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44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
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Jan 21, 12

Read in January, 2012

I have long loved the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, there is something gentle and pleasant about them, and had at the back of my mind to some day get around to reading Alexander McCall Smith's other offerings. Particularly 44 Scotland Street because it was written as a serial for The Scotsman newspaper. A serial for a newspaper? In this day and age? Intriguing.

Well a winter flu coupled with a winter storm had me home bound for the better part of a week and when I was well enough to be bored still trapped indoors I finally got around to picking up 44 Scotland Street. I am happy to report that this little volume of very short chapters (installments) about a handful of people living and interacting in a particular Edinburgh neighborhood was delicious and delightful. There are number of plots and interweaving story lines but basically this little charmer is about nothing much and everything in life all at the same time.

Chapter 1 is titled "Stuff Happens" and the final chapter is "Gain, Loss, Friendship, Love" and in between were many delightful and witty, heartwarming, heartbreaking and even hilarious snippets worthy of savoring. There was also something to it that had me constantly thinking of Roald Dahl as I meandered my way through Pat's living arrangements and romantic struggles, Bruce's self admiration, the great Peploe? conundrum, the Conservative Ball (attendance: 6, a good time had by all?) and 5 year old Bertie's efforts to claim something resembling a normal childhood (really, doesn't setting fire to your dad's paper while he is reading it smack of Roald Dahl?). I greatly look forward to relishing whatever happens next.
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