A Conspiracy of Friends
By Alexander McCall Smith
(Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9780307907233, 272pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
List Price: $24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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CORDUROY MANSIONS - Book 3
In the Corduroy Mansions series of novels, set in London’s hip Pimlico neighborhood, we meet a cast of charming eccentrics, including perhaps the world’s most clever terrier, who make their home in a handsome, though slightly dilapidated, apartment block.
It seems the universe itself is conspiring against the residents of Corduroy Mansions, as they all find themselves struggling with their nearest and dearest. Oedipus Snark’s mother, Berthea, is still at work on her scathing biography of her son—the only loathsome Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament; literary agents Rupert Porter and Barbara Ragg are still battling each other for first crack at the manuscript of Autobiography of a Yeti; fine arts graduate Caroline Jarvis is busy exploring the blurry line between friendship and romance; and William French is still worrying that his son, Eddie, may never leave home, even though Eddie’s got a new wealthy girlfriend. But uppermost in everyone’s mind is William’s faithful terrier, Freddie de la Hay—without a doubt the only dog clever enough to have been recruited by MI6—who has disappeared while on a mystery tour around the Suffolk countryside. Will Freddie find his way back to Pimlico? Is Corduroy Mansions starting to crumble?
Readers will be captivated once again by McCall Smith’s genius for storytelling, his insight into his beautifully crafted characters and his eye for the quirky details of modern life.
“McCall Smith is by turns hilarious at capturing foibles and meditative about the huge role chance and the plots of others play in our lives. Fascinating fare. How can a writer as prolific as McCall Smith continue to be so popular? Ask his millions of fans, who will be waiting in line for this one.”
“Teeming with charm, this confection takes its cue from Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City . . . There are as many plots in this genial, satisfying narrative as there are characters, and it’s a testament to Smith’s gifts as a storyteller that he’s able to bind the whole together with such a slender narrative thread. His ample humor and grace helps.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This third volume of Chekhovian soap opera is every bit as addictive as the first two. Fans will be sad to see any of the plots tied up, even by happy endings, and hope for more complications next season.”
PRAISE FOR THE CORDUROY MANSIONS SERIES
“[Here is a] wonderful world of realistic characters getting up to real mischief in McCall Smith’s velvety prose and vivid imagination.”
“McCall Smith is a writer of such fond, heartfelt geniality that fans will be grateful that the series has just begun.”
“McCall Smith cooks up a delicious story that seems part Restoration comedy and part Victorian novel, tossed with a dash of mystery and a dollop of satire . . . Comfortable, easy, homey.”
—The Washington Post
“McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humor, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers.”
—The New York Times