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The Dog who Came in from the Cold

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This is the second novel in the "Corduroy Mansions" series by Alexander McCall Smith, a serial novel exclusively for Telegraph.co.uk. A new chapter appears online each weekday beginning Monday, September 21, 2009. Audio by Andrew Sachs. Illustrations by Ian McIntosh. This is the second novel in the "Corduroy Mansions" series by Alexander McCall Smith, a serial novel exclusively for Telegraph.co.uk. A new chapter appears online each weekday beginning Monday, September 21, 2009. Audio by Andrew Sachs. Illustrations by Ian McIntosh.


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This is the second novel in the "Corduroy Mansions" series by Alexander McCall Smith, a serial novel exclusively for Telegraph.co.uk. A new chapter appears online each weekday beginning Monday, September 21, 2009. Audio by Andrew Sachs. Illustrations by Ian McIntosh. This is the second novel in the "Corduroy Mansions" series by Alexander McCall Smith, a serial novel exclusively for Telegraph.co.uk. A new chapter appears online each weekday beginning Monday, September 21, 2009. Audio by Andrew Sachs. Illustrations by Ian McIntosh.

30 review for The Dog who Came in from the Cold

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A second merry romp with the Corduroy Mansions characters. McCall Smith's books are such gentle reads that I kind of feel like I'm floating in a warm tub of quirky humanity. I especially like the occasional splashy observation about life that he throws in. This time William French, failed Master of Wines, is duped into giving up something precious of his to aid the government's battle against spies. It's all vaguely preposterous but, that is the point. We really don't know what our governments a A second merry romp with the Corduroy Mansions characters. McCall Smith's books are such gentle reads that I kind of feel like I'm floating in a warm tub of quirky humanity. I especially like the occasional splashy observation about life that he throws in. This time William French, failed Master of Wines, is duped into giving up something precious of his to aid the government's battle against spies. It's all vaguely preposterous but, that is the point. We really don't know what our governments are doing. Or our families or our friends for that matter. This same uneasy feeling leaks over on to the rest of the cast of Corduroy Mansions as they try to find their way through their own dealings. Nothing earth shattering here, just a nice soak in the tub.

  2. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    The reader should read the first book in the Corduroy Mansions cozy series Corduroy Mansions before 'The Dog Who Came in from the Cold'. Some of the growing familiarity and love for the characters would be lost if that is the main reason the general reader may seek enjoyment in an adult cozy series. Despite that 'The Dog Who Came in from the Cold' is an adult read, it reminds me nonetheless of the children's book 'Read with Dick and Jane' (not forgetting Sally, or especially dear Spot, who has a The reader should read the first book in the Corduroy Mansions cozy series Corduroy Mansions before 'The Dog Who Came in from the Cold'. Some of the growing familiarity and love for the characters would be lost if that is the main reason the general reader may seek enjoyment in an adult cozy series. Despite that 'The Dog Who Came in from the Cold' is an adult read, it reminds me nonetheless of the children's book 'Read with Dick and Jane' (not forgetting Sally, or especially dear Spot, who has a bigger role in his books than this Corduroy dog Freddie). In '...Cold' characters suffer minor setbacks and significant self-discoveries which allows them to change things in their lives that have been making them unhappy. Three times a dog called Freddie briefly has a walk-on scene, providing an actual second of actual authenticity here and there. Done. Most of the characters are intelligent grown-ups, but they all ignore the evidence of misbehavior or they purposely choose narcissistic tunnel vision whatever the disaster which is overtaking each one. They each 'think it out' in long insightful passages, exploring their adult observations and ideas with a clear problem-solving facility - and then they each decide on the solution to cover up any confrontation or drama because negativity or direct action is worse in their world than facing the problem. However, being nice somehow turns out to be the correct choice for everybody in this gauzy polite fictional London universe. Love literally solves every difficulty, and Home is where love resides. I did not enjoy this novel. For me, reading about how these London neighbors, who are determinedly and firmly nice no matter the provocation, handle their various traumas and scares was like watching grass grow. However, if I was the kind of person that enjoys drawing unicorns and smiley faces on police reports, dots my 'i's' with little hearts on death certificates and tries earnestly to see the good in everyone (even if child and animal abuse is involved) I would recommend this novel, which somehow directs every life going off course into a sweet ending of love and satisfaction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    This fell way short of my expectations, after The Careful Use of Compliments. The wry British humour is still there: especially the way in which he treats hallowed British institutions such as the MI6, the publishing industry etc. There are also passages which are outright funny, and will have you laughing. Consider the following gem: Americans do not mince their words - it is one of their great qualities, and indeed one of the great causes of misunderstanding between the United States and the Un This fell way short of my expectations, after The Careful Use of Compliments. The wry British humour is still there: especially the way in which he treats hallowed British institutions such as the MI6, the publishing industry etc. There are also passages which are outright funny, and will have you laughing. Consider the following gem: Americans do not mince their words - it is one of their great qualities, and indeed one of the great causes of misunderstanding between the United States and the United Kingdom, where words are regularly minced so finely as to be virtually unintelligible. However, the overall product is a great rambling narrative comprising the lives of a group of people living in Corduroy Mansions, London which is apt to leave one confused and a little frustrated. The novel is second of a series, but even though it is supposed to be standalone, I felt that reading of the first book is mandatory if one is to understand the characters at all: also, many plot lines are left loose, possibly to be tied up in subsequent books. It reminded me of a mildly funny sitcom in which eccentric characters come and go as they please. OK for a vacation weekend read, to while away those lazy afternoons.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This second book in the Corduroy Mansions series started out great, but then it fizzled a bit for me. As you might infer from the title, one storyline has William's dog being involved in a plot to spy on Russians and another character got mixed up with a couple of villains who were hoping he'd sign over his house to them and those two storylines brought this out of the "escape read" place I like to be in when I read Alexander McCall Smith's work. Simon Prebble's audiobook narration was wonderful This second book in the Corduroy Mansions series started out great, but then it fizzled a bit for me. As you might infer from the title, one storyline has William's dog being involved in a plot to spy on Russians and another character got mixed up with a couple of villains who were hoping he'd sign over his house to them and those two storylines brought this out of the "escape read" place I like to be in when I read Alexander McCall Smith's work. Simon Prebble's audiobook narration was wonderful, as always. I am not sure if I will continue on with the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erin Ott

    These books are like bowls of chocolate ice cream: they always taste the same, but I could eat one every night.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is another of McCall Smith's episodic series, like the Edinburgh one I can't remember (not the Isabel Dalhousie series). I'm so mystified how I can adore one of the author's series (Mma Ramotswe), but others I give up on. I gave up on the the Edinburgh one mostly because I couldn't tolerate the child abuse of Bertie (yes, I'm sure it was amusing in the way that the Dursleys' abuse of Harry Potter was amusing, but Bertie can't escape), and I gave up on this one without even finishing this bo This is another of McCall Smith's episodic series, like the Edinburgh one I can't remember (not the Isabel Dalhousie series). I'm so mystified how I can adore one of the author's series (Mma Ramotswe), but others I give up on. I gave up on the the Edinburgh one mostly because I couldn't tolerate the child abuse of Bertie (yes, I'm sure it was amusing in the way that the Dursleys' abuse of Harry Potter was amusing, but Bertie can't escape), and I gave up on this one without even finishing this book because all the characters seemed either pettifogging and petty (is that redundant?), or pathetic. I just felt no warmth for them on the author's part, which is why I gave up reading Sharyn McCrumb books, too (she seemed to despise her characters and love pointing out how stupid and pointless they were--if she didn't care about them, why should I?). So, maybe I'm just missing something, but the deep love, respect, sympathy, and affection for characters that pours out of the Mma Ramotswe books is absent here, alas. At least in the first few chapters...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    Listened to as an audiobook. Always enjoy Alexander McCall Smith but this one not up to Scotland Street standards.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Second book in the series revolving round the characters living in Corduroy Mansions, Pimlico. The series is very similar to the Edinburgh world of the 44 Scotland Street series by the same author, but so far I haven't warmed to these London characters in the same way. Still, these are the same gentle and witty musings on life and love that we expect from Alexander McCall Smith, often charming and sometimes quite odd. The Dog of the title is Freddie de la Haye, who finds himself loaned out to MI6 Second book in the series revolving round the characters living in Corduroy Mansions, Pimlico. The series is very similar to the Edinburgh world of the 44 Scotland Street series by the same author, but so far I haven't warmed to these London characters in the same way. Still, these are the same gentle and witty musings on life and love that we expect from Alexander McCall Smith, often charming and sometimes quite odd. The Dog of the title is Freddie de la Haye, who finds himself loaned out to MI6 by his owner, Will. Elsewhere in the building, Caroline is worrying about her relationship with James and her flat mate Dee is building her health food business. Meanwhile, psychiatrist Berthea Snark visits her brother in Cheltenham and finds his house invaded by a couple of New Age practitioners. These are gentle tales, full of humanity and wisdom, and the characters are mostly likeable. They are comfort reading, perfect for escapism and relaxation, and I am keen to see what happens to the inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions next, though as yet I am not as involved in their fates as I am with the inhabitants of Scotland Street.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    You'll find mostly enjoyable, wry humour in this book, rather than the 'hilarious' used to describe it on its back cover. Occasionally his irony doesn't work, for example, Berthea's reference to gypsy homes, rounded off with ' Bless them'. This made my toes curl. Mc Call Smith crafts language beautifully but he depicts a London of clubs and public school privilege which grates a little, even when depicted with humour. I was given this book and I'll read his next novel in the series simply becaus You'll find mostly enjoyable, wry humour in this book, rather than the 'hilarious' used to describe it on its back cover. Occasionally his irony doesn't work, for example, Berthea's reference to gypsy homes, rounded off with ' Bless them'. This made my toes curl. Mc Call Smith crafts language beautifully but he depicts a London of clubs and public school privilege which grates a little, even when depicted with humour. I was given this book and I'll read his next novel in the series simply because it will be an easy, amusing, well written story and I'd like to know what William French gets up to next. (I wonder whether the 'Just William' novels inspired the protagonist's name..?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    The Dog Who Came In From The Cold is the second in the Corduroy Mansions series by Alexander McCall Smith. Once again we join the people of Corduroy Mansions and their friends. An acquaintance who works for MI6 visits wine merchant William French, and his Pimlico terrier, Freddie de la Hay, is drafted to serve his country. Berthea Snark’s brother Terence Moongrove finds his new Porsche makes him feel amorous and is excited about water memory and morphic resonance. Caroline tries to decide whethe The Dog Who Came In From The Cold is the second in the Corduroy Mansions series by Alexander McCall Smith. Once again we join the people of Corduroy Mansions and their friends. An acquaintance who works for MI6 visits wine merchant William French, and his Pimlico terrier, Freddie de la Hay, is drafted to serve his country. Berthea Snark’s brother Terence Moongrove finds his new Porsche makes him feel amorous and is excited about water memory and morphic resonance. Caroline tries to decide whether she wants a relationship with comfortable James or exciting Tim. Barbara Ragg goes on vacation to Scotland with her new fiancé Hugh Macpherson and meets her future in-laws. Berthea Snark has to take action against a pair of charlatans out to fleece Terence. Dee lies and steals and tries to market her goods in a new way. Barbara’s partner at the Ragg Porter Literary Agency betrays a trust and is caught out. Aussie flatmate Jo gives Caroline some very sound advice. There is a delightful piece on homeopathy and risotto gets a few mentions. William’s feckless son Eddie berates him, with justification. And William effects a dramatic rescue. And throughout the happenings, we are treated to McCall Smith’s gentle philosophy and wry humour. I found myself constantly smiling, chuckling, giggling and many occasions, laughing out loud. McCall Smith manages to examine issues in everyday life and still leave the reader feeling good and wanting more. I loved this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Holly Troup

    Several years ago, I came upon FRIENDS, LOVERS AND CHOCOLATE, the second book in Alexander McCall Smiths's Isabel Dalhousie series. I was intrigued with the idea of a philosopher who uses her background in ethics to solve unusual mysteries. The book was such a delight that I made a special effort to find the other books featuring Isabel Dalhousie. Not once was I disappointed---in each book there was a perfect meshing of the characters, a whimsical sense of humor, and life-affirming insight---goo Several years ago, I came upon FRIENDS, LOVERS AND CHOCOLATE, the second book in Alexander McCall Smiths's Isabel Dalhousie series. I was intrigued with the idea of a philosopher who uses her background in ethics to solve unusual mysteries. The book was such a delight that I made a special effort to find the other books featuring Isabel Dalhousie. Not once was I disappointed---in each book there was a perfect meshing of the characters, a whimsical sense of humor, and life-affirming insight---good, well-written, gentle books that never pandered nor moralized. And so I was again delighted when Alexander McCall Smith introduced his CODUROY MANSIONS series, based in a charming, if somewhat decrepit, mansion block in London.These books are more reminiscent of E.F. Benson or even P.G. Wodehouse, the pace is more exhilarating, the humor more madcap ( if not completely hilarious) as McCall Smith explores the follies and foibles of his cast of disparate, eccentric. characters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I am a huge fan of the Precious detective novels set in Botswana. Despite my best intentions, I could not finish this boo. I gave it several tries; but I was not engaged by the characters and there are so many with multiple stories weaving back and forth and totally unrelated that I just got frustrated.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Bradshaw

    As might be expected from the title, Freddie de la Hay, our Pimlico terrier living at Corduroy Mansions, finds himself on loan to MI6 for some espionage work. Fortunately, we know that whatever might befall, all will be well in the end. These characters are beginning to grow on me: Freddie, of course, and his owner William French -having turned 50 he is having a bit of a midlife crisis, especially where romance is concerned - Barbara Ragg, who seems to have found true love with the Scotsman she As might be expected from the title, Freddie de la Hay, our Pimlico terrier living at Corduroy Mansions, finds himself on loan to MI6 for some espionage work. Fortunately, we know that whatever might befall, all will be well in the end. These characters are beginning to grow on me: Freddie, of course, and his owner William French -having turned 50 he is having a bit of a midlife crisis, especially where romance is concerned - Barbara Ragg, who seems to have found true love with the Scotsman she met in the last book, and escaped from her former lover Rupert, who covets her comfortable home - Berthia, the sensible sister of Terrence Moongrove, whose innocence and gullibility never fails to get him into trouble - Caroline and her "sensitive" friend James - is he gay or isn't he? - and the mysterious and elusive Yeti. What all of them come to realize at the end is "There's no place like home." Audiobook narrated by Simon Prebble. Book description: In the elegantly crumbling mansion block in Pimlico called Corduroy Mansions, the comings and goings of the wonderfully motley crew of residents continue apace. A pair of New Age operators has determined that Terence Moongrove’s estate is the cosmologically correct place for their center for cosmological studies. Literary agent Barbara Ragg has decided to represent Autobiography of a Yeti, purportedly dictated to the author by the Abominable Snowman himself. And our small, furry, endlessly surprising canine hero Freddie de la Hay—belonging to failed oenophile William French—has been recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. Needless to say, the other denizens of Corduroy Mansions have issues of their own. But all of them will be addressed with the wit and insight into the foibles of the human condition that have become the hallmark of this peerless storyteller.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    "The heartwarming and hilarious new installment in the Corduroy Mansions series present the further adventures of Alexander McCall Smith's newest beloved character: the Pimlico terrier Freddie de la Hay. "In the elegantly crumbling mansion block in Pimlico called Corduroy Mansions, the comings and goings of the wonderfully motley crew of residents continue apace. A pair if New Age operators has determined that Terence Moongrove's estate is the cosmologically correct place for their center for cos "The heartwarming and hilarious new installment in the Corduroy Mansions series present the further adventures of Alexander McCall Smith's newest beloved character: the Pimlico terrier Freddie de la Hay. "In the elegantly crumbling mansion block in Pimlico called Corduroy Mansions, the comings and goings of the wonderfully motley crew of residents continue apace. A pair if New Age operators has determined that Terence Moongrove's estate is the cosmologically correct place for their center for cosmological studies. Literary agent Barbara Ragg has decided to represent Autobiography of a Yeti, purportedly dictated to the author by the Abominable Snowman himself. And our small, furry, endlessly surprising canine hero Freddie de la Hay -- belonging to failed oenophile William French -- has been recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. Needless to say, the other denizens of Corduroy Mansions have issues of their own. But all of them will be addressed with the wit and insight into the foibles of the human condition that have become the hallmark of this peerless storyteller." ~~front flap "the foibles of the human condition" -- what a perfect encapsulation of this book. All the characters have their foibles, some more than others, and they ruminate about these foibles almost constantly. But it's charming, reading about someone who frets about the same things you do. And of course Freddie never frets, but just took things as they came -- a lesson to us all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Funny at times, a bit slow at times, easy read about group of modern Londoners & the dog living in one of the flats!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Geri

    This book had so many characters but I really didn't have any problem keeping them straight. The author has a bit of humor here and there which also lends it self to the story line. This book had so many characters but I really didn't have any problem keeping them straight. The author has a bit of humor here and there which also lends it self to the story line.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This second book of Alexander McCall Smith’s Corduroy Mansions trilogy has a bit more action and plot than the first book. The odd cast of characters lives in an old but comfortable building in a working district of London. Romantic relationships begin, flourish, and end, and the mysterious secret society from the first book is revealed. A none too sane trust fund baby becomes the target of New Age greed. At the literary agents’, we meet the author of “The Autobiography of a Yeti,” due to be rel This second book of Alexander McCall Smith’s Corduroy Mansions trilogy has a bit more action and plot than the first book. The odd cast of characters lives in an old but comfortable building in a working district of London. Romantic relationships begin, flourish, and end, and the mysterious secret society from the first book is revealed. A none too sane trust fund baby becomes the target of New Age greed. At the literary agents’, we meet the author of “The Autobiography of a Yeti,” due to be released soon. But the star of the book is Freddie de la Hay, a rare (if not mythical) Pimlico terrier. Owner William, a middle aged wine merchant and failure in his own eyes agrees to allow his dog to act as an undercover agent for British secret intelligence, and soon regrets this decision. Like the first book, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold is all about relationships. Sometimes they are portrayed amusing and interesting. Other times the reader might wish, as I did, that certain characters get a grip and stop obsessing. But it’s all in good fun, the over-the-top characters being characteristic of this series. I recommend the audiobook over the hardcopy book. Narrator Simon Prebble, British-born stage and television actor adds the perfect intonation and tells the story with perfect comic timing. His accent is essential in conveying precisely the characteristic silly-seriousness of fellow Brit McCall Smith’s writing. Fans of McCall Smith, particularly those who have read the first book in this series, will like this one. People who enjoy character-driven humor and the British talent for describing eccentricities will find a fun story here.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I wasn’t very happy with the first book in this series, Corduroy Mansions. I found it a bit depressing. While I enjoyed weaving in and out of the various inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions; learning more them and their lives; their intertwinements with each other; I think it was a bit too real. It was so true to how people are; how people can be that it was ultimately sad and depressing. However, I found myself more tolerant; maybe more upbeat myself that this second book in this series was much m I wasn’t very happy with the first book in this series, Corduroy Mansions. I found it a bit depressing. While I enjoyed weaving in and out of the various inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions; learning more them and their lives; their intertwinements with each other; I think it was a bit too real. It was so true to how people are; how people can be that it was ultimately sad and depressing. However, I found myself more tolerant; maybe more upbeat myself that this second book in this series was much more enjoyable. I just love and enjoy and am so taken with the dog in this book, Freddie de la Hoy, a “Pimlico” terrier. He is not a big part of this series, but he is in it enough to hook and engage me. I love Freddie. I like and enjoy the author’s depictions of Freddie’s feeling and point of view. I am so engaged with this little dog that I just have to go on in the series. The people and their lives and relationships have grown on me as well; though not as much a Freddie has. I look forward to their evolving stories, as well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shazza Maddog

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was an interesting, meandering read. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a mystery (there was kind of one in there), or a slice of life story. The story follows a great many characters, all whom live in or around Corduroy Mansions. I believe we get to meet all of them. Freddie de la Hay, the Pimlico terrier belonging to William French, has been chosen by MI6 as their newest agent to trap a group of Russians trying to flip MI6 or other agents. Unfortunately, Freddie gets more or less dognapp This was an interesting, meandering read. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a mystery (there was kind of one in there), or a slice of life story. The story follows a great many characters, all whom live in or around Corduroy Mansions. I believe we get to meet all of them. Freddie de la Hay, the Pimlico terrier belonging to William French, has been chosen by MI6 as their newest agent to trap a group of Russians trying to flip MI6 or other agents. Unfortunately, Freddie gets more or less dognapped, leaving William trying to hunt him down, while, in the meantime, his neighbors have their own lives going on, including a major breakup, a party, the publishing of a possible new novel, first written by a yeti (yesssss, you read that correctly) and a pair of New Agers who are possibly and probably out to scam a gentle man out of his house and lands. I'm not quite sure whether I liked the writing style or not. It made for an intriguing read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jonkers Jonkers

    Hard to say what I thought of this one. Interesting enough to complete but it hasn't got much to do with the title. This is just one of several separate stories which only slightly link together. Didn't dislike it but didn't really 'get into it'. Hard to say what I thought of this one. Interesting enough to complete but it hasn't got much to do with the title. This is just one of several separate stories which only slightly link together. Didn't dislike it but didn't really 'get into it'.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Magill

    Having just read "Corduroy Mansions", I went to the telegraph.uk website and read the sequel a.s.a.p. Not overwhelmed by this pleasant read, I am afraid. The book was a bit... unsatisfying, with several of the characters introduced in book 1 merely mentioned in book 2, and barely any time spent with several others. Perhaps the book needed to be longer (which would please more than just this reader, I am sure) or perhaps the number of characters was a bit too ambitious to start with... it seemed Having just read "Corduroy Mansions", I went to the telegraph.uk website and read the sequel a.s.a.p. Not overwhelmed by this pleasant read, I am afraid. The book was a bit... unsatisfying, with several of the characters introduced in book 1 merely mentioned in book 2, and barely any time spent with several others. Perhaps the book needed to be longer (which would please more than just this reader, I am sure) or perhaps the number of characters was a bit too ambitious to start with... it seemed that some of the storyline details (as well as conclusions and characters) were skated over a wee bit (i.e. less than fully developed). I think the method of creation is taking a bit of a literary development toll. Still, pleasant enough, as one would expect from the author, with a number of amusing observations. Not a book/series to buy though, at least at this point.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    I noticed this book on the library's "new fiction" shelf and remembered how much I have enjoyed other books by Alexander McCall Smith. I was not disappointed! This is the second in a new series called the Corduroy Mansions novels. These stories seem to be set in England, rather than in Botswana (as the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series). So a refreshing new setting with fun new characters. It was a little confusing with so many different characters in this one, but I decided to just go with the na I noticed this book on the library's "new fiction" shelf and remembered how much I have enjoyed other books by Alexander McCall Smith. I was not disappointed! This is the second in a new series called the Corduroy Mansions novels. These stories seem to be set in England, rather than in Botswana (as the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series). So a refreshing new setting with fun new characters. It was a little confusing with so many different characters in this one, but I decided to just go with the narrative flow. Or rather, multiple narratives intertwined. It was a treat, as always. A light, fun tale. Humorous and heartwarming. Just what I needed to read. Time to find the first one in the series too!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Alexander McCall Smith is one of the most entertaining of writers. I like his mysteries. But, in many ways, these books that he has written for serialization in British newspapers are even more enjoyable. The 44 Scotland Street and these Corduroy Mansions novels are such great fun. I especially like the dogs in both novels. The way he characterizes dogs is wonderful. He doesn't anthropomorphize them, but makes them accessible as dogs. All the characters have such wonderful faults and the crises t Alexander McCall Smith is one of the most entertaining of writers. I like his mysteries. But, in many ways, these books that he has written for serialization in British newspapers are even more enjoyable. The 44 Scotland Street and these Corduroy Mansions novels are such great fun. I especially like the dogs in both novels. The way he characterizes dogs is wonderful. He doesn't anthropomorphize them, but makes them accessible as dogs. All the characters have such wonderful faults and the crises they go through are so thoroughly pedestrian. So very much looking forward to the next in the series!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Glee

    Pretty much like the first one. This was the book that was actually assigned to my book club, but I read the first one also - don't like the idea of reading book 2 of a series without reading the first one. But I have to admit reading this by itself would have worked fine. Since the contents are really just a series of slice of life vignettes, no need for prior book. But also not a lot of reason to read either of them. But the charm factor is HIGH!!! Did I mention CHARMING?!?! Similar in tone to t Pretty much like the first one. This was the book that was actually assigned to my book club, but I read the first one also - don't like the idea of reading book 2 of a series without reading the first one. But I have to admit reading this by itself would have worked fine. Since the contents are really just a series of slice of life vignettes, no need for prior book. But also not a lot of reason to read either of them. But the charm factor is HIGH!!! Did I mention CHARMING?!?! Similar in tone to the Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency books, but those have some claim to mysteries/problems to be solved. A pleasant experience, but limited.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben Chenoweth

    After 78 episodes, this web novel has finally concluded. All in all, it was a great experience. At first, I thought I would be annoyed at the forced wait between episodes (no way to simply keep reading to find out what happens!) But after a while, I found it to be integral to the enjoyment. And I also enjoyed the comments from readers from all over the world. The novel itself was full of wryly-humourous incidents and gentle wisdom - like all his novels! I highly recommend interested readers to k After 78 episodes, this web novel has finally concluded. All in all, it was a great experience. At first, I thought I would be annoyed at the forced wait between episodes (no way to simply keep reading to find out what happens!) But after a while, I found it to be integral to the enjoyment. And I also enjoyed the comments from readers from all over the world. The novel itself was full of wryly-humourous incidents and gentle wisdom - like all his novels! I highly recommend interested readers to keep their ears open for when volume 3 in the series starts up, and read along with me!

  26. 5 out of 5

    holly

    The Dog Who Came In From the Cold is a continuation of the Corduroy Mansions series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but i found this to be somewhat of a disappointment. The issues facing the characters were much more trivial and i felt like the book didn't have anyone undergo a monumental change, there wasn't any strong climax. For me it ruined the impression I had of the series, a tale of quirky people and a real insight into the way different people work and their human nature, it was ju The Dog Who Came In From the Cold is a continuation of the Corduroy Mansions series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but i found this to be somewhat of a disappointment. The issues facing the characters were much more trivial and i felt like the book didn't have anyone undergo a monumental change, there wasn't any strong climax. For me it ruined the impression I had of the series, a tale of quirky people and a real insight into the way different people work and their human nature, it was just a mediocre version of the first book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Yes, Alexander McCall Smith is an acquired taste. In fact, I have never been able to get into his most expansive series: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. My favorite: The Isabel Dalhousie Series. But Corduroy Mansions tales are just downright fun and "The Dog Who Came In from the Cold" is a delight. Those who read McCall Smith will know that his musings about what is going on in people's minds as they make decisions is very unique. And when you do the same with a dog...well it's just fun. Look Yes, Alexander McCall Smith is an acquired taste. In fact, I have never been able to get into his most expansive series: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. My favorite: The Isabel Dalhousie Series. But Corduroy Mansions tales are just downright fun and "The Dog Who Came In from the Cold" is a delight. Those who read McCall Smith will know that his musings about what is going on in people's minds as they make decisions is very unique. And when you do the same with a dog...well it's just fun. Looking forward to "A Conspiracy of Friends."

  28. 4 out of 5

    SA_Aslam_

    Okay, so I didn't finish it. It lay on the bedside table for weeks and I got sick of looking at it and took it back to the library today. Clearly, something's wrong. It is similar to the other book I read by the author, and I had high hopes after reading the first chapter, but the characters got on my nerves as did their personal lives. The author's comments and musings on life, as said through the characters, remain the best parts but I can't be bothered reading the whole book just for those few p Okay, so I didn't finish it. It lay on the bedside table for weeks and I got sick of looking at it and took it back to the library today. Clearly, something's wrong. It is similar to the other book I read by the author, and I had high hopes after reading the first chapter, but the characters got on my nerves as did their personal lives. The author's comments and musings on life, as said through the characters, remain the best parts but I can't be bothered reading the whole book just for those few paragraphs.

  29. 4 out of 5

    zespri

    This is the second in the Corduroy Mansions series by Alexander McCall Smith. You know what you are in for when a series is called Corduroy Mansions - something comfortable, a little bit rumpled, homely and easy to read!! As always, the characters are quirky and interesting and almost like old friends I have dropped in with for a chat. Not only do i share some time with old friends, but I get some interesting observations on life, two for the price of one! Please keep writing Mr Smith!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda Atnip

    Once again, the charming Pimlico terrier, Freddie de la Hay saves the day by keeping the pages turning forward. However, the other characters featured in the Corduroy Mansions' series prove to be much less interesting. The intersection of the various plots seems to be missing which made the first book in the series far more intriguing. Once again, the charming Pimlico terrier, Freddie de la Hay saves the day by keeping the pages turning forward. However, the other characters featured in the Corduroy Mansions' series prove to be much less interesting. The intersection of the various plots seems to be missing which made the first book in the series far more intriguing.

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