Adult Fiction, Book reviews and recommendations

The Peppermint Tea Chronicles

Author:           Alexander McCall Smith

Genre:             Adult Fiction

Review by:      Mairead, Monasterevin Library

Synopsis:         Once more we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith … To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose; it is summer in Scotland Street (as it always is) and for the habitués of Edinburgh’s favourite street some extraordinary adventures lie in waiting.

For the impossibly vain Bruce Anderson – he of the clove-scented hair gel – it may finally be time to settle down, and surely it can only be a question of picking the lucky winner from the hordes of his admirers. The Duke of Johannesburg is keen to take his flight of fancy, a microlite seaplane, from the drawing board to the skies. Big Lou is delighted to discover that her young foster son has a surprising gift for dance but she is faced with big decisions to make on his and her futures. And with Irene now away to pursue her research in Aberdeen, her husband, Stuart and infinitely long-suffering son, Bertie, are free to play. Stuart rekindles an old friendship over peppermint tea whilst Bertie and his friend Ranald Braveheart Macpherson get more than they bargained for from their trip to the circus. And that’s just the start …

Take a few minutes to relax with a cup of your favourite tea and savour the affairs of the world in microcosm, teeming with life’s loves and challenges. Little dramas writ large by the master chronicler of modern life and manners.


If you are only familiar with Alexander McCall Smith writing through his No. 1 Ladies Detective series, it is about time who gave some of his other books a try. By not doing so, you are missing out on the humorous delight of his 44 Scotland Street series and the myriad of well-rounded characters therein.

The Scotland Street series is less repetitive, more sophisticated plot wise and ten times more humorous than the afore mentioned Ladies Detective series.

Bertie has finally shed the shackles of his domineering tiger mum Irene, who has moved to Aberdeen to pursue her Masters and her lover. Her erstwhile beleaguered husband is also slowing realising his freedom and goes about rekindling an old friendship which may lead to something more.

The comical and adventurous Duke of Johannesburg is keen to take his new project to the skies with mixed results. The character we love to hate in this series, the narcissistic Brice Anderson thinks it is time for him to finally settle down, but is he as irresistible as he thinks.

You will probably enjoy this novel more so if you have read the series from the beginning, but it is still an enjoyable, entertaining read as a stand-alone novel. Alexander McCall Smith can simultaneously poke fun at some of his characters, whilst other characters enjoy gentle personal epiphanies in the progress of their daily lives. Warm, witty and refreshing as ever.

Available to borrow on Bolinda Borrowbox in audiobook format 

Prefer a physical copy? Feel free to request it online from your local library

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