Having loved Mma Ramotswe, I thought I’d see how I got on with Alexander McCall Smith’s Scottish variation on the lady detective theme. The answer is, Very Well. So if like me you’re looking for some light reading in between Botswana-based books, I’d recommend you get acquainted with Isabel Dalhousie, an erudite Edinburgh lady of independent means whose outlook on life is reflects the intellectual and philosophical inheritance of the Scottish setting.
I’d previously been somewhat put off by the The Sunday Philosophy Club title, but the club only features in a supporting role, serving to underline the importance of philosophy in Isabel’s world and to demonstrate that she and her friends and acquaintances have the same foibles and weaknesses as we ordinary mortals; the club hasn’t managed to meet for months.
Indeed, the main plot is more concerned with love and money and Machiavellian motivations as Isabel tries to find the answer to that age old conundrum “Did he fall or was he pushed?” – after witnessing a young man’s fall to his death during an opera concert at the Usher Hall.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Sunday Philosophy Club – Alexander McCall Smith