Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Sunday Philosophy Club

McCall Smith, A. (2004). The Sunday Philosophy Club. NY: Anchor Books.
YA Lit / Adult Lit for YA / Mystery

The first Isabel Dalhousie novel.

I bought this book because I am a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith's #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, (just got the latest for Christmas but got this one LAST Christmas so I thought I'd better knock it out first.) and I wanted to see if he possibly could delight me as much with another set of characters in another country doing other things.

So, I think this is meant to be adult literature, but I think young adults might enjoy it as well. Though it takes place in modern times, the Scottish setting (click here to see a photographic tour of Isabel Dalhousie's Edinburgh) and Ms. Dalhousie's character harken back to a time when things were more proper and manners were more important.  She's the same age as me, and I often felt like she had to be a little old lady, but then she'd say or do or think something that was a reminder she was not so old. . . or prim and proper.

The violence is not graphic, there are just allusions to sex/sexuality, and the mystery element is really just an undercurrent to the bigger story, which is one of life and love, commitment and morality, and of course, ethics, given the profession of the main character.

I did find myself getting impatient at all of Isabel's internal philosophical dialogue, but I was definitely drawn to the intelligent language (being a grammar geek) and much like The #1 Ladies' series, the book felt comfortable and cozy.  Overall, I think I liked it well enough to pick-up the second in the series and see if I keep coming back for more.

Visit Alexander McCall Smith's website and watch him discuss the Dalhousie books and more.

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