The first in a new series of books by the author of THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY - marking new territory - but familiar moral ground.
ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH has a double existence. He is a Professor of Medical Law, but also an author who has now written over fifty books on a wide range of subjects. His collection of African stories,CHILDREN OF WAX, received critical acclaim and has been the subject of an award-winning film.
The author of the beloved "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series introduces Isabel Dalhousie, who equals Precious Ramotswe in intelligence and moxie. Isabel edits the Edinburgh-based Review of Applied Ethics and surrounds herself with a thoroughly engaging cast of characters. And like Precious, she has a knack for getting involved in local intrigue: while at the concert hall, she witnesses a young man falling to his death and decides that she has a moral obligation to investigate. Unfortunately, Smith's subplots are more interesting than the main mystery, and Isabel tends to get bogged down in philosophical digressions, but the writing and characters propel the narrative forward. While the plot takes a few unexpected turns, it is ultimately resolved too quickly and easily, all the while preparing the reader for future installments. For general mystery and/or fiction collections. Smith lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. [See Mystery Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/04.] Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ Copyright 2004 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' Sunday Times
Murder and moral obligation mingle in this whimsical new series from the author of the smash hit The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. McCall Smith's new heroine is Scottish-American philosopher Isabel Dalhousie, a single woman of independent means who edits the esteemed Review of Applied Ethics and presides over the titular club. When Isabel witnesses fund manager Mark Fraser fall from a balcony after a performance at an Edinburgh concert hall, she feels obliged to investigate the gentleman's demise. "I was the last person that young man saw," Dalhousie tells her beloved niece, Cat. "The last person. And don't you think that the last person you see on this earth owes you something?" Given her affinity for applied ethics, questions of conscience are a daily concern for Isabel, and the more she thinks about Fraser's fall, the less accidental it seems. Among those who might have pushed him: his shifty roommate, his colleague's scheming spouse and a disgruntled broker with a craving for cash. Fans of Botswanan heroine Precious Ramotswe are sure to embrace Scotsman McCall Smith's plucky new protagonist, who leads a cast of delightfully quirky characters that includes Toby, a dapper bachelor with a dubious understanding of fidelity, and Grace, Dalhousie's morally upright housekeeper, who sizes up society's reprobates in two syllables or less. Scotland's climate may be misty and cool, but McCall Smith's charming prose warms every page of this winning series debut. Agent, Robin Strauss. (Sept. 28) Forecast: Fans will quickly be reassured that McCall Smith's latest possesses all the gentle humor and keen insights into human nature that characterized his Mma Ramotswe novels, and they will buy, buy, buy accordingly. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.