In London’s Pimlico neighborhood lies a tenement described in architectural guides as “a building of no interest whatsoever". But the residents are a rather fascinating lot....
The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels....
Mma "Precious" Ramotswe sets up a detective agency in Botswana on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, making her the only female detective in the country...
When writer Paul Stewart heads to the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his already late book, it seems like the perfect escape from stressful city life....
At the end of her first unsuccessful season out in society, Lady Georgiana has all but given up on attracting a suitable man - until she receives an invitation to a masked Halloween ball....
Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts. The year is 1908 and they've just moved....
Jack's a retired ex-cop from New York, seeking the simple life in Cherringham. Sarah's a Web designer who's moved back to the village find herself...
Introducing White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras, who is rising-and sleuthing-to the top....
At age 26 Agatha Raisin has already come a long way. She has clawed her way up since leaving the Birmingham slum where she was born....
Maggie Hope graduated at the top of her college class, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street....
Evan Evans is a young police constable who has traded in the violence of city life for idyllic Llanfair, a Welsh village tucked far away from trouble....
Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged 52, is the widow of an archdeacon who makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator. Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister....
Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher by training, and an amateur sleuth by choice. When a young man falls from a balcony to his death, Isabel's curiosity is aroused. She does not believe the fall was an accident, and she is determined to root out the truth. With a little help from some friends (her housekeeper, her niece, and her niece's rather attractive ex-boyfriend), Isabel plunges into the shady business community of Edinburgh to find some answers.
With its distinctive characters and captivating suspense, The Sunday Philosophy Club further cements McCall Smith's status as one of today's most imaginative and enjoyable authors.
"A world of kindness, gentility and creature comforts...the literary equivalent of herbal tea and a cozy fire." (The New York Times)
"Utterly enchanting....It is impossible to come away from an Alexander McCall Smith 'mystery' novel without a smile on the lips and warm fuzzies in the heart." (Chicago Sun-Times)
This is a well-narrated, gentle tale told in very good prose but, if the SETTING of Number One Ladies Detective Agency is important to you as it is to me, you may not enjoy "The Sunday Philosophy Club" as much. The humourous obsevations on human nature are similar, however.
I thought I would like a tale of a Scottish academic/sleuth more since I love British literary "campus comedies," but I did not.
If you are tempted to try this series, though, then the audio format might be more pleasing than print due to the pleasant narration that suited the text very well.
As another reviewer said, this listen left a smile on my face, but for me, I'm not sure it was worth the time and download.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
I have been thoughly enjoying Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies series; when suddenly I ran out of books. Decided to try The first in the Philosophy Club series. Again in the style of what I have seen of this author, far more a drama than a real mystery. More a wee bit of puzzlement than an edge of your seat who done it. However that said, I have found all Smiths' titles so far to have fabulous character development and a comfortably easy listening flow that keeps me wanting more. I very much enjoyed the narrator of this title - and if readers choose this audio for no other reason than that; I highly recomend this audio version over the hard copy!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
It was a delightful book and beautifully narrated. Isabel Dalhousie is a charming character and great observer of her environment; a younger Ms. Marple (Agatha Christie). As the editor of Applied Ethics, her character is always striving for the bigger questions than what appear to be at hand. The plot was carried down many avenues that all came together at the end.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I have recently finished the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series and I was looking forward to starting this series. Isabel Dalhausie is as charming and engaging a character as Mma. Ramotswe in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency books. This narrator has done such a good job creating specific and distinct characters with her voice. I love her accent and she adds so much to the story.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I read The Number One Ladies Detective Agency and I was hooked. I read the next and the next and the next. When I was browsing in a bookstore and came upon the last, The Full Cupboard of Life on audio CD, I bought it immediately. It was even released before the print version, which astonished the bookseller. It was a total treat. A fine end to the series. The narrator cemented all that came before. Her voice, her pronunciation, her narration was music. When I think back through all those books it's hard to distinguish one from another. They were all pretty much the same. It wasn't the plot of each that mattered. It was Mma Ramotswe, Mr. JLB Matakoni. It was all the characters, the new and the renewed. It was Botswana. It was the feeling of it all that mattered most, and I would read the next one if it is written. I was curious then, when I read that the next one was actually going to be a whole new, totally different series. The Sunday Philosophy Club. It's not Botswana. It's not the same feeling transposed in a new place. It's. It's. It's boring. Totally. Totally, totally boring. So what's he to do? If he pays attention to the reviews, he knows of his own success with Botswana. He also knows of his readers' response to this new series. Should he go on anyway? What would you do? Maybe go back to what worked? Or plod on for whatever reason? Such a quandary he must be in.
20 of 24 people found this review helpful
I was disappointed in the mystery, and the attempt to meld it with philosophy didn't work for me. (For one thing, this Sunday Philosophy Club never meets that I can remember.) Every now and again the heroine stops and thinks about some ethical dilemma, but she comes to such quick conclusions that it's hard to think that the dilemmas were all that difficult. It's sort of like watching Dr. Phil-- I spent the whole book thinking, "Big deal... that's just common sense."
On the other hand, the reader has a lovely Scots accent. It was a joy to listen to her narrate, and then use other Scots accents for secondary characters. Even if the mystery itself is pretty lame, you can't go wrong with this reader-- wonderful voice and accent.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Sunday Philosophy Club in three words, what would they be?
Three words?? Forget it. I'm completely hooked on the Isabel Dalhousie series. It really feels like being in love. And Davina Porter is heavenly. My only complaint is that the books are so short (only 8+ hours), I'm ready for the next one in the series long before I receive my next credit. And waiting with no Isabel Dalhousie to listen to is out of the question! So I'm racking up quite a tab. The things we do for love!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was enjoying this book so much, but it's like the author simply got sick of writing it and totally phoned in the last quarter! It has such potential. It could have been a great plot. Isabelle could have been a good character, but...alas, overall, you're left totally...unsatisfied. Not worth it.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I love McCall Smith's Ladies Detective Agency books and that's why I purchased this title. I was very disappointed in the book as a whole. There was not very much story to it and way too many philosophical ramblings. Also, I was not very interested into the forays about crossword puzzle clues. However, the narrator was excellent, the only saving point to the entire experience.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful