Most novelists writing continuing stories stick to one or two series. With the publishing of Corduroy Mansions, Alexander McCall Smith now has five series. But wait, you might say, doesn't there have to be a second book before you call it a series? Readers in the U.S. don't have it yet, but there is a second book The Dog Who Came in from the Cold in print in Great Britain. And the third book A Conspiracy of Friends begins serialization in the Daily Telegraph today. You can arrange to get a chapter a day from now into December through email or by podcast. McCall Smith even considers reader feedback as the story progresses
I just finished listening to Corduroy Mansions read by actor Simon Prebble on CDs. I enjoyed the somewhat slow development of the story with frequent tangental philosophical discussions. Readers of the 44 Scotland Street series will know what to expect - many subplots and lots of unexpected twists. In this new series, McCall Smith has set up Oedipus Snark, a particularly self-center member of Parliament, as a target of scorn. Even his mother is writing an expository memoir. A mild mannered aging wine merchant seems to be our hero, and many readers are going to love with Freddie de la Hay, a terrior who wants to wear a seatbelt in the car but may not really be a devoted vegetarian despite his former owner's claim.
I am looking forward to more fun.
McCall Smith, Alexander. Corduroy Mansions. Recorded Books, 2010. 9 discs. ISBN 9781440750045