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Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street Series) Paperback – November 6, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews
Book 3 of 10 in the 44 Scotland Street Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The irresistible third entry to the 44 Scotland Street series picks up with the residents of 44 Scotland Street where Espresso Tales left off and is as addictive as any book McCall Smith has written. Anthropologist Domenica has flown off to the Straits of Malacca to study modern-day pirates. Back in Edinburgh, Pat moves from 44 Scotland Street and develops a crush on fellow art student Wolf, whose strange ways hint at a darker subplot that involves Pat's flatmate. Pat moves in with gallery owner Matthew, who struggles with both a sudden fortune and a yearning for Pat. Meanwhile, child prodigy saxophonist Bertie becomes a reluctant member of the Edinburgh Teenage Orchestra at age six and later, on a trip to Paris, finds himself wonderfully unsupervised. Poet/portrait painter Angus is tormented by the theft of his beloved dog Cyrus. The proceedings sparkle with McCall Smith's trademark wit (It was not always fun being a child, just as it had not always been fun being a medieval Scottish saint), proving once again, he's a true treasure. Illustrations by Iain McIntosh enliven the text. (Nov.)
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Praise for the 44 Scotland Street series:

“[McCall Smith] is a pro, and he delivers sharp observation, gentle satire . . . as well as the expected romantic complications. . . . [Readers will] relish McCall Smith’s depiction of this place . . . and enjoy his tolerant, good-humored company.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Alexander McCall Smith once again proves himself a wry but gentle chronicler of humanity and its foibles.” —The Miami Herald

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Product Details

  • Series: 44 Scotland Street Series (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307275981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307275981
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patricia Tryon on October 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Responses to this series divide so sharply that it's tempting merely to write that "people who like this sort of thing will like this", but that would do a tremendous disservice to those who haven't yet discovered this series.

Chapters ran first as a serial in a newspaper in Scotland, about 1000 words a day ending, often as not, in little or larger cliffhangers. The characters continue from the first two volumes -- these are volumes, more than novels -- and they continue to engage each other or find themselves in improbable, quirky episodes. So the first thing is that if you didn't like serialized comics or cartoons, you will probably be happier not trying to get into this.

In addition, Alexander McCall Smith often includes a little mystery that culminates in a twist. Although the endings are sensible, not fantastical, these are not problems to be solved as a result of logical clues having been dropped along the way. If red herrings annoy you instead of amusing you, this is not a book you will enjoy.

There are a few causes taken up. One in particular, letting little boys be little boys instead of trying to churn out androgynous little prodigies, I happen strongly to agree with, but Smith does not make the point with a light or subtle touch. Those strongly disposed against this notion might take offense, which would certainly interfere with their enjoyment.

Why do I take so much trouble warning off those who will not like this book? Because I think that those who want something fun, imaginative, provocative (mostly in a gentle way), and redolent of place (Edinburgh and well beyond in this volume) will have a blast picking this up.
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Format: Paperback
Alexander McCall Smith is the Charles Dickens of our day. We forget that Dickens wrote many of his novels as serials in magazines and this McCall Smith book was originally serialised in the Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital where the plot is set.

However, unlike Dickens, McCall Smith is a wonderfully enjoyable read, with none of the depressive quality of a Dickens novel.

Not only that but in this, the third volume, many delightful things take place that bring happy resolution to some of the many fascinating sub-plots that readers have been pondering over the past few years. So for afficianados like me - and, I suspect hundreds of thousands of you - this is an espcially enjoyable novel!

You can also visit Scotland Street! My wife and I recently did a McCall Smith tour of Edinburgh and had a wonderful time.

These really are as good as the Botswana novels - read them with equal pleasure and be sure to tell all your friends. It will be an ideal gift for Christmas - and for Thanksgiving, for that matter, too.

Christopher Catherwood (author of CHURCHILL'S FOLLY [Carroll and Graf] and of MAKING WAR IN THE NAME OF GOD [Citadel])
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Format: Paperback
If you loved the other Scotland Street books, you will love this one. If you didn't, why are you reading this review? If you haven't read the earlier books, read their reviews first.

I was introduced to this series by my 85-year-old mother, who is in a nursing home in Nebraska, and is still the world's best reader. She took great pleasure in reading "Espresso Tales" aloud to the only person for many miles who would fall out of her chair laughing at such arcane humor. Melanie Klein jokes, for heaven's sake! I admit it--the snob factor is a big one for me. I may not get the Edinburgh jokes, but I get the intellectual ones.

I adore this series--I even like it better than the other McCall Smith series (I don't particularly like Isabel Dalhousie). I adore this book. My favorite part is written from the POV of Cyril, Angus Lordie's dog. Or maybe it's the bemused discussion of May 1968. Or the moment when the fireworks go off for Matthew. Or what I suspect is a send-up of a classic (and creepy) Melanie Klein transcript. Or... I guess I'll just have to read it again.

Try reading this book aloud to someone simpatico. Or have someone with a great reading style (like my mother) read it to you. It's a lovely experience.
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Format: Paperback
To an urban American, the McCall Smith characters of the "44 Scotland Street" - like "The Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" - resound in familiarity and honesty, rarely found characteristics in my home town. And like "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency", the characters within these pages infectiously become more and more precious as the serial writer's presentation increases.

The most honest, and most poignant character, is 6-year old Bertie whose constant battles with mother Irene and father Stuart pinnacle when he goes to the police station and tells the police about his parents' business engagement with Lard O'Connor (the Tony Soprano of Scotland). It is all so simple, a carryover from the second novel. But, things in Edinburgh get darker.

Anthropologist Domenica actually goes out to see her Malaysian pirates, and discovers that they are scamming dolts who betray the pirate motto of lore. Even her pirate guide scams her by intruding and interfering with her work, until she bags him near the book's end.

Angus, the artist whose dog Cyril is everyone's friend, also is scammed by a Scot when his beloved mutt is dognapped while he is grocery shopping. Thankfully Cyril returns, but only after walking the streets of Edinburgh with a broken heart and an aching jaw, an injury derived from the dognapper's unsolicited swift kick.

But, Scotland Street's inhabitants - on the whole - are good people. "She has seen candour and honesty and utter transparency. But you had to be a child to be like that today, because all about us was the most pervasive cynicism that eroded everything with its superficiality and its sneers.
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