Joanne’s Mystery Picks

the-uncommon-appeal-of-cloudsTHE UNCOMMON APPEAL OF CLOUDS by Alexander McCall Smith

Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher and an amateur sleuth.  She doesn’t seek out the cases that come to her.  Being the kind, thoughtful person that she is, she never hesitates to help when help is asked of her.  Such is the case that she tackles in this, the ninth book in her series.  A friend asks her to help Duncan Munrowe recover an expensive painting that has been stolen from his home.  The thieves have been in touch with Munrowe and he banks on Isabel’s reputation to reunite him with his painting.

Meanwhile, Isabel and her husband, Jamie, are dealing with the possibility that their son, Charlie, at three and three-quarters years old, is a mathematical child prodigy.  How shall they deal with this?  Should they consult someone?  Should they gently encourage Charlie along this path?  This is all new territory for these parents.

Then there’s Eddie who approaches Isabel and asks her to intercede on his behalf.  He and his girlfriend want to move in together but her parents are against it.

It all comes down to family dynamics in each of these cases and with common sense, intuitive thinking, and compassion, Isabel is able to make the right decisions.  Against the background of Edinburgh, McCall Smith has given us a delightful, warm, and thoughtful story.

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