“A Time of Love and Tartan” is number twelve in the 44 Scotland Street series. It hardly seems possible that readers have been following this interesting and diverse group of people living in contemporary Edinburgh for that long, but we have. Every new episode is like visiting old friends. Everyone wants to catch up with Bertie, who never seems to age, and to find out all about the latest escapades of the rest of the group.
McCall Smith’s rich and unique characters drive the story. They are the plot and substance of the book. Readers think of these characters almost as family, and love them, both the good and the not so good. There is of course a lot of comedy, but also emotion and contemporary issues. Some past problems are resolved, but there are plenty of questions for the future.
McCall Smith’s books are always a delight to read, and this is no exception. I heard him speak at The Book Carnival in Orange, Ca, and he is as fascinating in person as his characters are in his books. He is a born storyteller.
Seriously, this is an entertaining book, but be careful; you might just laugh out loud as you read. We all hope for many more installments of this enjoyable series. When Bertie is happy, all are happy. I received a copy of “A Time of Love and Tartan” from Alexander McCall Smith, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, and NetGalley.