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A Promise of Ankles

On sale

3rd June 2021

Price: £8.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349144719

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Book 14 in the delightful 44 Scotland Street series, by worldwide bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith

At the bottom of a sharply descending street – in the topographical sense – in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, new residents have moved in to number 44 Scotland Street, joining the already well-known and much-loved denizens of that remarkable building. They appear to be a bit of a mystery, but so, too, do other things. What exactly did Sister Maria-Fiore, the aphorism-coining socialite nun, find on the No. 23 bus? Could it be the remains of a hitherto unknown Neanderthal, homo Watsoniensis?

On the romantic front, long-suffering Stuart’s hopes of kindling a new relationship are dashed, thanks to chino-wearing narcissist Bruce, effortlessly exercising his powers of charm. The Promised Land beckons for Bertie who is off to Glagow for a school exchange that takes him doon the watter. Back in Edinburgh, the Duke of Johannesburg’s desire to learn a new language, involving his Gaelic-speaking driver Padruig, has gone horribly wrong; to be immersed in a language, it seems, can be a captivating linguistic mistake. And the patrons of Big Lou’s cafe are in for a gastronomic treat. In other words, everything in Edinburgh is absolutely normal.

‘Perfect escapism’ Sunday Times, South Africa

‘A vividly surreal cast of outlandish characters [and] McCall Smith’s wonderfully wry delivery’ Scottish Field


Scottish Field
With its vividly surreal cast of outlandish characters - including 'aphorism coining socialite nun' Sister Maria, and 'chino-wearing narcissist'' Bruce - and McCall Smith's wonderfully wry delivery, A Promise of Ankles will not disappoint
Sunday Times, South Africa
Perfect escapism for difficult times. The novel is often laugh-out-loud funny as McCall Smith makes witty asides. Just as often he is profound enough to stop you in your tracks and make you think about subjects such as the essence of love, justice, morality, poetry or moderation... Escapism maybe, but with a heart
Patricia Cleveland-Peck, Cultural Voyager
The spell this volume casts is as strong as ever, I am already longing for volume 15... There is a ribbon of humour running throughout and the characters are varied, memorable and very well drawn but I think it is Alexander McCall Smith's voice, so full of warmth and kindness and love of Edinburgh and its people which gives these stories their unique flavour