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The Charming Quirks Of Others: 7 (Isabel Dalhousie Novels) Paperback – 4 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (4 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349123128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349123127
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful 'No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award.

In addition to these series, Alexander writes stand-alone books. 2014 sees publication of three new novels which fall into this area: 'The Forever Girl'; 'Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party'; and 'Emma' - a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. This year there will also be a stunning book on Edinburgh, 'A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith's Edinburgh'. Earlier stand alone novels include 'La's Orchestra Saves the World' and 'Trains and Lovers: A Hearts Journey'.

Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March of 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country.
Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Product Description

Book Description

* The wonderful new Isabel Dalhousie novel -- out now in paperback

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-five languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H. Petre on 21 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Y. Cheri on 13 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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