16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Like meeting old friends,
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This review is from: The Forgotten Affairs Of Youth (Isabel Dalhousie Novels) (Hardcover)
I've read and enjoyed all the books in this series and looked forward to reading this latest one. If you've been following the the Sunday Philosophy Club books it's probably worth reading, but I wouldn't recommend it to someone who new to the series as the substance of the "detective" element is very slight: most of the pleasure coming from knowing the back-stories of the characters from past books and meeting them again. In previous books I was impressed how deftly the author incorporated philosophical discussions into the narrative such that it seemed natural and unforced, whereas in this book I felt the philosophical analysis of moral issues was the driver of the story. The latter involving a visiting Australian philosopher, Jane, who was adopted at birth by a Scottish couple who emigrated to the antipodes. Jane desires to find out about her birth parents and involves Isabel Dalhousie in her quest. Much of the book diverges from the quest and meanders along with visits to concerts, coffee shops and the day-to day life of Isabel, her partner Jamie and their son Charlie. All pleasant enough and rather like hearing about what old friends have been doing since you last saw them. I probably enjoy these books more because I know Edinburgh well. I lived and worked in the area where Isabel "lives" and when she visits University departments in George Square it brings back memories of when I studied there. My second favorite series is the Scotland Street books, again set in Edinburgh, but find the very similar series, Corduroy Mansions, set in London less enjoyable as the locations mean nothing to me.
I wonder if the author is writing too many series simultaneously and is losing steam by this eighth book in the series.
I think the cover illustration is the best in the series: it's splendid.