Bruce, the intolerably vain and perpetually deluded ex-surveyor, is about to embark on a new career as a wine merchant, while his long-suffering flatmate Pat MacGregor, set up by matchmaking Domenica Macdonald, finds herself invited to a nudist picnic in Moray Place in the pursuit of true love. Prodigious six-year-old Bertie Pollock wants a boy's life of fishing and rugby, not yoga and pink dungarees, and he plots rebellion against his bossy, crusading mother Irene and his psychotherapist Dr Fairbairn. But when Bertie's longed-for trip to Glasgow with his ineffectual father Stuart ends with Bertie taking money off legendary Glasgow hard man Lard O'Connor at cards, it looks as though Bertie should have been more careful what he wished for. And all the time it appears that both Irene Pollock and Dr Fairbairn are engaged in a struggle with dark secrets and unconscious urges of their own.
It is hard to think of a contemporary writer more genuinely engaging...(his) novels are also extremely funny: I find it impossible to think about them without smiling - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
A treasure of a writer whose books deserve immediate devouring - Marcel Berlins, Guardian
As warm as cocoa, as cosy as thermal underwear, and just what the doctor ordered for the cold winter evenings - THE TIMES
McCall Smith is a Emeritus Professor of Medical Law as well as an author who has written over 50 books on a wide range of subjects: from Forensic Aspects of Sleep to The Criminal Law of Botswana, The Perfect Hamburger (children's fiction) to The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom.