The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith
An Isabel Dalhousie Novel (9)

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The as gossamer thin as even the thinnest clouds, though it's a pleasure to watch it scudding past.
-Publishers Weekly



Nothing captures the charm of Edinburgh like the bestselling Isabel Dalhousie series of novels featuring the insatiably curious philosopher and woman detective.  Whether investigating a case or a problem of philosophy, the indefatigable Isabel Dalhousie, one of fiction’s most richly developed amateur detectives, is always ready to pursue the answers to all of life’s questions, large and small.

In this latest installment of Alexander McCall Smith’s endearing Isabel Dalhousie series, the Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth answers an unexpected appeal from a wealthy Scottish collector who has been robbed of a valuable painting.

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.

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide

About Alexander McCall Smith

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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series, and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics.
Published October 23, 2012 by Anchor. 254 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

on Aug 27 2012

The as gossamer thin as even the thinnest clouds, though it's a pleasure to watch it scudding past.

Read Full Review of The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Reviewed by Roz Shea on Nov 02 2012

The Dalhousie novels often are soulful, wise and sometimes humorous ruminations on everyday today’s angst-filled world, they offer a serene stroll through calmer pastures.

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NY Journal of Books

Reviewed by Sam Millar on Oct 23 2012

There is always something comforting and rather special about a McCall Smith book, and The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds is no exception. It’s the kind of book long plane or train journeys were made for.

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