Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the huge international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and The Sunday Philosophy Club series. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana and at Edinburgh University. He lives in Scotland.
This third volume of serial stories about the residents of 44 Scotland Street calls to addicted listeners just as viewers are called to afternoon soap operas. With a wry sense of humor and insight into human frailties, Smith explores the feelings of elation and worthlessness found in the relationships of the elder generation (Angus and Domenica), those of middle years (Irene, Stuart, and Bertie's psychoanalyst), and the younger set (Pat, Matthew, and a new character, Wolf). Robert Ian Mackenzie's aristocratic British diction doesn't seem to fit Irene and Bertie, but others are skillfully portrayed. Highly recommended where 44 Scotland Street is popular.-Sandy Glover, Camas P.L., WA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In this latest installment of McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series, Robert Ian Mackenzie portrays Bertie as the overly intelligent and articulate six-year-old that he is meant to be, but when Bertie is among his classmates Tofu, Hiawatha, Larch and Olive, Mackenzie is hard-pressed to individualize the children's voices. A similar problem arises as more and more women are added to the cast. Now that Domenica and Antonia are neighbors, their voices are almost as similar as their flats. Miss Harmony, Bertie's teacher, could be Antonia's twin sister. While Mackenzie has clearly run out of new voices, he does better with his male characters, especially with Angus's basso and Matthew's hesitant voice that matches his timid demeanor. Mackenzie keeps this enjoyable, lighthearted romp moving along quickly. An Anchor paperback (Reviews, June 30). (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Praise for the 44 Scotland Street series:
"[McCall Smith] is a pro, and he delivers sharp observation, gentle satire . . . as well as the expected romantic complications. . . . [Readers will] relish McCall Smith's depiction of this place . . . and enjoy his tolerant, good-humored company." --The New York Times Book Review "Alexander McCall Smith once again proves himself a wry but gentle chronicler of humanity and its foibles." --The Miami Herald