Surprise! A novel by Alexander McCall Smith that is not part of an existing series, whether the legendary No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Isabel Dalhousie, or 44 Scotland Street series. Trains and Lovers takes place on a train, between Scotland and London, and brings together four people’s stories of love that went mostly wrong. I doubt that any train companions would talk so long and deep about their lives but novels are all about suspending disbelief, right, and the stories are engaging and tender, coming together in a pleasing whole rather than simply being four juxtaposed short stories. Another bonus is the story from Australia (Perth), a location that has figured in other Mc Call Smith’s books and is nicely highlighted here. Nicely done and charming, although no more than that.