Unusual Uses for Olive Oil is the fourth novel in the 2½ Pillars of Wisdom series by Alexander McCall Smith. Once again we enter the rarefied atmosphere of the Institute of Romance Philology to see what the author of Portuguese Irregular Verbs, the always pedantic and often socially inept Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld is getting up to. Although he is not dissatisfied with his life, his crosses to bear are many: Herr Huber, the boring but loquacious Institute librarian; the condescension of his colleagues regards his unmarried state; the undeserved rise of his rival, Unterholzer; rowdy audiences; loud phone conversations on trains. The Professor finds himself dealing with a possible case of nepotism, anticipating marriage, climbing a mountain, engaged as a motivational speaker and repairing a prosthetic wheel. McCall Smith employs the Professor to muse on many subjects: accepting responsibility for one's actions; keeping confidences; gossip columnists; casual dress; birds used in heraldry; defenestration; the appellation of the wives of academics and writing in code. McCall Smith gives us an entertaining tongue-in-cheek look at the world and demonstrates that wearing moth-eaten clothing can have surprising results. Moritz-Maria's faux pas and naiveté make for many laugh-out-loud moments. A delightful read.