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The Dog Who Came In From The Cold (Corduroy Mansions) [Hardcover]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2010
Following on from the huge success of the '44 Scotland Street' series, Alexander McCall Smith has 'moved house' to a crumbling four-storey mansion in Pimlico - Corduroy Mansions. It is inhabited by a glorious assortment of characters: among them, Oedipus Snark, the first every nasty Lib Dem MP, who is so detestable his own mother, Berthea, is writing an unauthorised biography about him; and one small vegetarian dog, Freddie de la Hay, who has the ability to fasten his own seatbelt. (Although Corduroy Mansions is a fictional name, the address is now registered by the Post Office).

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited; First Edition edition (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846971616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846971617
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

Product Description


'A page-turner with many happy endings. Perfect' --Daily Express

'A twisting plot line, told in McCall Smith's usual entertaining style, makes this a great read.' --Waterstones Book Quarterly

'A great place to visit if you need cheering up' --The Scotsman

Unlabel-able, but wonderful

A wonderful collection of characters in this delightful read --Stratford Press

Book Description

* Second novel in he new London-based series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come in from the cold! 29 April 2010
Another fabulous offering from the ultimate master of story-telling. Definitely on a par with the fantastic 44 Scotland Street series. This latest book in the Corduroy Mansions series is a real treat, I'd read all the chapters in the Telegraph but it is so nice to have them all in one lovely volume. Highly recommend to Alexander McCall Smith fans old and new!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars leaves you feeling warm and snug 7 Sep 2011
By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loose ends and inconsistencies 22 Jun 2012
I have only started this second book in the new series, but am already wondering about a couple things:
Firstly, I don't like inconsistencies. The first thing I read in this book is that Eddie, son of William, is 28 years old. So I think: OK, this story is set 4 years after the last one. But soon after I find out that only 6 months have passed since Eddie moved out from his father's flat.
However, in the first book, Eddie is only 24. And now, 6 months later, he is 28?

Also, whatever happened to that luncheon that Barbara and Jenny were supposed to have to discuss, I presume, how to get even with the nasty Oedipus Snark. Nothing ever came of that. And now it's 6 months later, and unless they have had their lunch, and we were simply not informed, it didn't happen after all, and we weren't informed of that either - unless we will be informed about it at a later state.

Then there is James who, in the first book, had been offered a job with a gallery, and now he has just finished an unpaid 6-week internship with an auction house and is waiting to see whether they will hire him?
And what happened to the "girlfriend" he seemed to have found towards the end of the book? No mention of her in this one. No, it's Caroline after all who he is together with.

Also, we have been told in the first book that there is a basement flat in the house, but not whether someone lives there or not. And if not, why not?

And lastly, we never heard the end of Hugh's story (Barbara's fiancée), about what happened in South America and what happened when he was with the family of one of his pupils and, presumably been held by them for the 3 months.

Inconsistencies and loose ends - just hate them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly enough dog 27 Oct 2011
The usual well written and engaging McCall Smith character sketches are all here, but in a way that's partly the problem insofar as this time there are simply too many of them for my taste. The action - if one can call it that - is more a series of well crafted vignettes describing the effects and outcomes of the various forms of middle class angst from which so many of McCall Smith's characters so frequently suffer. It's not that I mind this at all as a story vehicle - it's the stamping ground of many of the finest writers for obvious reasons - but with this book I found there were simply too many threads running through and the alleged principal storyline was somewhat buried under a mass of parallel plots. Ultimately, I quite enjoyed the book from about page 150 onwards when our canine hero finally began to take centre stage, but alas it was all too briefly. I would have preferred far more Freddie de la Hay (Dog) - whose cleverly constructed character surely offered a writer of McCall Smith's talents considerably more room for development - and far, far fewer humans. Corduroy Mansions is not one of McCall Smith's otherwise excellent series I will be returning to - unless Freddie de la Hay is given far more to think and bark about that is.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series of books that were the precursor to the Corduroy Mansions (Corduroy Mansions 1) series of which The Dog Who Came in from the Cold is a sequel. Both series bear the stamp of being published in short chapters day by day in a newspaper, respectively The Scotsman and The Daily Telegraph. Maybe because I grew up in and know Edinburgh very well I prefer the Scotland Street books as they have a much greater sense of place: the city is part of the narrative, whereas, Pimlico doesn't really make an impression and its geography doesn't play an important part in the Corduroy Mansion's books. The author, McCall Smith, has lived and worked in Edinburgh for many years and I think it shows in the creation of a realistic background to his characters as they move around the city. I found the first book in the Corduroy Mansions series easier to get into than this second one: The Dog Who Came in from the Cold has too many characters and I kept forgetting who was whom. It did help to have read the two books in chronological order as most of the characters of the first book appear in the second, but with many more in the latter to add to my confusion. I would also say that this second book is more surreal than the first with the dog (Freddie de la Hay) of the title being recruited to work undercover for MI6 (hence the allusion in the title to the John Le Carre book, The Spy who came in from the Cold) to suss out the criminal activities of a Russian gang operating in London. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like this series and have bought the next book although ...
Right up to my usual expectations of Mr McCall Smith. I like this series and have bought the next book although I haven't started reading it yet.
Published 23 days ago by S. M. Pettit
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Lovely, easy to read and well written. I adore all Alexander McCall Smith's books, such fun and interesting stories, can hardly wait for the next one!
Published 2 months ago by W John Kennett
5.0 out of 5 stars A happy read with a happy ending too.
How satisfying to have the ending that you would have wished for! It is part story and part a conversation with a friend - do give it a go.
Published 5 months ago by Jill Stanfield
2.0 out of 5 stars Flaccid and Self-Indulgent
I got this from the library because of good Amazon reviews. I suppose that it could be said that it is (quite) good in (some) parts. But not in others. Read more
Published 5 months ago by W. Tegner
5.0 out of 5 stars Alexander mcCall Smith
A great book could hardly put it down. Story line, multiple characters are a great asset no wonder he writes so many books!,,
Published 12 months ago by mr kr royle
4.0 out of 5 stars I great read!
I read this book after reading the other two books in the Courderoy Mansion books. I have enjoyed them all, but it is a shame I didn't read them in the correct order. Read more
Published 14 months ago by sian corrie
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dog Who Came In From The Cold book
Delighted with this book which arrived in good time. I would be happy to make a purchase in the future.
Published 14 months ago by Cant Remember
4.0 out of 5 stars Alexander McCall Smith
This, as all Alexander McCall Smithbooks, is very enjoyable. I prefer Mma Ramotswe, Bertie and Isabel Dalhousie but this is also nice. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sirpa Teirimo
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful again
Funny and brilliant as always, Mr McCall Smith does it again.
Please write a fourth book tothe Codruroy Massions Series and a fifth and a sixth
Published 15 months ago by Steve Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Absorbing Reading
Alexander McCall Smith is very knowledgeable, and this comes across in his books. He paints a beautiful word picture that vividly makes his story come to life. Sounds heavy? Read more
Published 18 months ago by keeper
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