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A Conspiracy Of Friends (Corduroy Mansions) [Audiobook, Abridged] [Audio CD]

Alexander McCall Smith , Andrew Sachs
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 May 2011 Corduroy Mansions (Book 3)

Corduroy Mansions, Pimlico is an oasis of old-fashioned civilisation, its inhabitants considerate and peace-loving. But beneath the polite exterior seismic change is stirring.

Barbara Ragg makes an eye-popping discovery about her stolid Scottish suitor's past, while Oedipus Snark - newly appointed and tirelessly self-interested Government Minister - has a close encounter in Switzerland that leaves him a new man all together. Then plucky canine Freddie de la Hay goes missing, and his owner, widower William French, is so shaken by an unexpected declaration of love that he seriously considers making a disappearance himself.

Goodhearted, well-intentioned but often to be found barking up the wrong tree, the residents of Corduroy Mansions remain a thoroughly entertaining example to us all.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Abridged edition (5 May 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1405509376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405509374
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 12.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,399 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


The true elegance of the McCall Smith novel-writing machine lies in the fact that for all the comic absurdity of storylines no sooner have we finished with the story of the reluctant gigolo, for example, than we are being introduced to an English-speaking yeti the stories themselves have a very sure and sometimes detailed moral sensibility. --The Scotsman

His thinking is subtle, his observations of human nature and society acute, his plotting watertight, his characters vivid and his turn of phrase sometimes astonishingly beautiful and moving. --Sydney Morning Herald --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

* The third novel in the London-based Corduroy Mansions series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street, read by the inimitable Andrew Sachs.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not Scotland Street 8 July 2011
I enjoy the Corduroy Mansions series, but I do feel that Alexander McCall Smith never really gets to grips with London in the same way that he handles Edinburgh - this is, of course, unsurprising, as he is an Edinburgh resident. Without the numerous references to real places (Valvonna & Crolla, the Scottish Gallery, etc) and people, the London books seem to me less compelling. There is nothing "London" about the characters, as there is "Edinburgh" about Angus Lordie and Cyril. The characters in A Conspiracy of Friends could really be anywhere.

Having said that, I do think this series is improving as it goes along, and as the characters become better defined. I now really want to know what is going to happen to William and Freddie De La Hay - Alexander McCall Smith definitely has a way with writing about dogs.

As one of the previous reviewers says, these books are extremely comforting, with some laugh out loud moments. I will most certainly look forward to the next instalment, even though Scotland Street will always be my favourite series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." -- 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (NKJV)

Can we change? Sure. But what does it take? In A Conspiracy of Friends, Alexander McCall Smith takes the familiar cast (plus a few new characters) of the first two books and shows us sides to their personalities that readers may not expect . . . thus creating some surprises and good fun. I'm really looking forward to the next installment to see what happens next!

Berthea Snark is still obsessed with blowing the whistle on her loathsome son, Oedipus. She's equally concerned about her brother, Terence Moongrove, and his latest fancy. Barbara Ragg is enjoying her new love, glad to be quit of Oedipus Snark. Relations with her literary agent partner, Rupert Porter, could become testy if she doesn't decide to move out of her flat. Landing the Yeti is still a bone of contention, as well. Caroline Jarvis finds herself in the middle of a most awkward situation, learning a great deal about herself. William French is driven to distraction by the sudden disappearance of Freddie de la Hay while visiting in the country. His son, Eddie, gets more deeply involved with his new girl friend. William's calm is also perturbed by an unexpected event.

By the time the book ends, you'll have to rethink everything you concluded about where the series is going. I'm sure you'll be pleased. Don't miss it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A treat for McCall Smith fans; well-written and funny Just when you thought you knew all about the existing characters, he springs surprises. I read this in two days and now am wanting the next instalments.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable read 12 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With the exception of the No. 1 Ladies........I really enjoy Alexander McCall Smith's books.

My favourites are the ones set in Edinburgh because there feels something very real about them, that the characters do exist and if l were to visit the city l would come across them in everyday life.

This novel contains a set of delightful characters who live in London and behave in a mostly ideal/admirable way. When they stray this behaviour is seen as an aberration and they quickly return to a moral way of life. This and the philosophical insights that feature are the reasons the books appeal to me.

The storyline is not too heavy and l don't hurt my brain thinking about the rights and wrongs but simply enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful as always 2 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As always Mr McCall Smith writes with such amazing insight and manages to put into words the idocincranses that make each person individual. His fictional characters always become well known friends and acquaintances. You really have to read this series of books for youself
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 27 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
As always, Alexander McCall Smith takes you on a journey of humanity, with twists and turns, and bumps along the way. Can't wait to read the next one !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like McCall's style 25 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As usual, a good absorbing read with McCall introducing many disparate characters and then drawing the various strings to a satisfying conclusion
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How good can it get? 10 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
How good can it get? A new Alexander McCall Smith series. More new friends to have in one's life. He never disappoints. Please keep them coming!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another success
I am a committed McCall Smith reader. This series introduces some far fetched ideas but retains the humour and gentleness of his other works.
Published 1 month ago by David Cundy
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
This was bought as a gift and I have since been told it was an excellent choice in this series.
Published 2 months ago by Susan Butcher
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
A great book from ALexander Mc Call Smkith. I love the way Freddie de la Hay has such a great personality and rapport with his owner. Light hearted and as always, well written.
Published 2 months ago by ruralbuyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought in used condition/arrived like new
I have been reading all of the Corduroy Mansion novels althought this is not the best its still very entertaining.
Published 7 months ago by Lynn Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars Good holiday read
Enjoyable read and very funny in places. Highly recommend if you don't take want a serious book. Will look out for other books in this series.
Published 7 months ago by M
4.0 out of 5 stars another good one
Problem is I can't put these books down and have to keep reading. The story goes on, looking forwards to the next one.
Published 7 months ago by ExFizzyDee
4.0 out of 5 stars He never writes a bad book
As always McCall Smith provides an entertaining book written in faultless prose. Even though the stories are a bit weak sometimes there is something intensely satisfying in reading... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rosie
5.0 out of 5 stars Have all the AMS books
Another great story - I just love the characters and how the story lines are new but some how familiary
Published 11 months ago by Jenni Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars What a difference
Extremely quick delivery and very well packed to ensure no damage.
I will certainly use this company again. (Doonhill books)
McCall certainly knows how to write a book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by adi
4.0 out of 5 stars a joy to read
I love Alexander McCall Smith - his books are utterly charming, full of wonderful characters and absorbing stories. Read more
Published 12 months ago by kooky ju
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