cover image A Time of Love and Tartan: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

A Time of Love and Tartan: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Alexander McCall Smith. Anchor, $15.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-525-43655-3

Smith’s spirited 12th 44 Scotland Street novel (after 2017’s The Bertie Project) sees the residents of Edinburgh’s Scotland Street and their associates grapple with domestic problems great and small. Anthropologist Domenica Macdonald wonders about the viability of her marriage to artist Angus Lordie while preparing for a visit from Rwandan pygmies; government statistician Stuart Pollock faces intense competition for a promotion and a difficult wife with other priorities in Aberdeen; art gallery assistant Pat Macgregor finds it hard to shake an egotistical ex-boyfriend who has plans for her; and gallery owner Matthew Duncan deals with the fallout of an uncomfortable encounter with his former English teacher and the demands of his two-year-old triplets. Meanwhile, Stuart’s seven-year-old son, Bertie, makes a significant discovery in Drummond Place Gardens and contends with his know-it-all classmate, Olive. Despite the lack of any mystery, fans of Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series will enjoy the stimulating and often comic company of Scotland Street’s inviting neighbors. (Feb.)