Corduroy Mansions

By Alexander McCall Smith

The best-selling author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series turns his attentions to the preoccupations of middle-class Pimlico in this novel about the residents of a mansion block in the posh London neighbourhood.

Widowed wine dealer William is trying to get his grown-up son, Eddie, to move out by getting a dog (which Eddie hates), while fending off the attentions of catering boss Marcia. Downstairs ‘the girls’ – four 20-something flatmates – struggle with unlikely partners, appearing in horsey mags and working for the nastiest Lib Dem MP in England.

Sadly, McCall Smith’s characters are unbelievable, set in a London that doesn’t exist, and are, to a man and woman irritating, one-dimensional and down-right hateful at times.

Like corduroy - bland, boring and should not be bought.