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Careful Use of Complimentsby Alexander Mccall Smith
Synopses & Reviews
Full-time philosopher and occasional sleuth Isabel Dalhousie, now the mother of a baby boy, is getting used to the new rhythms of her life, caring for little Charlie with the sometimes unsettling aid of her forthright housekeeper, Grace, having dinners with Charlies father, Jamie, and tending as usual to submissions to the Review of Applied Ethics. But Isabel is deeply unsettled when she receives a letter telling her that she is soon to be replaced as editor of the Review by Christopher Dove, an ambitious academic at a London university, and she considers a variety of ways of dealing with this unwelcome news. And her niece, Cat, who a couple of years before had rejected Jamie and broken his heart, is now furious at Isabel for having stolen him away.
Isabels insatiable curiosityor what Jamie sees as her tendency toward meddlingis peaked when she learns some odd details regarding two paintings by a Scottish artist that have come onto the auction market, and she begins to think that the paintings might be forgeries. Her investigation takes her to the beautiful Isle of Jura, where she finds some recent traces of the painter and learns of his apparent suicide in the fabled whirlpool called the Corryvreckan. A visit to the painters widow brings a surprising realization, one that contributes to her musings throughout the story on mothers, fathers, and sons.
Isabel Dalhousie is back–and with a new little Dalhousie–in the fourth installment of this enchanting, already beloved, bestselling series.
In addition to being the snoopingest and most sympathetic philosopher you are likely to meet, Isabel Dalhousie is now also a mother. Her newborn son presents her with the myriad mysteries of a new life (and doting father Jamie presents her with the idea of another new life–as his wife), but that doesn’t in any way diminish her curiosity about other mysteries. And when she attends an art auction, Isabel finds an irresistible puzzle at hand: a painting attributed to a now-deceased artist features a person whom the artist could have encountered only after he was said to have died. Is the painting a forgery? Is the artist actually alive? Either possibility is sufficient fodder for Isabel’s inquisitiveness. So she begins an investigation . . . and soon finds herself diverging from her customary philosophical paths, onto a path that leads her into a world and a way of life that she could never have imagined.
Introducing the new series from the international bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books — the Sunday Philosophy Club series is set in Edinburgh, Scotland, and stars Isabel Dalhousie, editor of The Review of Applied Ethics and part-time detective.
Isabel enjoys wading through the mysteries of life, everything from the morning's crossword to higher philosophical dilemmas, often with the advice of her ethically upright housekeeper, Grace. In this first novel of the series, Isabel witnesses a young man plunge to his death from the upper balcony of the Edinburgh Concert Hall. When Isabel discovers that the young victim had uncovered illicit activities at the brokerage house where he worked, the hunt for answers, and the killer, is on.
This new series is a delightful look at a reasonable and logical woman who keeps getting involved in mysteries despite all reason and logic.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and of The Sunday Philosophy Club series. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana and at Edinburgh University. He lives in Scotland.
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