Alexander McCall Smith - Espresso Tales - Little, Brown Book Group

Espresso Tales

By Alexander McCall Smith

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The second in the series of Alexander McCall Smith's daily novel about the residents of 44 Scotland Street

In Espresso Tales, Alexander McCall Smith returns home to Edinburgh and the glorious cast of his own tales of the city, the residents of 44 Scotland Street, with a new set of challenges for each one of them.
Bruce, the intolerably vain and perpetually deluded ex-surveyor, is about to embark on a new career as a wine merchant, while his long-suffering flatmate Pat MacGregor, set up by matchmaking Domenica Macdonald, finds herself invited to a nudist picnic in Moray Place in the pursuit of true love. Prodigious six-year-old Bertie Pollock wants a boy's life of fishing and rugby, not yoga and pink dungarees, and he plots rebellion against his bossy, crusading mother Irene and his psychotherapist Dr Fairbairn. But when Bertie's longed-for trip to Glasgow with his ineffectual father Stuart ends with Bertie taking money off legendary Glasgow hard man Lard O'Connor at cards, it looks as though Bertie should have been more careful what he wished for. And all the time it appears that both Irene Pollock and Dr Fairbairn are engaged in a struggle with dark secrets and unconscious urges of their own.

Biographical Notes

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into thirty-six languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349119700
  • Publication date: 01 Jun 2006
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Abacus
It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging...(his) novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling — Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
A treasure of a writer whose books deserve immediate devouring — Marcel Berlins, Guardian
As warm as cocoa, as cosy as thermal underwear, and just what the doctor ordered for the cold winter evenings — THE TIMES
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A Time of Love and Tartan

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A Florentine Revenge

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On a scorching summer afternoon in the suburbs of Florence, a small girl goes missing at a crowded swimming pool and is never seen alive again. For fifteen years a terrible crime lies unsolved, becoming one of the city's darkest and most shameful secrets, until one bitter winter night another body is found, at another swimming pool, and the case is reopened. Celia Donnelly had just arrived in Florence at the time of the girl's disappearance and can remember only too well the face that filled the front pages of every Italian newspaper. When word of the gruesome new discovery breaks, she is in the midst of arranging a weekend of birthday celebrations for a wealthy Englishman's wife. However, as Celia undertakes what ought to be a routine work assignment, she finds herself more closely involved than she could have ever imagined with a tragedy that has haunted her dreams for fifteen years; and it is Celia who is compelled to bear witness when the past returns to exact a brutal and terrifying revenge.

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Dreams start here...'Charming, made me long to escape to Mure. Total joy.' - Sophie KinsellaOn the quayside next to the Endless Beach sits the Summer Seaside Kitchen. It's a haven for tourists and locals alike, who all come to eat the freshest local produce on the island and catch up with the gossip. Flora, who runs the cafe, feels safe and content - unless she thinks too hard about her relationship with Joel, her gorgeous but emotionally (and physically) distant boyfriend. While Flora is in turmoil about her relationship. her best friend Lorna is pining after the local doctor. Saif came to the island as a refugee, having lost all of his family. But he's about to get some shocking news which will change everything for him. As cold winter nights shift to long summer days, can Flora find her happy-ever-after with Joel?

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My Italian Bulldozer

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The Bertie Project

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Bertie's respite from his overbearing mother, Irene, is over. She has returned from the middle-east, only to discover that her son has been exposed to the worst evils of cartoons, movies and Irn Bru, and her wrath falls upon her unfortunate husband, Stuart. Meanwhile, Bruce has fallen in love with someone other than himself; Big Lou wants to adopt her beloved Finlay; Matthew and Elspeth host the Duke of Johannesburg for supper and Bertie decides he wants to move out of Scotland Street altogether and live with his grandmother, Nicola.Can Irene and Stuart's marriage survive? Will Bruce's newfound love last? And will Bertie really leave Scotland Street? Find out in the next instalment of this charming, beloved series.

Abacus

The Revolving Door of Life

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Authors:
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For seven-year-old Bertie Pollock, life in Edinburgh's most celebrated fictional street has just got immeasurably better. The enforced absence of his endlessly pushy mother Irene - currently consciousness-raising in a Bedouin harem (don't ask) - has manifold and immediate blessings: no psychotherapy, no Italian lessons and no yoga classes. Bliss.For Scotland Street's grown-ups, life throws up some new dilemmas. Matthew makes a discovery that could make him even richer but also leaves him worried. Pat makes one that could make her poorer and her father miserable - unless that uber-narcissist, Bruce, can help her out. And the Duke of Johannesburg, we discover, isn't exactly who he says he is.From what happens behind Edinburgh Airport's luggage carousel to Machiavellian manoeuvrings at the Association of Scottish Nudists, Alexander McCall Smith guides us through the brighter, lighter and frankly unexpected side of Edinburgh life. As ever with his 44 Scotland Street series, his readers will make their own discovery: that its blend of wit and wisdom mark it out as a comedic tour de force.

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On the Other Side

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Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine

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The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

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Put a Spell on You

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On the eve of her 27th birthday, Josie Goodwin is feeling harassed. Her boyfriend Will has become a donkey-loving hippy and her best friend Lara has baby-brain. She desperately needs to find the perfect location for a film shoot, or her career may implode. Her eccentric grandma has always said that Josie will inherit a book of spells on her birthday, but since she doesn't believe in magic, nothing will improve; or will it?

Little, Brown

The Novel Habits of Happiness

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Isabel Dalhousie is one of Edinburgh's most generous (but discreet) philanthropists - but should she be more charitable? She wonders, sometimes, if she is too judgmental about her niece's amorous exploits, too sharp about her housekeeper's spiritual beliefs, too ready to bristle in battle against her enemies. As the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, she doesn't, of course, allow herself actual enemies, but she does feel enmity - especially towards two academics who have just arrived in the city. Isabel feels they're a highly destabilizing influence; little tremors in the volcanic rock upon which an Enlightened Edinburgh perches. Equally troubling is the situation of the little boy who is convinced he had a previous life. When Isabel is called upon to help, she finds herself questioning her views on reincarnation. And the nature of grief. And - crucially - the positioning of lighthouses. The only questions Isabel doesn't have to address concern her personal life. With her young son and devoted husband her home life is blissfully content. Which is the best possible launching pad for the next issue of the Review - the Happiness issue. As Isabel is beginning to appreciate, happiness, for most people, is not quite what it seems . . .