Book: The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Harriet Bean has always thought it was just herself and her absent-minded dad. But one day he happens to say, “Your aunts would like to hear about that!”
Uh . . . what aunts?
Undeterred by years of lost time, Harriet Bean is off, tracking her brand-new aunts down across the country. And what marvelous aunts they are . . . a circus strongwoman, a ventriloquist opera singer, two mind-reading private detectives, and the bossiest teacher ever.
There’s an off-kilter feel about this book (like the names of the aunts: Veronica, Majolica, Harmonica, Thessalonika, and Japonica) that reminds me of Roald Dahl at his poker-faced dottiest. It’s also a very fast-moving story, great for reluctant readers, fans of Roald Dahl, and reading aloud.
Alexander McCall Smith is best known in this country for his Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books. I’ve never read those, but if they’re anything like as sly and charming as The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean, I’m putting myself on the list now.