15 October 2020

Book Beginning: The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith


Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader. We share the first sentence (or so) of the book we are reading, along with our initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Domenica Macdonald, anthropologist, resident of Scotland Street, and wife of Angus Lordie, portrait painter and long-standing member of the Scottish Arts Club, sat in the kitchen of her flat in Scotland Street.


Huzzah, a comfort read for troubled times. This is book 13 in the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith, published late last year. I do so love these books, as well as most of his other works. They won't win him the Nobel Prize or even the Booker Prize, but they are extremely enjoyable and full of stories about regular, normal, everyday humans, replete with all their foibles.

Sometimes the books can seem a bit disjointed, as each short chapter tends to repeat or summarize some of the scenes of last one. This is the result of their original format: they have been serialized daily in "The Scotsman" newspaper since 2004.

I can't wait to see what Bertie, Cyril, Mathew and Elspeth, Pat, Big Lou, and the other characters are up to now!


  1. I've never read any of these books, but our patrons seem to love Alexander McCall Smith, and I keep thinking I should give her a try. I'm a sucker for anthropologist characters. Does that really come into play in the mysteries? I think I'd have to check this out for sure if it did. xD

    Here's my Friday post.

  2. I haven't read any of his books, but I've been intrigued. This one piques my curiosity. What could be better than peppermint tea? Here's mine: “ALL THE BEST LIES”

  3. Ooh this sounds good! Just get cozy and start reading it types! Thanks for sharing! Happy reading this weekend!
    Here's my Friday Post

  4. I love his Botswana mysteries, which of course feature rooibos tea. I tried this one, but did find it disjointed and a bit rambling. Now you explain why, it makes perfect sense.

  5. No kidding! I'm all for comfort and cozy -- and plot. I need plot right now, not just ideas and pretty writing.

  6. I must admit that Alexander is too prolific an author for me, he writes far more books than I could ever hope to keep up with in a series, so I have tended to avoid them altogether, which is a bit of a shame, as the stories sound so good and such fun to read!

    The cover art alone is enough to cheer me up and short chapters are generally good for me too!

    Thanks for sharing, you are obviously a true fan :)

    Yvonne xx

  7. It's poor Bertie's saga that keeps me interested in this series but i am saddened that the author cannot see the worth of the Steiner/Waldorf educational philosophy. i also much enjoy the Isabel Dalhousie series of philosophical quasi-mysteries....