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The Charming Quirks of Others: An Isabel Dalhousie novel (Isabel Dalhousie Novels)

The Charming Quirks of Others: An Isabel Dalhousie novel (Isabel Dalhousie Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Alexander Mccall Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

* The wonderful new Isabel Dalhousie novel

Product Description

Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and curious observer of the behaviour of her fellow man, is approached by a friend at a local boarding school that is planning to appoint a new headmaster; an anonymous letter has arrived suggesting that one of the shortlisted candidates has a compromising past. But which one is it? Isabel is once again drawn into an investigation, and finds herself exploring dilemmas of human weakness and forgiveness. She turns to her fiancé Jamie for advice, but he too appears to have something to hide . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 447 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group; Export ed edition (9 Feb 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049MPGZ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,771 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyable 27 Nov 2011
By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming, but slow 1 Sep 2010
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is the seventh installment in the series about Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher and occasional amateur sleuth and I feel like the series is starting to slowly run out of steam. It's a charming novel but it suffers badly from an absence of momentum. The plot is even slighter than usual. A large portion of the book is about Isabel's relationship with Jamie and they seem to have many philosophical conversations, which are pleasant enough but don't really go anywhere. Otherwise the main storyline is about Isabel being asked to look into the backgrounds of three applicants for a school principal position, one of whom happens to be Cat's new boyfriend. An anonymous letter has been sent to the Board of Governors alleging that one of the candidates has a dark secret.

I can't shake the feeling that Isabel and Jamie just aren't right for each other - despite the fact that their wedding is apparently imminent. Before Jamie, Isabel was a strong woman, but now she spends so much time worrying about whether she's worthy of him. At one point she hears that he has been seen at a movie, which she didn't know he'd gone to. She immediately leaps to the assumption that he is having an affair and tells him she hates him. This didn't feel like the Isabel I know and love. One of her friends says to her: "Occasionally we've asked ourselves if the real threat to your relationship with Jamie might be your finding out that apart from the physical attraction, Jamie did not bring enough to the relationship to keep you interested". Isabel gets all huffy and indignant at this, but I tended to agree.

McCall Smith's Edinburgh is a small town where everyone is connected and even taxi drivers are philosophers. People have no major failings, just "charming quirks".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The charm runs out of steam 21 Nov 2010
I got this out from the library and really hoped to enjoy reading it over the weekend. However, I found that I had to force myself to read on. The plot is simply too thin, and I do get irritated with Isabel for having so much money that she can afford to buy a Raeburn painting, and, presumably, most anything else she wants. Call it envy!
I agree with a previous reviewer, that the instances of intimacy between Isabel and Jamie appear contrived, as they are usually formal with each other. I hope they will stay together, but let's get the wedding over and done with, instead of spinning it out! Another discordant note is that Isabel thinks that, if it were her choice alone, she would like to go "trekking in the Himalaya" for her honeymoon. Nothing so far in the series has remotely suggested that Isabel is the kind of person that favours such adventurous activity! Unless it's with the Philosophy Society... Give me Scotland Street or Corduroy Mansions any day;the alternating smugness and anxiety of Isabel is driving me away, away, far beyond the Pentlands...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Charming Quirks of Others 13 Oct 2010
I am a big fan of the books written by Mr McCall Smith, I usually keep a Saturday free so I can read each new book in a single day! The Charming Quirks of Others I had to read over a week because the plot wasn't as engaging as the previous books. There are so many questions left unanswered in the book. For example, the reader has no idea what happens to Gordon and Cat or why Eddie doesn't like Gordon. I was also disappointed with the ending because it was so obvious, I was surprised it took Isabel so long to work out who sent the anonymous letter! However, I like the fact that in this book, we get to see Isabel as a 'regular' person - she is insecure about her relationship with Jamie. Questions I asked myself: Is Isabel agist? Is she going to walk away from Jamie? Unlike my favourite lady detective (Mme Ramotswe), I find it hard to warm to Isabel because she is so 'fuddy duddy' and worries too much! Her life is too perfect! I also feel she doesn't treat Jamie as an equal and they never seem to do fun things together like shopping for grocery!! The 'co-bathing' incident in the book felt odd as they are usually so formal with each other in the book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent again.
The author writes from the female aspect so convincingly. His perception of the smallest daily occurrences make fascinating reading. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Cundy
3.0 out of 5 stars Different!!
I read a lot but this book which had been recommended to me was difficult, felt like I had swallowed a dictionary, I have put it back on the shelf.
Published 2 months ago by S. J. Tracey
5.0 out of 5 stars The series continues to delight
This book continues in the same vein as the rest of the series. I get lost in the gentle, thoughtful story line. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Linda Mapp
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Quirks indeed
Another gripping and funny episode in the lives of Dear Isabele, Jamie, Cat, Eddie and assorted regulars, not forgetting Bro Fox. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pyogenes Gruffer
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming book!
I seem to have got hooked on Alexander McCall Smith's books. He really brings his characters to life and Isabel Dalhousie is no exception, you feel you know her as a friend. Read more
Published 6 months ago by linnykat
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable series.
Another pleasant read - very relaxing. Further doings of the Edinburgh philosopher & her world - always an interesting turn of events.
Published 12 months ago by by bjjones
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
wife loves this author and all his books and has yet to tell me of a duff read or boring story
Published 12 months ago by Mr. M. R. Rix
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and beautifully written read.
McCall Smith rarely disappoints and this novel entertains, instructs and digresses in equal quantities. Read more
Published 12 months ago by P. A. Law
5.0 out of 5 stars Why have I waited so long...?
A little secret, I love Isabel Dalhousie, but I read a couple of poor reviews about this book and decided that I couldn't bear to watch her go to seed so I didn't buy it for ages. Read more
Published 12 months ago by abrownreader
2.0 out of 5 stars Publisher must have held a gun to McCall Smith's head!
After reading a 700 page book on Anti-Semitism, I needed to relax and read a book where I did not have to use my brain cells. So I read this book! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Luthien Arnatuile
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Popular Highlights

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She could not bring herself to describe it as enquiries: that sounded far too arch, and investigations sounded downright hyperbolic. Isabel did not investigate things; she considered them. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
Blood links, she thought; that was what it was about. However tenuous such links were, people regarded them as standing between themselves and the void of human impermanence. For ultimately we were all insignificant tenants of this earth, temporary bearers of a genetic message that could so easily disappear. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
Our parents may disappoint us in so many ways: they could have done more, they made us neurotic, they should have insisted we learn the piano and now it is too late; they were too strict, in big things or small; they were too poor, too ignorant, too rich and possessive. There are so many grudges we can hold against the past and for the love and approval that we did not get from it. But if we forgive, then the past can lose its power to hurt. &quote;
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