Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars edinburgh is the star, 4 Jan 2009
This review is from: The Sunday Philosophy Club (Hardcover)
I was "warned off" this series by a friend who said it was dire compared to the Scotland Street books - decided to give it a try, and really enjoyed the first novel.

I don't think it matters whether Isabel is true to life - I personally don't know any single women philosophers with daily housekeepers! - novels are supposed to be at least partly an escapre from our daily round, and I love the fact that Isabel's affluence leaves her free to wander about thinking her thoughts and moving through Edinburgh society.

The book is not as laugh out loud amusing as 44 Scotland Street and its successors, but it still kept me turning the pages - I was honestly not too bothered about the whodunit aspect, what I enjoyed was the evocation of Edinburgh life coupled with the consideration of moral questions. There are very few writers who raise these issues, especially in "light" novels, and I felt that Mr McCall Smith managed to introduce them in a very entertaining and unfusty way.

The character I found least convincing was Cat - but maybe that's just because I don't think i would like her very much if she existed. I loved Jamie - and I have to admit that I am a middle-aged woman! I don't think he is wet, and I don't think it's unbelievable that he would wish to socialise with an older woman, with our without any sexual undertones.

I don't find Mr McCall Smith's dialogue very "realistic" in either this or the Scotland Street books - but that's part of the attraction for me, I think he writes beautifully and I only wish people would talk as he writes; I don't want to read writing reflecting the appalling way that most of us speak!

I've just started Friends, Lovers Chocolate, and so far it's even better.

I think you either love this writer or you don't. I do.
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