Friday Reads: The Perfect Passion Company by Alexander McCall Smith

This book may be the first in another new series and released in time for Valentine’s Day since it features a matchmaking business.  Katie Donald agrees to leave her job at a London gallery to run the Perfect Passion Company in Edinburgh while the proprietor, Katie’s Aunt Ness, takes an adult gap year in Ontario, Canada. Katie has no formal training in this business and receives only brief but basic instructions.  Ness introduces Katie to William, the handsome Australian knitwear designer who lives in a flat adjacent to the agency office. William, along with the accountant, will be all the support Katie receives as she begins interviewing and introducing hopeful, love-seeking clients who would rather not use dating apps.

Her first client is a retired airline pilot turned farmer, who is looking for someone to cook for him. Her second client has struggled with relationships due to an overbearing mother. A third client is a verbose woman whose list of requirements for a man is lengthy and unattainable. Katie sends the first client to cooking school, the second client receives an introduction to a very strong-willed and assertive woman, and the third client is introduced to a man who wears adjustable hearing aids. Mostly successful and humorous results all around.

What makes Smith such a reliable author for me are his charming characters in delightful settings with clever dialog. This book is set in Edinburgh in the New Town area, the same neighborhood used for the 44 Scotland Street Series. In this book Katie is a level-headed, self-confident woman who is an excellent problem solver. Often, Katie is able to hold back words in a conversation she would like to say, but realizes in the moment, perhaps another comment would be more acceptable. Her interior thoughts are funny and relatable, unfortunately, her own success in love is lacking. William possess common sense, artistic talent, and tact although he has a few blind spots when it comes to his own love life. Smith rounds out the cast with hyperbolic and amusing characters. Having been to Edinburgh, I am familiar with the setting and am always happy to visit again.

Finding nonfiction to read is never difficult, but more recently, fiction has been a challenge.  Alexander McCall Smith will always be a go to author for me.

Smith, Alexander McCall. The Perfect Passion Company. Vintage. 2024

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