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Corduroy mansions
Alexander McCall Smith
Adult Fiction MCCALL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

McCall Smith's latest is cut from the same cloth as the 44 Scotland Street series and follows the residents of a three-story Pimlico flat. William, a wine merchant, is a London Angus Lordy, both philosophical and innocent in regard to the ways of women. Freddy de la Hay, a "Pimlico Terrier," is a smaller version of Angus's dog, Cyril. As in all McCall Smith's series, most characters are kind, if a bit befuddled by the curves life throws them. The talented Simon Prebble narrates the vignettes with vigorous aplomb. In particular, he captures parliamentary member Oedipus Snark's innate nastiness, William's altruistic temperament, and his friend Marcia's hopeless attachment to him. Though the characters are less well individualized than in previous series, there are still many mirthful moments that will entertain McCall Smith fans. A Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, May 24). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Within one building in London's eclectic Pimlico district, on three separate floors, live the seven tenants of Corduroy Mansions. William and his freeloading adult son Eddie inhabit the top floor. Four young women-Caroline, Jo, Dee, and Jenny-share the middle flat and are as different from one another as could be. And quiet, unobtrusive Basil Wickramsinghe lives alone on the ground floor. As they go about their daily business, friends, family, and coworkers are brought into the mix, and their lives are explored as well. Verdict A bit of soap opera drama, a bit of thoughtful philosophizing, and a little canine comedy all mix into this slowly paced story of a disparate, engaging group of people. A nice choice if you're looking for a smart beach book or a story to ponder on a rainy afternoon, but beware of the possible soporific effect of a few passages. Despite the languid pace, McCall Smith's new series is off to a promising start, and readers will be particularly interested to see what will become of canine resident Freddie de la Haye. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/10.]-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters William French
Male
Age: 51
Widower
Lives on a genteel, crumbling mansion block; wine merchant; trying to convince his twenty-four year old son to move out; has a terrier named Freddie de la Hay.
Merchant

Dee
Female
William's neighbor; works at a vitamin shop.
Store employee

Jenny
Female
Dee's roommate; works for Oedipus.
Assistant

Marcia
Female
Has a crush on William.
Boutique owner

Oedipus Snark
Male
Member of Parliament.
Parliament member

Berthea Snark
Female
Mother
Oedipus' mother; writing her son's biography.
Writer

Barbara Ragg
Female
Oedipus' girlfriend; longs to be married.
Literary agent



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