44 Scotland Street, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (17 ratings)


The story revolves around the comings and goings at No. 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in Edinburgh.

Immediately recognisable are 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.In McCall Smith's hands such characters retain charm and novelty, simultaneously arousing both mirth and empathy. 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.

Clever, elegant and funny, this is a novel that provides huge entertainment but which is underpinned by the moral dilemmas of everyday life and the characters' struggles to resolve them.


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Showing 1 - 5 of 17 reviews.

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Review by

A frothy cappucino of a book; light,funny, easy reading. It is the book that AMS wrote as a true serial in 'The Scotsman'. He was inspired to do it by a conversation with the author Armisted Maupin of San Francisco whose famous series "Tales of the City" has given him the structure of this book. All the characters were engaging, and I finished reading this and felt I would like to know more about them all.The reader also gets a great sense of Edinburgh. A perfect feel-good book.

Review by

This new series of books were first published as a serial in The Scotsman. The book revolves around the inhabitants of a tenament house in Edinburgh. There is a good mix of characters, both sympathetic and irritating, and, as usual ASM makes you care about what happens to them. The stories are told in short chapters (reflecting the fact that the book was first published as a series of instalments).

Review by

odd rambling account of a girl's life in Edinburgh. Doesn't really go anywhere and the characters are a bit thin too. I've no idea what genre to file this under as nothing really happens. Doesn't have the charm of the Ladies Detective Novels or the quirkyness of the newspaper columns.

Review by

This is the book of the novel serialised in [i]The Scotsman[/i]. An Edinburgh version of Maupin's <i>Tales of the City</i>. A light read, I enjoyed but it fades rapidly, the Ma Ramotswe books and Sunday Philosophers Club made much more of a lasting impression.

Review by

Another great read from Alexander McCall Smith. A fantastic set of characters from the likeable to the not so likeable. I think it's been a while since he was last in Aberdeen though - Big Lou's reflection about how it's too cold up here for girls to go staggering around in short skirts are a bit out of date!

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