Review published on October 20, 2016.
The Bertie Project is the eleventh book in the popular 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith, and readers who love the series (as I do) will be pleased to know that this latest novel is a return to form after what I thought was a slightly disappointing last novel (The Revolving Door of Life).
As the title suggests, Bertie takes centre stage in this book, as his mother Irene returns from her misadventure. I really enjoyed the introduction of Bertie’s grandmother, Nicola, in the last book and I was pleased to discover that she still features here, so hopefully she is now a permanent character. Readers are also treated to Bruce’s latest exploits – has he finally met his match?! However, it is Stuart who provides the revelation in this book – will he finally stand up to Irene?
I really enjoyed this latest instalment in the series. Bertie is my favourite character (and I’m sure I’m not alone with my favouritism!) and reading about his life and the contrast between life with his grandmother and life with Irene means that as usual, we readers are rooting for him (and his father). I wasn’t so keen on the chapters concerning the Association of Scottish Nudists, since I don’t feel that they really add anything to the series. The usual short chapters mean that you can easily dip in and out of the book, and with Bertie taking centre stage again this time, it’s guaranteed to please his many fans, as well as fans of the 44 Scotland Street series in general. It’s another delightful book in the series!
Judith Griffith 5/3
The Bertie Project by Alexander McCall Smith
Polygon 9781846973598 hbk Aug 2016