The Charming Quirks of Others : An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, Paperback

The Charming Quirks of Others : An Isabel Dalhousie Novel Paperback

Part of the Isabel Dalhousie Novels series

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


As well as its advantages, there are drawbacks to the enlightened village that is twenty-first-century Edinburgh, where every Saturday night ears burn at dinner parties across the city, and anyone requiring the investigative abilities of a philosophical soul knows where to find her. Jillian McKinlay -- wife of a trustee of an illustrious school -- is the latest petitioner; she asks Isabel to look into a poison-pen letter that makes insinuations about applicants for the position of principal.

Isabel's niece Cat has another new boyfriend who seems too good to be true. And when a pretty cellist with a tragic story takes a fancy to her husband-to-be, Isabel finds herself contemplating an act of heroic and alarming self-sacrifice.




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Review by

The Charming Quirks of Others is the 7th in the Isabel Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith. Isabel has quite a bit on her plate: getting another edition of the Review of Applied Ethics published; looking into a poison-pen letter making accusations about applicants for the principal’s position of an illustrious boys’ school; dealing with a pretty cellist who has taken a fancy to Jamie; deciding whether to publish an unsolicited review by Professor Lettuce of Professor Dove’s latest book; and, not the least, organising her own wedding. As always, Isabel manages to jump to unfounded conclusions whilst being her unpredictable, clever, kind and occasionally exasperating self. On the way, she touches on book reviewers, verb tenses, forgiveness of oneself, politics, punishment, hatred, skateboarders, gossip magazines and ancestors, and gives us an excellent definition of vulgar curiosity. Isabel manages to show some insight into her tendency to misunderstand situations, and towards the end of this novel, has a Mma Ramotswe moment when she reflects on her love for her country. McCall Smith has an uncanny ability to write from a woman’s perspective, and many of the conversations his characters have are filled with wisdom and humour. Another thoroughly enjoyable instalment in the Isabel Dalhousie story.

Review by

Another good time spent with my friends Isabele, Jamie and Charlie in Edinburgh. As usual Isabele gets involved unraveling a mystery.

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