Forget espresso, you’ll need a case of Red Bull to get through the logy vignettes — originally serialized in The Scotsman — constituting Espresso Tales, the second volume of Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series. What mild adventures await his genial Edinburgh residents? Five-year-old Bertie tries to jettison the pink pants his crackpot mother insists he wear; Pat dates a nudist; Domenica defends her right to judge others. ”If people weren’t judgmental, how could we possibly have a moral viewpoint in society?” Good question, and these folks are liveliest when palavering about everyday ethics. But stray scraps of smart conversation aren’t enough to perk up this snoozer.