The Charming Quirks of Others Summary and Reviews

The Charming Quirks of Others

An Isabel Dalhousie Novel

by Alexander Mccall Smith

The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander Mccall Smith
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2010
    272 pages
    Genre: Noir

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Book Summary

A couple who are old friends of Isabel's ask for her help in a rather tricky situation: A successor is being sought for the headmaster position at their alma mater. The board has four final candidates but has received an anonymous letter alleging that one of them has a very serious skeleton in the closet. Could Isabel discreetly look into it? And so she does. What she discovers about all the candidates is surprising, but what she discovers in herself turns out to be equally revealing—and she finds that she has also unwittingly upset Jamie, the father of her young son.
 
Isabel's investigation will have her exploring issues of charity, forgiveness, and humility as she moves nearer and nearer to some of the most hidden precincts of the heart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"With Isabel's shrewd and frequently funny assessments of people and McCall Smith's heady quotations from W. H. Auden, among others, the Isabel Dalhousie series continues to instruct and amuse." - Booklist

"As usual, crisp, often funny prose complements the author's limitless reserve of good will and understanding of people in general." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A powerful demonstration of Smith's ability to dramatize the ways everyday situations spawn the ethical dilemmas that keep philosophers in business." - Kirkus

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Cloggie Downunder

thoroughly enjoyable
The Charming Quirks of Others is the 7th in the Isabel Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith. Isabel has quite a bit on her plate: getting another edition of the Review of Applied Ethics published; looking into a poison-pen letter making accusations about applicants for the principal’s position of an illustrious boys’ school; dealing with a pretty cellist who has taken a fancy to Jamie; deciding whether to publish an unsolicited review by Professor Lettuce of Professor Dove’s latest book; and, not the least, organising her own wedding. As always, Isabel manages to jump to unfounded conclusions whilst being her unpredictable, clever, kind and occasionally exasperating self. On the way, she touches on book reviewers, verb tenses, forgiveness of oneself, politics, punishment, hatred, skateboarders, gossip magazines and ancestors, and gives us an excellent definition of vulgar curiosity. Isabel manages to show some insight into her tendency to misunderstand situations, and towards the end of this novel, has a Mma Ramotswe moment when she reflects on her love for her country. McCall Smith has an uncanny ability to write from a woman’s perspective, and many of the conversations his characters have are filled with wisdom and humour. Another thoroughly enjoyable installment in the Isabel Dalhousie story.

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Author Information

Alexander Mccall Smith Author Biography

Alexander McCall Smith began the now highly successful 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series in 1996, after being inspired by the sight of a 'traditionally built' Botswanan lady chasing down a chicken for a meal. The first book in the series - 'The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' was published in the UK in 1998 but didn't arrive in the USA until 2001.

Known to his friends as Sandy, McCall Smith describes the Botswanans as 'genuinely courteous people' He knows Botswana well as he grew up there and also spent several years on the law faculty of the University of Botswana; his volume on the legal system of Botswana (The Criminal Law of Botswana) remains the definitive and in fact, only book on the subject.

In 2004 he published the first ...

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