In the ninth addition to Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series Isabel, occasional sleuth, and owner and editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, is asked by a wealthy Scottish landowner to aid in the recovery of a stolen Nicolas Poussin painting. While rendering assistance, Isabel uncovers sibling conflict within the victim's family. Suspicions are cast. Further, Isabel considers such matters as whether or not to let one's child develop independently of additional tutelage, given his precocious mathematical proclivity. She encourages her husband Jamie's bassoon playing and lends a compassionate ear to her niece Cat's sorrowful employee. Filled with delightful characters, bits of philosophy, art, music, the poetry of W.A. Auden, and imbued with a rich sense of place, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds might best be enjoyed with a strong cup of tea and a biscuit or two. — Amy Palmer
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.
Isabel Dalhousie, the Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth, answers an unexpected appeal from wealthy art collector Duncan Munrowe. A work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin has been stolen from Munrowe’s private collection. Never one to refuse a request for help, Isabel agrees to help recover the painting, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.
Meanwhile, Isabel and her husband Jamie suspect that their three-year-old may be a budding mathematical genius. 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. As she wrestles with these problems, Isabel finds herself tested as a parent, a philosopher, and a friend. But, as ever, her good sense, quick wits, and kind heart will help her come to the right solution.
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.
“Isabel is a force to be reckoned with.” —USA Today
“Delightful. . . . McCall Smith’s talent for dialogue is matched only by his gift for characterization.” —Chicago Tribune
"The literary equivalent of herbal tea and a cozy fire. . . . Invites readers into a world of kindness, gentility and creature comforts.” —The New York Times
“Endearing. . . Offers tantalizing glimpses of Edinburgh’s complex character and a nice, long look into the beautiful mind of a thinking woman.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Readers get to soak up the cozy atmosphere of this Scottish university town and McCall Smith’s gentle good will.” —The Boston Globe
“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
“McCall Smith’s contemporary cozies have proved that crimes need not be punishable by death to provide a satisfying read . . . A genteel, wisdom-filled entertainment.” —Los Angeles Times