44 Scotland Street Series

The Bertie Project

A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Publisher: Vintage Canada


Our beloved cast of characters are back, as are the joys and trials of life at 44 Scotland Street in this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s delightfully charming series.
Bertie’s mother, Irene, returns from the Middle East to discover that, in her absence, her son has been exposed to the worst of evils—television shows, ice cream parlors, and even unsanctioned art at the National Portrait Gallery. Her wrath descends on Bertie’s long-suffering father, Stuart. But Stuart has found a reason to spend more time outside of the house and seems to have a new spring in his step. What does this mean for the residents of 44 Scotland Street?
     The winds of change have come to the others as well. Angus undergoes a spiritual transformation after falling victim to an unexpected defenestration. Bruce has fallen in a rather different sense for a young woman who is determined to share with him her enthusiasm for extreme sports. Matthew and Elspeth have a falling out with their triplets’ au pair, while Big Lou continues to fall in love with her new role as a mother. And as Irene resumes work on what she calls her Bertie Project, reinstating Bertie’s Italian lessons, yoga classes, and psychotherapy, Bertie begins to hatch a project of his own—one that promises freedom.


Beer and Knees

On any Friday evening, the Cumberland Bar, just round the corner from Drummond Place and Scotland Street, might be expected to be busy, the meeting place of assorted mercantile tribes, of office workers from further down the hill, of young accountants, of estate agents and lawyers, and, conspicuous by...
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“[W]hat’s most rewarding about The Bertie Project is the author’s deep knowledge of and commitment to ethical behavior . . . As his characters walk, talk, cook, study and meet, they consider all sorts of philosophical conundrums, from how best to raise a child to what constitutes hipster clothing. . . . That’s reason enough to read this warm, busy and thoughtful book.” —Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post

“Very much character driven and down-to-earth, the society presented in 44 Scotland Street feels like a community of warm-hearted people who have genuine concern for the fate of those around them. . . . With its sharp, worldly wise humour, interesting personal tales and fine array of charming characters eager to engage in insightful conversation, The Bertie Project is never less than extremely entertaining and highly addictive. Long may the series continue.” —Nicholas Litchfield, Lancashire Evening Post


“Perfect escapist fiction.” —The Times
“Simple, elegantly written and gently insightful.” —Good Book Guide
“Alexander McCall Smith once again proves himself a wry but gentle chronicler of humanity and its foibles. . . . A welcome addition to the McCall Smith repertoire” —The Miami Herald
“McCall Smith’s assessments of fellow humans are piercing and profound. . . . [His] depictions of Edinburgh are vivid and seamless.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“[McCall Smith] is a pro, and he delivers sharp observation, gentle satire . . . as well as the expected romantic complications. . . . [Readers will] relish McCall Smith’s depiction of this place . . . and enjoy his tolerant, good-humored company.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Alexander McCall Smith is 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
“Just about perfect. . . . There’s a great deal here to enjoy. . . . Easy to dip into . . . and containing a healthy helping of McCall Smith’s patented charm.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles, which moves beyond its setting to deal with deep moral issues and love, desire and friendship. Without resorting to clichéd cliffhangers, McCall Smith has mastered the short, episodic chapter.” —Sunday Express
“Enough to make one marvel, for writing an 800-word daily episode requires uncommon skill; it must be interesting or amusing, and complete in itself, while also contributing to the greater whole. Radio and television serials like The Archers or Coronation Street will employ a team of writers; McCall Smith does it all by himself.” —The Scotsman
“Their creator blends the poignant with the profound, liberally seasoning everything with his trademark gentle, but hilarious wit. Bourgeois Edinburgh is brilliantly and minutely observed through the daily lives of his engaging characters.” —Good Book Guide
“Perceptive and amiable. Somebody should do the same for Melbourne.” —The Melbourne Age
“A delight.” —Literary Review
“Other novelists can only eye with envy McCall Smith’s apparently inexhaustible ability to conjure up characters and incidents, devise conversations, and mix comedy with moral reflections on the way we live now and how we should behave.” —The Scotsman 


“McCall Smith’s accomplished novels [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main characters blessed with pleasing personalities.” —Newsday

“McCall Smith is prolific and he’s habit-forming. He’s the crystal meth of popular fiction.” —The Globe and Mail

“McCall Smith makes the sublime look easy. . . . [He] has few peers in capturing the quiet moments of people’s lives.” —Publishers Weekly
“McCall Smith is a wonderful storyteller, and his stories are characteristically filled with humour and an innate, affectionate disposition towards the human race.” —The Sydney Morning Herald