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Publisher's Summary

The 12th instalment in the beloved and perennially best-selling 44 Scotland Street series.

If only Pat Macgregor had an inkling of the embarrassment - romantic, professional, even aesthetic - that flowed from accepting narcissistic ex-boyfriend Bruce Anderson's invitation for coffee, she would never have said yes. And if only Matthew, her boss at the art gallery, hadn't wandered into his local bookshop and picked up a particular book at a particular time, he would never have knocked over his former English teacher or attracted the attentions of the police.

Whether caused by small things such as a cup of coffee and a book or major events such as Stuart's application for promotion and his wife Irene's decision to go off and study for a PhD in Aberdeen, change is coming to serial fiction's favourite street. But for three seven-year-old boys - Bertie Pollock, Ranald Braveheart Macpherson and Big Lou's foster son Finlay - it also means a getting a glimpse of perfect happiness.

Alexander McCall Smith's delightfully witty, wise and sometimes surreal comedy spirals out to include tennis-playing Rwandan Forest People, research into levitating Celtic saints, bogus headhunters in Papua New Guinea and primary school performances of Beckett. But its heart remains where it has always been true to life: love and laughter in Edinburgh's New Town.

©2017 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging...[his] novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling." ( Mail on Sunday)

What listeners say about A Time of Love and Tartan

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Goodbye Irene ?

This is the usual for 44 Scotland Street, which is to say very good. If you enjoyed the preceding eleven books, and you wouldn't be here otherwise, you will appreciate the author's gentle and enlightened but nevertheless tough approach to life and relationships.

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heart warming humour

Another great story from scotland street. I knew stuart had it in him! maybe bertie doesnt have to wait until he's eighteen to be happy

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A absolute joy

Alexander MacCall Smith at his very best. I love the “Bertie” series and this has been my favourite of them all. A few ends were tied up very neatly (without giving anything away), so I hope it is not the last in the series .... Splendidly read as well. Thank you for the entertainment.

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  • K. Bridges
  • 27-09-2020

What's not to like?

I love the gentle writing of Alexander McCall Smith - it's hard to describe exactly how "nothing ever actually happens" in his novels but they're just a great deal about the observation of human nature. Here, Matthew is caught in a compromising position and don't go down to the woods today unless you want a surprise. My only caveat here is that I actually prefer reading these books than listening to them (I think it's about the pace and language used and not about the narration, which is as good as any other). Loved it and hope to be back in Scotland Street soon

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  • Anne Carmichael
  • 28-03-2020

Charming, funny, insightful.

Such an enjoyable read. The narrater enhances the humour of a really entertaining account of life in Scotland Street.

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  • sajamor
  • 21-10-2019

Less than the sum of its parts

Starts off promisingly with multiple story arcs but they ultimately fade into irrelevant self indulgence.

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  • Sarah
  • 30-07-2019

A Time of Love and Tartan

Absolutely loved listening to this book and it left me with a 'feel-good' factor and hope at last for Stuart and Bertie. Love the narration of David Rintoul who makes the repetitive stuff interesting.

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  • "julietdawn"
  • 11-12-2018

marvellous!

I love this series and would recommend to anyone. well narrated. intelligent, but east listening with subtle humour

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  • A Wagener
  • 01-09-2018

Some issues resolved, others redirected

This seems to be the final chapter in the 44 Scotland saga. At first I was very confused with the narrative, as there is no reference to the happenings in the previous book, except for once near the end. Beyond this, very enjoyable and well read. While some reviewers are disappointed with Irene's part, I am glad that Mr. McC-S did not give her the fate I hoped for! May Bertie stay the lovely man he is (or a Irene would say, the lovely person they are).

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  • Abra
  • 13-08-2018

I want to live in Scotland Street.

I love the Scotland Street novels. I've read them all and I know the characters so well that I feel like one of the neighbours. Alexander McCall Smith is a national treasure, he makes us really love and care about the characters. Roll on the next one.

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  • pc
  • 05-07-2018

Wonderful journey

I laughed, I cried and I pondered the awesome talent that is Alexander McCall Smith. The author and the narrator are both superb story tellers. Thank you.

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  • Gillian Hollis
  • 04-01-2018

Another delightful Scotland street tale

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this delightful book - the reader was excellent- well done

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  • flytiki
  • 18-12-2017

Another brilliant installment of 44 Scotland Stree

Wonderful catch up with the residents especially young Bertie. Like meeting up with old friends, comforting and entertaining a lovely listen.

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