The Sunday Philosophy Club
(the first in a new series from McCall) is set in his home town of Edinburgh, Scotland. As with the Mma. Ramotswe books, the story is not driven by the plot so much as the commentary. However, the difference is that whereas Mma Ramotswe is an African Miss Marple - who has an instinctive understanding of people based on her close observations of life in her own small community, the star of this new series is an extremely well read moral philosopher named Isabel Dalhousie, which gives McCall Smith a wider and more sophisticated canvas on which to work.
The result is a very clever book but one that is
never obvious or overstated, and is stuffed full of wonderful one-liners.
Beyond the Book
By the end of 2005 Alexander McCall Smith will have published 10, yes 10, books in the USA during the year.
In The Company of Cheerful Ladies
: A hardcover of the 5th volume in the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series (April) plus a paperback version of #4, The Full Cupboard of Life
(January), and 2 reprints of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency in late Summer/Fall.
(He plans an eight book cap on this series).
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
(the second in The Sunday Philosophy Club series - hardcover) in September, and a The Sunday Philosophy Club