One afternoon over coffee at Cat’s delicatessen, a friend of Isabel’s shares a call for help from Duncan Munrowe. Crafty thieves have stolen a prized painting from his collection, a work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin that was earmarked for donation to the Scottish National Gallery. Munrowe has been approached by the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him in recovering the painting. Never one to refuse an appeal, she agrees, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.
Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel copes with life’s issues, large and small. She and Jamie have begun to suspect that their three-year-old son, Charlie, might be a budding mathematical genius. What should be done about it? Then there is the question of whether Isabel should help a young couple who want to move in together - against the wishes of the girl’s parents. The boyfriend is hoping Isabel might intercede. As she wrestles with these problems, Isabel finds herself tested as a parent, a philosopher and a friend.But, as always, she manages to use the right combination of good sense, quick wits and a kind heart to come to the right solution, proving once again why Isabel Dalhousie has become one of Alexander McCall Smith’s most beloved characters.
©2012 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2012 Recorded Books
Oftentimes the first thing I do when I log onto Audible is check if there is a new story by Alexander McCall Smith. If there is, I always immediately download and by the next two days I have listened to the whole story.
I really love this series because of the delightful characters and the main character's concern on how to live an ethical life with the situations that come up in front of her, rather than a theoretical situation. I think the author, Smith, does this intentionally.
Not to worry if you are not "down" for ethics in good stories! But if you do decide to get this book, I would suggest starting with the first of the series and moving forward.
The narration by Davina Porter is just so gorgeous!
As an aside, it is simply amazing how the author can invent a three-dimensional, new character and bring the reader along to "get it" on the spot.
I hope you do listen to this book and enjoy it.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Another great story from Alexander McCall Smith. I enjoy Isabel's self dialogue she goes through more ethical problems in her when she should be listening to someone talk. This story has here again a Cat's delicatessen helping out when Cat is sick and staff has a problem. Jami is busy with his music and Charlie is being taught mathematics by Grace which results in a problem with Isabel. Duncan Munrowe asks Isabel to help him recover his stolen painting by French artist Nicolas Poussin. Isabel can find the most unique ways of solving problems. Davina Porter and her slight Scottish accent is Isabel. She is a delight to listen to. Can not wait for the next book.
The plots of the Isabel Dalhousie novels are subtle: more about human nature and interactions than action or events. That said, this one held together very well and kept me moving forward as interesting things were revealed and just when I (or Isabel) thought I knew something, it was likely to be revealed that maybe we were off base. Nicely done!
Oh, Isabel is always my favorite. I always listen to Porter's performances because her accent gives just the right flavor. To me, she IS Isabel.
I don't listen to this series to get an extreme reaction. I listen because getting inside Isabel's head, where most of the story takes place, reveals things to me about my own interior monologues, both generous and sometimes a tad too quick to intellectualize and draw conclusions.
Eagerly awaiting the next Isabel Dalhousie novel! Each gets better than the last.
These books have the feeling of visiting with an old friend. We get to see the little ups and downs of Isabel's life, she dabbles in a puzzle of some sort, we check in with Grace, Charlie, Jaime and Kat- then we're done until our next visit over a cup of tea. Couldn't be better.
... Though with fewer twists and moral dilemmas than the others in this series. No ethical questions that require more than a brief consideration from Isabel, and she never gets herself into one of her famous pickles. I believe I read somewhere that these books are consolidations of serial installments McCall Smith wrote for "The Scotsman" newspaper. He may have been a little behind deadline on a couple of the episodes, here chapters, and they don't all have the richness and depth we've come to expect.
I love all of McCall Smith's Edinburgh novels. Besides being hugely entertaining they are all narrated by three of the greats in Audible's stable. Simon Prebble does the Corduroy Mansions series, Robert Ian Mackenzie the 44 Scotland Street series, and Davina Porter does Isabel Dalhousie. It's going to be a sad day if Audible ever casts a different narrator for Isabel, she's is pitch perfect.
The other two Edinburgh series are to be highly recommended as well, as they feature dogs, and I like dogs: Angus Lordie's dog Cyril (with the gold tooth) and Freddie de la Hay in Corduroy Mansions. Those series have, I believe, a richer cast of characters as well, ranging from hoodlums (Lard O'Connor) and precocious kids (Bertie).
A good read. At just over eight hours, it's just about perfect for a medium-range road trip.
Not my favorite of McCall Smith's work. The story line dragged and the ending was uncharacteristically inconclusive. Pass on this story and you won't be missing much, sorry to say.
I loved the book however the audio needs to be changed. I was constantly having to adjust the volume or just miss out on what was said. Loud then normal then what sounded like mumbling - voice was too low.
Everything! I love AMS!
I didn't. Read above.
I listen while I drive.
Say something about yourself!
I love the author's clear and concise style. It is always fun to catch up with Isabel's life. I highly recommend the whole series!
I like Alexander McCall Smiths books. They are smart and entertaining and although this one is not the best of them all, it is still a pretty good one.
However, I almost could not make it past the first chapter due to the audio. There are piecing high pitches that make the sound unpleasant. Too bad because the narrator is actually pretty skilled.
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