‘A Conspiracy of Friends’ A Corduroy Mansions novel by Alexander McCall Smith

This book, like many of McCall Smith’s, is a series of vignettes with various characters who sometimes interact.

Others just share the same address, the apartment building known as Corduroy Mansions in London.

In one plotline, two women decide that their children, one a single young working woman and the other a single young man heading to the city, should meet. They do, and the young lady ends up spurning a friend for this new fellow her mother sent her way.

Other characters include Freddie de la Hay, the little dog who accompanies the widower to his friends’ country home and disappears.

Then there are the literary agents, partners in business, who spar over who should have the flat that belongs to one of them. And there’s Berthea, who doesn’t really like her son, “the only loathsome Liberal Democrat member of Parliament.”

The book doesn’t stay with any one story long enough to go deeply into the characters. It seems to flit from one resident of the apartment building to another.

This is not a story to keep you on the edge of your seat, but it is pleasant reading.

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