The Corduroy Mansions Series

Corduroy Mansions

Publisher: Vintage Canada
From the author of the global bestseller The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency comes a brand-new novel — the start of a new series — set in the heart of London.

"Corduroy Mansions" is the affectionate nickname given to a genteelly crumbling mansion block in London's vibrant Pimlico. This is the home patch of — among others — a lovelorn literary agent, possibly the first ever nasty Liberal Democrat MP and Freddie de la Hay, an urbane terrier trained to be vegetarian and respectful of feline rights, and with the ability to fasten his own seatbelt.

Sandy has delivered a whole new cast of incredible characters including, but not limited to: Berthea Snark, psychoanalyst and unwilling mother to Oedipus Snark (the nasty Lib Dem). William French, wine merchant living in Corduroy Mansions, and lover of wines of the Bordeaux region. Marcia Light, proprietrix of Marcia's Table with her sights set on William. Barbara Ragg, lover of Oedipus Snark — would like to marry him; would like to marry anybody.

Loafers, wine merchants, vitamin evangelists and the occasional psychoanalyst pass each other on the stairs of this delightful metropolitan des res. With his trademark wit, charm and lightness of touch, Alexander McCall Smith introduces a colourful cast of characters, full of the life, laughter and humanity so beloved in his writing.

From the Hardcover edition.


1. In the Bathroom

Passing off, thought William. Spanish sparkling wine-filthy stuff, he thought, filthy-passed itself off as champagne. Japanese whisky-Glen Yakomoto!-was served as Scotch. Inferior hard cheese-from Mafia-run factories in Catania-was sold to the unsuspecting as Parmesan.

Lots of things were...
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1. This book was originally published online in serialized chapters. Do you find it flows differently than other novels by Alexander McCall Smith? If so, how?

2. Alexander McCall Smith said of Corduroy Mansions: "These stories are character-based: what interests me is what makes the characters tick rather...

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“This cheerful novel is more about personalities than events. . . . Corduroy Mansions, like all McCall Smith’s books, is gentle and genteel . . . . Cosy and comfortable.” The Vancouver Sun
Corduroy Mansions is like the cloth of its title — comfortable, easy, homey. . . .  McCall Smith, a master of weaving the many strands of his complex stories together, does so here with supreme virtuosity. He . . . remains deeply affectionate toward his flawed cast. And so, Dear Reader, will you.” The Washington Post
“The creator of the successful No. 1 Ladies’  Detective Agency series returns with a new cast of characters to love. . . . Alexander McCall Smith is a writer of such fond, heartfelt geniality that at the end of this cozy read, fans will be grateful that the series has just begun.” Entertainment Weekly

Corduroy Mansions is the beginning of a new series for McCall Smith, and, once again, he doesn’t disappoint. . . . McCall Smith’s characters are, for the most part, the best of what you want people to be­­. . . . In general they have a warmth and depth to their character that is almost profound. . . . His books are beach books, they are airport books, they are summer and winter books, they are books that make you want to embrace life. Corduroy Mansions is another gem to add to the pile.” The Globe and Mail