It was a chance encounter with Armistead Maupin (of Tales of the City fame) in San Francisco which inspired Alexander McCall Smith to write his serial novel about the residents of 44 Scotland Street, a fictitious building in a real street in the author’s home town of Edinburgh.
With its multiple-occupancy flats, 44 Scotland Street is an interesting corner of the city; a very Edinburgh mix of Bohemians, haute bourgeoisie, students and the more colourful members of the intelligentsia. 44 Scotland Street first appeared in daily episodes in the Scotsman newspaper in 2004, and was published in book form later that year by Polygon with great success.
The adventures of Bertie the child prodigy, Cyril the dog with the gold tooth, and raffish painter Angus Lordie became an instant hit and a further eight series and book publications followed.
It still appears in episodic form in the Scotsman newspaper every year over a period of three months, making 44 Scotland Street the longest running serial novel in the world.
‘Delightful…Sweet…Graceful…Wonderful…gentle but powerfully addicting fiction’ — Entertainment Weekly
‘Smith’s characters are so deftly drawn that you feel you know them intimately after a couple of appearances’ — The Times
‘A joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles – Sunday Express
All paperbacks of all of the books in the series are available from Little,Brown