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Other titles in the Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries series:
The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel (9)
Synopses & Reviews
ISABEL DALHOUSIE - Book 9
Nothing captures the charm of Edinburgh like the bestselling Isabel Dalhousie series of novels featuring the insatiably curious philosopher and woman detective. Whether investigating a case or a problem of philosophy, the indefatigable Isabel Dalhousie, one of fiction’s most richly developed amateur detectives, is always ready to pursue the answers to all of life’s questions, large and small.
In this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s endearing Isabel Dalhousie series, the Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth answers an unexpected appeal from a wealthy Scottish collector who has been robbed of a valuable painting.
One afternoon over coffee at Cat’s delicatessen, a friend of Isabel’s shares a call for help from Duncan Munrowe. Crafty thieves have stolen a prized painting from his collection, a work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin that was earmarked for donation to the Scottish National Gallery. Munrowe has been approached by the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him in recovering the painting. Never one to refuse an appeal, she agrees, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.
Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel copes with life’s issues, large and small. She and Jamie have begun to suspect that their three-year-old son, Charlie, might be a budding mathematical genius. What should be done about it? Then there is the question of whether Isabel should help a young couple who want to move in together—against the wishes of the girl’s parents. The boyfriend is hoping Isabel might intercede.
As she wrestles with these problems, Isabel finds herself tested as a parent, a philosopher and a friend. But, as always, she manages to use the right combination of good sense, quick wits and a kind heart to come to the right solution, proving once again why Isabel Dalhousie has become one of Alexander McCall Smith’s most beloved characters.
"In Smith's delightful ninth novel featuring Isabel Dalhousie (after 2011's The Forgotten Affairs of Youth), Isabel, 'somebody who sorts out people's difficulties' when she's not editing the Review of Applied Ethics, assists a wealthy Scottish gentleman, Duncan Munrowe, with a tricky situation. One of Munrowe's favorite paintings, a Poussin, has been stolen, and he wants her help in dealing with the thieves (there's talk of a ransom). A minor subplot involves the endearing Eddie, who works in her niece Cat's deli, and his romantic woes. The almost too-good-to-be-true Isabel does her usual thing — talking, listening, and puzzling through the ethical implications of things — to bring about a fitting, and just, resolution. With his usual deft hand, Smith conjures characters with a few lines — housekeeper Grace with her short fuse is particularly alive — and he has a knack for combining light comedy and serious thought. The plot (not untypically for the series or the author) is as gossamer thin as even the thinnest clouds, though it's a pleasure to watch it scudding past. Agent: Robin Straus.Â (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The newest addition—the ninth!—to Alexander McCall Smith's ever-delightful Isabel Dalhousie series.
Isabel is asked to help a wealthy Scottish landowner who has been robbed of a valuable painting. This painting, by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin, had been earmarked for ultimate donation to the Scottish National Gallery. The owner is uncomfortable about an approach he has received from the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him. She agrees—in spite of the misgivings of her husband, Jamie. There is also the question of the thieves' identities. Could they be people who are rather close to the owner? It begins to look as if this may be so . . . Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel leads her day-to-day life, coping with issues small and large. One small issue is whether her three-year-old son, Charlie, is a budding mathematical genius—and what should be done about it. And then there is the question of whether she should help a young man employed in her niece's delicatessen to live with his girlfriend against the wishes of the girlfriend's parents. The answers to both of these questions test Isabel's qualities as a parent, a philosopher, and a friend.
About the Author
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the beloved bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series, and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is also the author of numerous children’s books. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland. Visit his website at www.alexandermccallsmith.com.
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