered an MP. "Bye-election.”
2 likes
“William’s weekend with his friends, Geoffrey and Maggie, was turning out to be neither restful nor enjoyable. Things could have been worse, of course: there must be weekends during which the hosts’ house burns to the ground, one of the guests murders another, the hostess is arrested in extradition proceedings or the guests are all poisoned by the inclusion of death’s cap mushrooms in the stew. Such weekends must be very difficult indeed, not least because of the wording of the thank-you letters that one would have to write. The disaster, whatever it was, could hardly be ignored, but must be referred to tactfully in the letter, and always set in proper perspective. Thus, in the case of the mushroom poisoning, one would comment on how the other courses of the meal were delicious; in the case of the hostess’s arrest, one would say something comforting about the ability of defence lawyers in the jurisdiction to which she was being extradited—and so on, mutatis mutandis, trying at all times to be as positive as possible.” 1 likes
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