Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Armchair Novel Review - Corduroy Mansions

Corduroy Mansions
by Alexander McCall Smith
Paperback, 384 pages
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover

Alexander McCall Smith is best known for his award-winning series of novels, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I was excited to read this book as: a) it has a cute doggie on the cover, b) he is an author that I have always wanted to read, and c) for some reason I thought it was a mystery - and you know how I love my mysteries!

Corduroy Mansions is the first in a new series and not, as I realized partway through, a mystery, but a wonderfully cozy series of character sketches that revolve around the tenants of an old and eccentric building in London's Pimlico neighbourhood: A middle-aged wine merchant and his ne'er-do-well son; an apartment of young women, each trying to find their way in life; a mysterious man from overseas; and a vegetarian, retired bomb-sniffing dog name Freddie de la Hay. Also a whole host of characters that weave into their lives: including an ornery MP, his psychoanalyst mother, a scheming would-be spouse, and a young man uncertain of his romantic preferences.

Smith draws you in with his gentle humour as you follow the adventures and misadventures of the residents of Corduroy Mansions, and the people who touch their lives. The book is perfect curl-up and get comfy reading. The weaving together of these characters is wonderful bedtime fare, and also makes a great book for travel.

Next up in the series: The Dog Who Came in From the Cold

Browse the hardcover edition here: