I love Alexander McCall Smith.
He’s best known for his Number One Ladies Detective Agency books, but he has several other series. This book is the latest in the Scotland Street series, which follows the lives of a group of people who initially all lived in the same building on Scotland Street in Edinburgh. In the course of the series, some of the characters have moved out and others have joined the cast.
In this book we have several different threads going. The most popular character, I suspect, is Bertie, a 7 year old with a ridiculously overbearing mother. She won a trip to the Middle East in the last book and mistakenly got adopted into a harem and in her absence, her family is doing much better. In this book, his paternal grandmother comes to help out and everyone gets happier. Unfortunately, the state department eventually gets the mom free.
Matthew, who had triplets last book, moves into a new house where he discovers a hidden room with some seriously valuable artwork and has to decide if he has a moral obligation to give the art to the previous owner.
Patricia, who has a close relationship with her father, hatches a somewhat underhanded plan to demonstrate to him that his new fiancee is a gold digger.
These books are so much fun. They’re fast reads, but sweet and playful in execution.