Bertie Plays the Blues

Bertie Plays the Blues

By Alexander McCall Smith

Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780307948496, 336pp.

Publication Date: October 8, 2013

The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring six-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy--just ask his mother.
If you haven't met the residents of 44 Scotland Street yet, there is no better time, since everyone seems to be in the midst of new beginnings.
New parents Matthew and Elspeth must muddle through the difficulties of raising their triplets Rognvald, Tobermory and Fegus--there's normal sleep deprivation, and then there's trying to tell the children apart from one another. Angus and Domenica are newly engaged, and now they must negotiate the complex merger of two households. Domenica is also forced to deal with the return of an old flame, while Big Lou has begun the search for a new one, boldly exploring the new world of online dating and coming up with an Elvis impersonator on the first try. And in Bertie's family, there's a shift in power as his father Stuart starts to stand up to overbearing mother, Irene--and then there's Bertie, who has been thinking that he might want to start over with a new family and so puts himself up for adoption on eBay. With his signature charm and gentle wit Alexander McCall Smith vividly portrays the lives of Edinburgh's most unique and beloved characters.

About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, beloved New York Times and international best sellers. A practicing professor of medical law and the author of over fifty books, ranging from children's fiction to folktales to The Criminal Law of Botswana, he lives in Edinburgh.

Praise For Bertie Plays the Blues

"Devilishly clever. . . . Often droll, often touching, the Scotland Street stories are always delightful to read."
     --Booklist (starred review)

"Eighty more bite-sized chapters bring curious readers up to date on the latest doings at 44 Scotland Street and its Edinburgh environs. . . . The neighborhood’s legion of fans will devour each chapter and be sorry when they’ve turned the last page."
     --Kirkus Reviews

“Full of charm, gentleness and penetrating insight.”
     —The Daily Express (Scotland)
“You see the whole extent of McCall Smith’s gentle comedy of manners. . . . While it is written with abundant wit . . . there are equally large dollops of wisdom too.”
     —Scotland on Sunday

Praise for the 44 Scotland Street Series

“Sweet . . .  Graceful . . . Wonderful. . . . Gentle but powerfully addicting fiction.”
    —Entertainment Weekly
“McCall Smith’s assessments of fellow humans are piercing and profound. . . . [His] depictions of Edinburgh are vivid and seamless.”
     —San Francisco Chronicle
 “Irresistible . . . Packed with the charming characters, piercing perceptions and shrewd yet generous humor that have become McCall Smith’s cachet.”
     —Chicago Sun-Times
“McCall Smith’s plots offer wit, charm, and intrigue in equal doses.”
     —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“The most genial of writers and the most gentle of satirists. . . . [The] characters are great fun . . . [and] McCall Smith treats all of them with affection.”
     —Rocky Mountain News