I just read and loved the third installment in Alexander McCall Smith's Corduroy Mansions series, A Conspiracy of Friends.
Ellen reviewed the first novel in the series when it appeared in 2008 as an online serial in the Telegraph , in audiobook and text form. The title was later published as a paperback.
Our blogger Ellen wrote:
'If you're a fan of Alexander McCall Smith's series 44 Scotland Street, take a look at his newest serially published novel, Corduroy Mansions, which is about a group of neighbors in the Pimlico section of London. Unlike 44 Scotland Street, which is first published in the newspaper The Scotsman, Corduroy Mansions
is being published a chapter a week on The Telegraph's web site. Not
only can you read it online, but you can listen to it on the site as
Getting back to A Conspiracy of Friends, you can read or listen to it on the Telegraph website or you can check it out of the Berkeley Heights Public Library. Whichever way you choose to read it, I hope you find it as rewarding as I did. Here is my review from Goodreads:
'Storyteller Alexander McCall Smith takes readers back for a third visit
with the denizens of Corduroy Mansions, a slightly shabby, but cozy,
apartment building in London. If you like the author's 'No. 1 Ladies
Detective Agency' series, you will enjoy the gentle humor and ruminative
narrative style of this series also. The friends and apartment mates in
these tales find and lose love, advise and ignore adult children, lose
and take in stray dogs, all the while thinking about these everyday
occurrences in the meandering manner that fans of the author will enjoy.
When William ponders a personal problem, he thinks:
what he should do, he decided, was to take a deep breath and do what
the British always do in the face of crisis: put the kettle on for tea.
That was what they did when they heard the Spanish Armada was heading
their way: they had tea. That was what they did when they realized the
Luftwaffe was droning towards them; those pictures of the pilots sitting
on the grass in front of their Spitfires - what were they doing? They
were drinking tea." (201)
This is how the slightly addlepated
characters think; they are loveable, but a bit impractical or
indecisive. If decisive, they make wrong decisions. If practical, their
family members are not. If clear-eyed, they are waylaid by the
wanderings of friends and associates. Best of all, if the characters are
mean and unethical, it will turn out all right. The episode of the
nasty politician who is zapped by the large hadron collider is one of
the funniest examples of a happy accident in this book or any book,
FYI: The second in the series was The Dog Who Came in from the Cold starring Freddie de la Hay who has further amazing adventures in the third book.