Follows The Unbearable Lightness of Scones and carries on in much the same vein. Although the title refers to Bertie, the book doesn't focus that much on him, with quite a lot of space devoted to what happens when Antonia, Domenica and Angus (to say nothing of Cyril) take a trip to Italy.
I hadn't realised it was so long (2 years) since I read the previous 44 Scotland Street book. I think McCall Smith had a break from them too, and I think that helped bring some freshness back into the series. This one felt like a bit of a return to form - not least because Bruce comes back, and has reverted to type.
I liked reading about Bertie, and his brother Ulysses, who's always happy except when his mother picks him up, when he's sick. Bertie has a glimpse of freedom and happiness in this book, when he goes on a fishing trip with his father, and you really feel "good for you".
I really enjoyed this one. I see there's another one just out: not sure whether to read it straight away or to put it off for a while...
Completed : 08-Oct-2011