Book number 87 that I finished was Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith, one of the 44 Scotland Street series. As you will recall, McCall Smith thought he had finished his serialization of these novels with novel number 2, but the public cried for more and so the serialization of the 44 Scotland Street series in The Scotsman continued. This is novel number 3.
This novel finds Pat living in a flat with several other girls in Spottiswoode Street and attending the University of Edinburgh while working at the Gallery three days a week. She falls briefly for a boy named Wulf, only to find that he is the boyfriend of her flamte Tessie. So she needs to move out of the flat, even though she has vowed to stay away from Wulf. Matthew invites Pat to stay at his flat on India Street in his guest room and she agrees. They get on fairly well, with a very mishaps, but eventually come to realize that they like one another, which makes the living arrangement difficult and Pat decides to move back home.
Angus has two traumatic things occur to him. Cyril is stolen from outside a shop but after escaping his captor, he makes his way to the Cumberland Bar, where he is recognized by his gol tooth and eventually reunited with Angus. The second event happens when Ramsey Dunbarton is sitting for his portrait that Angus is painting. Ramsey is sitting and relating stories when he suddenly grows quiet. Angus continues to paint and then discovers that Ramsey has died.
Bertie is chosen to play the part of Captain von Trapp in the class play The Sound of Music. He is not thrilled about it until he discovered that he might be able to wear a sailor’s costume, but Irene decides he should wear lederhosen. He is also taken to the auditions for the Edinburgh Teenage Orchestra and gets in. The Orchestra gets invited to play in Paris. Irene plans to go, too, but is not allowed. Bertie has a splendid time but oversleeps and misses the flight home. He decides to earn money for food by playing his saxephone in the Latin Quarter and makes quite a bit of money, as well as making friends with French students who take him to a philosophy lecture at the Sorbonne. They translate for him and he asks a question which stumps the professor. When Bertie returns to the hotel to find his mother and the police waiting for him, he bursts into tears because his adventure is over. Irene, of course, thinks he is traumatized and rushes him of to Dr. Fairbairne, who probes Bertie about imaginary friends.
Matthew, Angus, and Stuart decide to help Big Lou, who has been taken for 34,000 pounds by Eddie to open a club. Stuart arranges for Lard O’Connor to “talk” to Eddie, who returns 24,000 pounds to Big Lou and rips up the contract which gives him half ownership in the coffee shop.
Domenica, meanwhile, is in the Malacca Straits with the pirates, who it turns out are only pirating CDs of rock groups and Italian tenors. She does, however, obtain some interesting information for publication for an article and returns to 44 Scotland Street earlier than planned.
Antonio, her friend who is staying at her apartment, has now rented the former apartment of Bruce and Pat across the landing. She and Angus have had a rocky relationship. Angus finds her annoying with her going on about her novel about sixth century Scottish saints but has tried to invite her to dinner but has had a bit too much to drink and the dinner is a bit strange. Domenica is not sure how things will work out with Antonia living so close by.
It seems that the series will go on and we’re all glad of it. Eight-seven down, 38 to go.