Bertie Plays The Blues

Bertie Plays The Blues : 7

4.13 (4,808 ratings by Goodreads)

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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?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 131 x 199 x 17mm | 192g
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0349000328
  • 9780349000329
  • 12,696

Review Text

Praise for the 44 Scotland Street series: 'A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles'
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Review quote

Praise for the 44 Scotland Street series: 'A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles' Sunday Express
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About Alexander McCall Smith

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.
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Rating details

4,808 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,634)
4 47% (2,269)
3 17% (814)
2 2% (82)
1 0% (9)

Our customer reviews

Bertie Plays the Blues is the 7th novel in Alexander McCall Smith's popular 44 Scotland Street series. Once again we join our favourite Edinburgh characters in their daily lives. Matthew and Elspeth are delighted to now have three sons, whom they have ambitiously named, but are finding difficult to tell apart, and exhausting to care for, until help arrives from Denmark; Angus Lordie and Domenica McDonald discuss living arrangements for their marriage, but the appearance of a former boyfriend has Domenica reconsidering; Pat Macgregor returns to Matthew's Gallery and finds herself once again a rabbit caught in the headlights of Bruce Anderson's gaze; Big Lou bans Matthew from the coffee bar and enters the world of internet dating; and Bertie, longing to do what other six-and-three-quarter-year-old boys do and fed up with Irene running his life, puts himself up for adoption on eBay. In this delightful instalment, McCall Smith touches on subjects as diverse as the acronyms used in internet dating, wisdom and happiness, the Masons, sincerity in animals, sensitivity (or lack of it) in Scottish men, the dehumanising effect of technology and the purpose of chocolate cake. The characters develop further: Angus proves his wisdom and generosity; Stuart shows some backbone; Bertie discovers he loves Irene despite her controlling nature; Domenica shows her selfish side; Irene shows she has a heart and Bruce, beautiful, vain, arrogant, perfidious Bruce attains possibly even higher levels of offensiveness now that his new leaf has shrivelled up and died (but he's so much more fun this way!) Even minor characters get to say some insightful things, like equating dangerous and deluded German mental patients to Italian politicians. As always, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments: the fate of Elpseth's father reduced me to tears of laughter, and Bruce's freak accident had a similar effect. Once again, light-hearted, philosophical and thought-provoking: readers will eagerly await the eighth instalment, Sunshine on Scotland more
by Marianne Vincent
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