The Bertie Project
By Alexander McCall Smith (read by David Rintoul)
Bolinda Publishing (audiobook)
There are few certainties in life: death, taxes and light, funny novels by Alexander McCall Smith, which appear every four months or so. His stories set at 44 Scotland Street centre on Bertie Pollock, whose pompous mother, Irene, was last seen running a book club in a Bedouin harem. While Irene’s return disrupts Bertie, his brother, Ulysses, and their beleaguered father, Stuart, triplets are keeping Elspeth and Matthew up at night. Bruce, meanwhile, has fallen for a fizzy Australian called Clare. Keep a close watch, too, on the Association of Scottish Nudists. David Rintoul’s amiable tones suit 44 Scotland Street from roof to basement. His mellow Scottish burr sounds perpetually amused by even the dragonish Irene, but can add a sprinkle of pepper to McCall Smith’s satire or a twist of lemon to plot surprises.