Alexander McCall Smith - Bertie Plays The Blues - Little, Brown Book Group

Bertie Plays The Blues

7

By Alexander McCall Smith
Read by David Rintoul

  • Downloadable audio file
  • £P.O.R.

The brilliant new novel in the 44 Scotland Street series, first serialised in the Daily Telegraph

Even down to its well-set Georgian townhouses, Edinburgh is a hymn to measure and harmony. But on Scotland Street, domestic accord is in short supply. Matthew and Elspeth welcome three new arrivals, though the joys of multiple parenthood are somewhat lost due to sleep deprivation and the difficulties of telling their brood apart. Angus and Domenica are to marry, and Domenica has ambitious and disturbing plans for their living arrangements, especially when it appears that Antonia, in Italy recuperating from Stendhal Syndrome, may not return. And little Bertie, feeling blue, puts himself up for adoption on eBay. Can Edinburgh's most deliciously dysfunctional residents forsake discord and learn to dance to the same happy tune?

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 eighty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-six languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781405511261
  • Publication date: 06 Oct 2011
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Hachette Audio
Praise for the 44 Scotland Street series: 'A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles'
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Clover has loved James for as long as she can remember, since before she knew what what love was. But fate seems determined to keep them apart. As children, Clover and James played beside a turquoise sea under cloudless skies, their Caribbean island home a place of pleasure and privilege, of lush lawns and tennis parties. In such a paradise nothing should obstruct the kind of happiness Clover dreams of, except that, as she discovers, true love is often harder than paradise allows for. And when Clover's mother falls out of love with her husband, a web of complications is woven that may take Clover a lifetime to unravel. If she ever can . . . Tender and true, The Forever Girl traces love's unpredictable path to maturity with style, wit and feeling.

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As summer blooms in Edinburgh's gardens and Bertie Pollock's birthday appears on the horizon, all at 44 Scotland Street is not cake and sunshine. Newlywed Angus Lordie has been booked by his bride into what he must not call the loony bin; Bruce's first encounter with hot wax brings more anguish than he bargained for; and Bertie's birthday dreams of scout camp and a penknife look set to be replaced by a game of Royal Weddings and a gender-neutral doll. But fate, an amorous Bedouin and the Dubai Tourist Authority conspire to transport Bertie's mother Irene to a warmer - if not a better - place, and once again in Scotland Street the triumph of human kindness over adversity gives cause for celebration.

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The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

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As a mother, wife, employer and editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel Dalhousie is aware that to be human is to be responsible. So when a neighbour brings her a new and potentially dangerous puzzle to solve, once again Isabel feels she has no option but to shoulder the burden.A masterpiece painting has been stolen from Duncan Munrowe, old-fashioned philanthropist, father to two discontented children, and a very wealthy man. As Isabel enters into negotiations with the shadowy figures who are in search of a ransom, a case where heroes and villains should be clearly defined turns murky: the list of those who desire the painting - or the money - lengthens, and hasty judgement must be avoided at all cost. Morals, it turns out, are like Scottish clouds: complex, changeable and tricky to get a firm grip on; they require a sharp observational eye, a philosophical mindset, and the habit of kindness. Fortunately for those around her, Isabel Dalhousie is in possession of all three.

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Scotland Street witnesses the wedding of the century of Angus Lordie to Domenica Macdonald, but as the newlyweds depart on honeymoon Edinburgh is in disarray. Recovering from the trauma of being best man, Matthew is taken up by a Dane called Bo, while Cyril eludes his dog-sitter and embarks on an odyssey involving fox-holes and the official residence of a cardinal. Narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a sinister doppelganger; Bertie, set up by his mother for fresh embarrassment at school, yearns for freedom; and Big Lou goes viral. But the residents of Scotland Street rally, and order - and Cyril - is restored by the combined effects of understanding, kindness, and, most of all, friendship.

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The Limpopo Academy Of Private Detection

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Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have always relied on the advice of the classic guide to their trade, The Principles of Private Detection. But who is the eminent author, Mr Clovis Andersen, and what if he were to come to Botswana? That seems a very unlikely possibility, and yet . . . When Mr Andersen visits Botswana on holiday, he is delighted and intrigued to stumble across a roadside sign that reveals the existence of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Professional courtesy suggests that he call and announce himself. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti are embarking on married life and building a new house - a tricky business under any circumstances but especially hazardous when the name of the contractor is the Joy and Light Building Company.

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