44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith published 2005 by Abacus
Originally written as a novel in daily installments published in The Scotsman. It's light-hearted fictionabout life in Edinburgh with a cast of delightful fictional characters; and a few real people get the chance to make an appearance or two.The installments are kept in the novel so it makes it a very easy book to read and put down. No chance of not picking it up again as each chapter, sometimes two, are about one character before the next chapter about a different character. The stories for each character are therefore strung out through the book and that certainly kept me reading - although there is a terrible temptation to look forward and read all the chapters on one character :) The characters are many; of all ages and temperaments, and all equally fascinating.
My favorite character is six-year-old Bertie Pollock, an intelligent and gifted child whose mother sees him as her 'project'. Poor Bertie learns the saxophone, has Italian lessons and goes to yoga, but what he's most interested in is rubgy and trains.
The book is illustrated by Iain McIntosh who, I assume, did the cover art too.
Espresso Tales is the second in Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street books.
This carries on the stories of characters met in 44 Scotland street. Just as good as the first book :)