The Sunday Philosophy Club
By Alexander McCall Smith
Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9780375422980, 247pp.
Publication Date: September 28, 2004
List Price: $19.95*
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ISABEL DALHOUSIE - Book 1
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.
With The Sunday Philosophy Club, Alexander McCall Smith, the author of the best-selling and beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels, begins a wonderful new series starring the irrepressibly curious Isabel Dalhousie.
Isabel is fond of problems, and sometimes she becomes interested in problems that are, quite frankly, none of her business. This may be the case when Isabel sees a young man plunge to his death from the upper circle of a concert hall in Edinburgh. Despite the advice of her housekeeper, Grace, who has been raised in the values of traditional Edinburgh, and her niece, Cat, who, if you ask Isabel, is dating the wrong man, Isabel is determined to find the truth–if indeed there is one–behind the man’s death. The resulting moral labyrinth might have stymied even Kant. And then there is the unsatisfactory turn of events in Cat’s love life that must be attended to.
Filled with thorny characters and a Scottish atmosphere as thick as a highland mist, The Sunday Philosophy Club is irresistible, and Isabel Dalhousie is the most delightful literary sleuth since Precious Ramotswe.
“[McCall Smith writes] the best, most charming, honest, hilarious, and life-affirming books to appear in years.”
–The Plain Dealer
“Utterly enchanting . . . It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith ‘mystery’ novel without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart.”
“[McCall Smith’s] accomplished novels . . . [are] dependent on small gestures redolent with meaning and main
characters blessed with pleasing personalities . . . Not so much conventional mysteries, [his] novels are gentle probes into the mysteries of human nature.”