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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 thirty-seven languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.
This fourth Isabel Dalhousie novel may be Smith's best so far. Like his popular "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" stories, the Dalhousie tales explore complex relationships among engaging characters along with intriguing mysteries involving subtle moral issues. Here, Isabel faces several new challenges. A single mother with a much younger boyfriend, she is adjusting to parenthood while dealing with an overstepping housekeeper, a resentful adult niece, and an unethical attempt to wrest from her the editorship of Review of Applied Ethics. Meanwhile, her interest in a suspicious painting credited to a deceased artist takes her to a remote Scottish island and a surprising discovery that raises unexpected ethical questions. All issues are resolved with the gentle grace that typifies Smith's fiction. Davina Porter brings just the right amount of emotional involvement to her narration. Strongly recommended for general collections.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
** 'The No. 2 Lady Detective ... anyone who loves Precious cannot fail to be charmed' MAIL ON SUNDAY ** 'Isabel Dalhousie's charm is undeniable' THE SUNDAY TIMES ** 'McCall Smith has the gift of evoking an entire social atmosphere in very few and simple words' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH ** ' McCall Smith's greatest gift as a writer - and God knows this is just one of many - is that he can write likeable characters' NEW STATESMAN
Best known for the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, bestseller Smith shows he's just as adept at exploring mysteries of the heart in his fourth book to feature Edinburgh philosopher-sleuth Isabel Dalhousie (after The Right Attitude to Rain). Isabel has recently become a mother, but she has an ambiguous relationship with her son's father, Jamie, whose attempts to formalize their connection have been unsuccessful. Their ties are further strained by Jamie's ex-girlfriend, Cat, who not only still harbors strong feelings for him but is Isabel's niece. Isabel must also deal with petty academic politics aimed at depriving her of her position as editor of the Review of Applied Ethics. Smith throws in a mystery subplot-did an obscure but talented Scottish painter drown, commit suicide or fall victim to foul play?-but the resolution of that plot thread is more noteworthy for its insights into Isabel's humanistic and optimistic philosophy than for any surprise twists. Once again, Smith displays his skill at illustrating subtle nuances of human nature. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.