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A Promise of Ankles: A 44 Scotland Street Novel

Welcome back to 44 Scotland Street with A Promise of Ankles during a time of small change as the characters we all have grown to love over the years carry on with the very everydayness of their lives. A small amount of excitement is created at the end of the steeply descending street in the New Town, as there is to be new residents in the ground floor flat at number 44 Scotland Street, which has Dominica MacDonald using her binoculars discretely to try and find out who the mysterious new tenants could possibly be, much to the amusement of her husband Angus Lordie.

But meanwhile, and not to be overlooked, there are still nasty little flies mixed in with the harmony of 44 Scotland Street, as the Duke of Johannesburg seems to have gone missing and Irene arrives and decides that even though she no longer lives with Stuart, Bertie and Ulysses, she has the right to dominate their every breath, causing must distention in the small family group.

Stuart finally believes that after the disaster of his life with Irene he may finally have found love, which as it turns out was not to be and Bertie finally gets to be part of a very precious dream; that of going to Glasgow for a whole month with his best friend Ranald Braveheart Macpherson on a school exchange.

Olive and her faithful acolyte Pansy are still tormenting Bertie, Matthew is facing great change in his Gallery as Pat has been offered a once in a lifetime position in Paris and to top it all off, Angus Lordie and his friend, while out walking Cyril, come across a human skull, but not a normal skull, which after much discussion could possibly be a very ancient skull, possibly Neanderthal, which creates great consternation.

Matthew and Elspeth are also talking about change and how they can keep James, their treasure of an au pair, who somehow magically manages to get the triplets to behave like three normal little boys without any apparent effort, a making Elspeth’s life and by default Mathews so much easier.

Big Lou has to face up he the fact that change must come to the Cafe if she is going make decent money, which results after some hurt feelings, with James, the Duke of Johannesburg’s nephew and cook extraordinaire, introducing some amazingly  innovative treats made with bacon, which the customers old and new are seriously appreciating.

Sister Maria-Fiore dei Fiorie di Montagna is till uttering wise, well intentioned words of wisdom to all she can. Life, as always rolls timelessly along amongst the residents and their friends, as the sun continues to rise and set on 44 Scotland Street as they all gather, with the addition of new friends, at a dinner party to celebrate the last days of summer; an annual event hosted by Domenica and Angus.

Once again, old friends are met, time moves steadily on and we all gain a little wisdom as the Promise of Ankles unfolds, gently, seamlessly and in a most elegantly enjoyable fashion, courtesy of the master of words Alexander McCall Smith.

Perfect summer reading.

Author Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher Polygon
ISBN 9781846975561
Distributor New South Books
Released November 2020