The latest Isabel Dalhousie novel finds our favorite moral philosopher is caught up in a delicate dispute between members of a prominent family as her husband, Jamie, is dragged into his own internecine rivalry.
When Isabel is invited to serve on the advisory committee of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, her husband, Jamie, expresses concern about the demands on her time. Never one to duck an obligation, however, Isabel says she’d be happy to join. There she meets a woman named Laura, whose husband—a prominent wine merchant from an illustrious family—and son are at odds. Laura asks whether Isabel might arbitrate between them. Isabel is reluctant to intervene in a familial drama but, always one for practical and courteous solutions to theoretical problems, she feels obligated to help. Will the demands on her moral attention never cease?
Meanwhile, having criticized Isabel for getting involved in the affairs of others, Jamie does precisely that himself. He’s helping to select a new cellist for his ensemble but suspects that the conductor’s attention may be focused on something other than his favored candidate’s cello skills. Jamie feels it’s important that the most qualified applicant gets the job—but how to determine whether the conductor has the right qualifications in mind?
With so many complicated and fraught issues demanding their attention, Isabel and Jamie will have to tap deep into their reserves of tact and goodwill as they navigate the tricky and turbulent waters of these emotional matters.
ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is the author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels and of a number of other series and stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have been best sellers throughout the world. He lives in Scotland.
"McCall Smith delves into the inner machinations of a modern-day philosopher whose nuanced approach stands in stark contrast to the fiery rhetoric of the day. While touching on a variety of topics, the tone is never preachy or pedantic but instead is an open examination of how to lead a moral life. Hand this title to those looking for a more contemplative approach to their mysteries." --Library Journal
Praise for The Isabel Dalhousie Series:
"[The series] offers tantalizing glimpses of Edinburgh's complex character and a nice, long look into the beautiful mind of a thinking woman." --The New York Times Book Review
"Isabel Dalhousie is such good company, it's hard to believe she's fictional. You finish [each] installment greedily looking forward to more." --Newsweek
"Like-minded readers will fasten onto [Isabel's] latest plot-seasoned ruminations as manna from heaven." --Kirkus Reviews