Pat is accepted as a new tenant at 44 Scotland Street. Her flatmate is Bruce, a narcissistic athlete. Bruce thinks it is his due to have women fawning all over him. Pat seems to fall straight into his clutches. Bruce is continually looking in mirrors. Bruce just made me want to vomit.
Also at 44 Scotland Street is the very pushy Irene and her precocious 5 year son Bertie. Bertie plays the saxophone and is learning Italian and of course can do no wrong. However he gets suspended from Nursery school for writing graffiti in Italian. It is the fault of the teacher according to Irene. Irene then takes him to a therapist where she seems to do most of the talking. Bertie just wants to be a normal little boy.
Also at 44 Scotland Street is Domenica MacDonald a mysterious intellectual who observes the comings and goings of the inhabitants of the house.
Pat takes a job at an art gallery owned by Matthew. Matthew is a failure. His father keeps buying him places to work in but Matthew gets bored very easily and can not make any decisions. Matthew is very kind and nice.
I found this book to be like other of McCall Smith's books . He explores differing personality traits and packages them up in nice entertaining vignettes. The characters are rogues, oddballs and naive people. I especially liked the inclusion of Ian Rankin.
First Line: "Pat stood before the door at the bottom of the stair, reading the names underneath the buttons."