A CONSPIRACY OF FRIENDS by Alexander McCall Smith


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The third installment in a series concerning the denizens of London’s Corduroy Mansions.

Member of Parliament Oedipus Snark has been appointed Undersecretary of This and That, but his psychotherapist mother Berthea still doesn’t like him. Nor does his ex-lover Barbara Ragg, whose knowledge of his unsavory past gives her an unexpected opportunity for revenge. It’s likely to provide cold comfort from a rift that looms with her fiancé, Hugh, after the confessions they feel impelled to make to each other, or the revenge of his own that Rupert Porter, Barbara’s partner in the literary agency their fathers founded, plots after Barbara decides not to sell him the flat her father left her after all. Wine merchant William French’s son Eddie, financed by his heiress girlfriend, Merle, hires Cosmo Bartonette, the sharpest design eye in London, to decorate a space he wants to turn into a Hemingway-themed restaurant, and in the process he learns a bit about both Cosmo and himself. William’s own quiet life is complicated by an avowal of love as unexpected as it is unwelcome and by the disappearance of his beloved Pimlico Terrier Freddie de la Hay, late of MI6 (The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, 2011, etc.). Caroline Jarvis, William’s downstairs neighbor, wonders whether life will offer her any deeper relationships than the one she enjoys with her best, best friend James. And Berthea’s brother, Terence Moongrove, moves up from his new Porsche to become part owner of a racecar he intends to drive himself.

This third volume of Chekhovian soap opera is every bit as addictive as the first two. Fans will be sad to see any of the plots tied up, even by happy endings, and hope for more complications next season.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-307-90723-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Pantheon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2012


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