Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Revolving Door of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

The Revolving Door of Life: The New 44 Scotland Street Novel by Alexander McCall Smith --- 282 pages

The tenth installment in McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street Series is charming, droll, and poignant all at once, maintaining the high standard of story-telling and gentle satire we've come to expect from McCall Smith.

In this episode, the much put-upon Bertie Pollack, his hapless father Stuart and his small brother Ulysses have temporarily escaped from the tyranny of Irene (one of the most fearsome mothers in fiction).  Irene is causing havoc in a Bedouin harem (see Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers), and Stuart has asked his mother to help out with the boys.  Nicola, arriving from Portugal, transforms Bertie's life and his fervent wish is for his grandmother to "please stay forever."

Meanwhile Matthew and Elspeth and their triplets have moved to a big house in the country, formerly owned by the doubtfully titled Duke of Johannesburg. When Matthew discovers a secret room and long forgotten treasure, he faces an ethical dilemma: who is the owner and beneficiary of this treasure?  Meanwhile, Matthew's assistant at the art gallery, Pat, is facing a dilemma of her own.  She is convinced her widower and well-to-do father is being taken in by a con artist who is after his money. She reluctantly enlists the help of her former boy friend, the narcissistic Bruce, to expose the schemer.  But Bruce seems to have met his match --- a woman even more ruthlessly opportunistic than he is! And there are dark schemes going on within the Association of Scottish Nudists' headquarters in nearby Moray Place.

Click HERE to read a review from Kirkus Reviews.

Click HERE to read a review from the Cultural Voyager.

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