The Novel Habits of Happiness (Isabel Dalhousie Series) (Hardcover)
Pantheon, 9780307907356, 272pp.
Publication Date: July 21, 2015
The insatiably curious Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie returns, taking on a case unlike any she’s had before—this one with paranormal implications—in the eagerly anticipated new installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s beloved and best-selling series.
Through a mutual acquaintance, Isabel is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy’s mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel naturally feels inclined to help, and so she, her husband, Jamie, and their son, Charlie, set off for the island. To their great surprise, they actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel’s desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. It’s an extraordinarily delicate situation that will require all of her skills, as both sleuth and philosopher, to solve.
Back home, as she begins to prepare the next issue of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel confronts a threat to her professional well-being in the form of two visiting academics—Lettuce and Dove—who she fears will be a destabilizing influence on her cozy perch in enlightened Edinburgh.
But no matter the trials she faces, Isabel is blissfully content in her personal life, which is centered on her young son and devoted husband. Readers will be filled with happiness as they once again spend time with their beloved heroine and the people she holds dear.
About the Author
ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is the author of the 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 professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.
Praise For The Novel Habits of Happiness (Isabel Dalhousie Series)…
“A stimulating thinking-person’s read, seeming light on the surface but actually going deep. . . . This is a love story. Not the conventional kind, a boy-meets-girl romance; rather, it’s a novel about love—love of life, love of home and homeland, love of partner and family, love of fellow humans.” —New York Journal of Books
“Isabel Dalhousie philosophizes the way some people drink. There is nothing that she won’t contemplate, analyze or nitpick, from meerkats in the zoo to the difference between a good submarine (the crew doesn’t swear or drink) and a bad submarine which of course must be nuclear.” —The Washington Times
“No writer makes the philosophical life as inviting and cozy as McCall Smith does in his episodic novels featuring Isabel Dalhousie. . . . The real substance of this charming series lies in Isabel’s thoughtful observations dn the interactions among a large cast of characters.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Praise for the Isabel Dalhousie series
“Isabel Dalhousie is a force to be reckoned with.” —USA Today
“The literary equivalent of herbal tea and a cozy fire . . . Invites readers into a world of kindness, gentility and creature comforts . . . McCall Smith’s Scotland is well worth future visits.” —The New York Times
“Isabel Dalhousie is such good company, it’s hard to believe she’s fictional. You finish [each] installment greedily looking forward to more.” —Newsweek
“A world where humor is gentle, suffering is acknowledged but not foregrounded and efforts to do good are usually rewarded. It’s a wonderful place to visit, even if we don’t get to live there.” —The Washington Post