Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

For kind, curious, philosophically minded Isabel Dalhousie, editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, getting through life with a clear conscience requires careful thought.  And with the arrival of baby Charlie, not to mention a passionate relationship with this father Jamie, fourteen years her junior, Isabel enters deeper and rougher waters.

Late motherhood, however, is not the only challenge facing Isabel.  Even as she negotiates a truce with her furiously disapproving niece Cat, and struggles for authority over her son with her formidable housekeeper Grace, Isabel finds herself drawn into the story of a painter's mysterious death off the island of Jura.  And, perhaps most seriously of all, as she wrestles with these complications, Isabel's professional existence and that of her beloved Review come under attack from the suspiciously handsome Professor Dove.

The is the third book in this Sunday Philosophy Club Series by Alexander McCall Smith that features new character, Isabel Dalhousie. It is also the second book in this series that I read but in chronological order, it would be book number four.

Even so, it wasn't difficult to catch up with the stories and characters as the author has a delightful way of introducing and presenting them the way you would introduce a friend.  And yes, you can consider Isabel Dalhousie a friend as she would want to be yours.  That's the kind of character she is.

In this book, she was intrigued by a painting painted many years ago by a rather mysterious artist.  In her quest, she visited the place of origin of the painting and uncovered more than just a story of the artist's death. In the midst of all these, she faced unexpected challenges from her editorial work that are pretty believable but her decision and action were unexpected and not everyone can achieve what she does subsequently.

If you are looking for a slow relaxing read without complications of plots, then this series might be the one for you.

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