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Publisher's Summary

From a small town outside Edinburgh comes the news that a young boy has been recounting vivid recollections of a past life: a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland which he couldn't possibly know and a house there where he claims to have spent his former life.

When the boy's mother asks Isabel to investigate his claims, she feels she must - of course! - help them learn the truth, and she and her husband, Jamie, set off for the island.

But finding the house the boy described only leads to more complicated questions. And when she learns about the unusual story of the family who lived there, Isabel is suddenly faced with a situation of extraordinary delicacy that will require all of her skills as both sleuth and philosopher.

©2015 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Every bit as charming as his No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency." ( Globe and Mail)
"Alexander McCall Smith novels never fail to delight." ( The Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • B. Maver
  • 09-21-17

Interesting story.

Alexander McCall Smith is a much loved author.
This story keeps you guessing.
Clever plot. Isobel Dalhousie is a developing character





5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julie White
  • 06-02-15

Poor quaility recording!

What did you like best about The Novel Habits of Happiness: Isabel Dalhousie, Book 10? What did you like least?

I liked the scottish theme and family life of Isabel but as I have the volume up loud because I am deaf the recording was poor and crackly!

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Colin McIntosh
  • 05-28-17

An now we have english accent narrator for Edinburgh

I know they change narrators but the last 3of these have really thrown me and now the narrator is so terribly English it's completely different to all the others and you lose the continuity of voices and personalities of the characters. I adore this series but I do wish they'd keep similar narration as one gets used to the nuances of the characters

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Raphael
  • 09-18-18

Pretty poor read

Very weak story throughout. However the ending was very weak and disappointing. Time is a valuable commodity and i resent wasting it !!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • mrs
  • 09-17-18

Disappointed

Reading the introduction the book seemed to have a good story line. Took ages to get going and really only a 3/4 of the book taken up with the story of the boy who thought he had lived a former life and was very disappointed in the flat ending.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey Jevons
  • 09-13-18

Hopeful from the description

the narrator would be great at children's books & the story just didn't deliver. Very disappointing.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • SusanMcC
  • 09-09-18

kept hoping that there was more to it

The narrator struggled to be a bit more butch for male voices but didn't manage to convince which made it more annoying than if she'd just read it straight.
I had thought that there would have been more mystery in the reports of the boy's "other life". I was disappointed. As someone who enoys the Scots authors James Oswald and Stuart MacBride this felt like a weak plot padded by ramblings. sorry, not my cup of tea.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea S.
  • 09-07-18

Dismal

A non-story read by an extremely poor narrator., I persevered to the end, just in case it redeemed itself, but it didn’t. Extremely disappointing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Katie
  • 09-06-18

Excessive meanderings

The protagonist was rather unbelievable - is anyone that perfect - kind, intelligent, perfect marriage, dream job, ideal family exactly on demand? (I wish I was!). I'd liked to hear more about her "interference" and less the meanderings of her mind which ended up feeling like the author was just showing off their superiority. Sorry!