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Poor put-upon Bertie is still struggling to escape his overbearing mother's influence, his yoga lessons and his pink bedroom while wondering why new baby brother Ulysses looks uncomfortably like his psychotherapist. The insufferably handsome Bruce has returned from London to land, on his feet and rent-free, in the arms of heiress Julia Donald. But all is not well among the residents of 44 Scotland Street: Angus's dog and constant companion Cyril is under threat of execution, victim of a miscarriage of justice, while pretty, indecisive Pat and hopeless romantic Matthew are on the verge of making the most terrible mistake of their lives . . . Big Lou finds a new man, Matthew and Pat edge their relationship towards something more permanent - although this development is not without complications, when a glimpse of someone who just might be her handsome, caddish ex-flatmate Bruce sets Pat's pulse racing - and Domenica's friendship with Antonia is tested to the limit when an assortment of her belongings mysteriously appear in Antonia's new flat.
Smith delivers yet another delightful installment to his Scotland Street series. This time out, he focuses mostly on the irrepressible Bertie Pollock, a precocious six-year-old whose mummy, Irene, forces him to play a saxophone, converse in Italian, do yoga and see Dr. Hugo Fairbairn, a psychotherapist who looks a lot like Bertie's baby brother, Ulysses. As Bertie struggles to accommodate his nutty mummy and new brother, another crisis explodes for artist Angus Lordie, whose beloved dog, Cyril, has been thrown in the pound for biting someone. Cyril is innocent, and Angus, with Bertie's assistance, sets out to rescue Cyril before he's put down. Subplots abound, and Smith details with dependable whimsical flair the romantic progress of Scotland Street familiars Matthew, Pat and Bruce. Series fans know what to expect, and they get it by the truckload.