Video: Alexander McCall Smith on 44 Scotland Street

For more than a decade, he has enthralled readers of The Scotsman with the adventures of Edinburgh's New Town residents.

Alexander McCall Smith said he "couldn't bear to kill off any of the characters," in his popular 44 Scotland Street series. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Now, Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series is to return to the newspaper with a brand new edition in print from Friday.

The author vowed to bring back the popular series, which has run weekly for three to six months in The Scotsman since 2004, after revealing he “couldn’t bear to kill off any of the characters.”

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The latest edition, entitled “An invitation from Bruce” arrives in The Scotsman on Friday, with the usual cast of characters including student Pat McGregor, her narcissistic flatmate Bruce and child prodigy Bertie, returning alongside several new additions.

Alexander McCall Smith said he "couldn't bear to kill off any of the characters," in his popular 44 Scotland Street series. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

In an exclusive interview with The Scotsman, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency author took readers on a tour of the series’ setting.

“I started writing about Scotland Street over a dozen years ago because I wanted somewhere that showed life in Edinburgh,” he said.

“Scotland Street has got a lot of character that the New Town has always had and a mixture of people as well as wonderful views of the city.”

The first 44 Scotland Street novel was named one of the nation’s top 10 books of the last 50 years in 2013, alongside Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, William McIlvanney’s Docherty and Morvern Callar by Alan Warner.

Alexander McCall Smith said he "couldn't bear to kill off any of the characters," in his popular 44 Scotland Street series. Picture: Phil Wilkinson