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The Careful Use Of Compliments
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* The fourth novel in the hugely popular Sunday Philosophy Club series

About the Author

Following a distinguished career as a Professor of Medical Law, Alexander McCall Smith has turned to writing full-time. He is the author of over sixty books on a wide array of subjects, and his books have been translated intoforty-two languages. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife.

Reviews

Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series is a love letter for Botswana that has apparently enhanced tourism; in this novel, he tries to do the same for Edinburgh and the Hebrides isle of Jura. Porter does such a stunning job of bringing Jura's stark landscape to life that her dramatic reading might encourage listeners to book a Scottish sojourn. Philosopher/sleuth and new mother Isabel Dalhousie is still trying to forge a relationship with her son's father, Jamie. Porter also works wonders with Edinburgh dialect, at times stringing out Jamie's pronunciation of the word "No" into five syllables. She makes Isabel sound urbane, thoughtful, and sweetly hesitant to harm anyone else. To her credit, Porter refrains from adding some baby noises for three month-old Charlie. The only flaw in Porter's performance is that Isabel's voice makes her sound a decade or more older than her 40 years. Like McCall Smith's Edinburgh, this audio is exciting but not overly so, and like the city, it is certainly worth a visit. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, June 25). (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

This fourth Isabel Dalhousie novel may be Smith's best so far. Like his popular "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" stories, the Dalhousie tales explore complex relationships among engaging characters along with intriguing mysteries involving subtle moral issues. Here, Isabel faces several new challenges. A single mother with a much younger boyfriend, she is adjusting to parenthood while dealing with an overstepping housekeeper, a resentful adult niece, and an unethical attempt to wrest from her the editorship of Review of Applied Ethics. Meanwhile, her interest in a suspicious painting credited to a deceased artist takes her to a remote Scottish island and a surprising discovery that raises unexpected ethical questions. All issues are resolved with the gentle grace that typifies Smith's fiction. Davina Porter brings just the right amount of emotional involvement to her narration. Strongly recommended for general collections.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

The No. 2 Lady Detective ... anyone who loves Precious cannot fail to be charmed MAIL ON SUNDAY Isabel Dalhousie's charm is undeniable THE SUNDAY TIMES McCall Smith has the gift of evoking an entire social atmosphere in very few and simple words SUNDAY TELEGRAPH McCall Smith's greatest gift as a writer - and God knows this is just one of many - is that he can write likeable characters NEW STATESMAN

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