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The Dog Who Came In From The Cold (Corduroy Mansions) Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349123217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349123219
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for CORDUROY MANSIONS

"A new cast of characters to love . . . McCall Smith is a writer of such fond, heartfelt geniality that at the end of this cozy read, fans will be grateful that the series has just begun."
--"Entertainment Weekly", "A-"

"McCall Smith cooks up a delicious story that seems part Restoration comedy and part Victorian novel, tossed with a dash of mystery and a dollop of satire. Corduroy Mansions is like the cloth of its title--comfortable, easy, homey."
--"The Washington Post"

"[Here is a] wonderful world of realistic characters getting up to real mischief in McCall Smith's velvety prose and vivid imagination."
"--USA Today"

"Whimsical . . . McCall Smith specializes in subplots that punctuate the book like polka dots, relying on his considerable literary skills to link them into a merry pattern of human events."
"--The Washington Times"

Praise for CORDUROY MANSIONS
"A new cast of characters to love . . . McCall Smith is a writer of such fond, heartfelt geniality that at the end of this cozy read, fans will be grateful that the series has just begun."
--"Entertainment Weekly," "A-"
"McCall Smith cooks up a delicious story that seems part Restoration comedy and part Victorian novel, tossed with a dash of mystery and a dollop of satire. Corduroy Mansions is like the cloth of its title--comfortable, easy, homey."
--"The Washington Post"
"[Here is a] wonderful world of realistic characters getting up to real mischief in McCall Smith's velvety prose and vivid imagination."
"--USA Today"
"Whimsical . . . McCall Smith specializes in subplots that punctuate the book like polka dots, relying on his considerable literary skills to link them into a merry pattern of human events."
"--The Washington Times"

Praise for CORDUROY MANSIONS
A new cast of characters to love . . . McCall Smith is a writer of such fond, heartfelt geniality that at the end of this cozy read, fans will be grateful that the series has just begun.
"Entertainment Weekly," A
McCall Smith cooks up a delicious story that seems part Restoration comedy and part Victorian novel, tossed with a dash of mystery and a dollop of satire. Corduroy Mansions is like the cloth of its title comfortable, easy, homey.
"The Washington Post"
[Here is a] wonderful world of realistic characters getting up to real mischief in McCall Smith s velvety prose and vivid imagination.
" USA Today"
Whimsical . . . McCall Smith specializes in subplots that punctuate the book like polka dots, relying on his considerable literary skills to link them into a merry pattern of human events.
" The Washington Times"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Second novel in he new London-based series from Alexander McCall Smith, comparable in warmth and humour to 44 Scotland Street

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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