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The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday (2008)

by Alexander McCall Smith

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8532910,511 (3.65)35
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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
In this story, Isobel Dalhousie indulges in a lot of introspection, goes out to dinner and lunch a few times, eats at home, and indulges in more introspection. A pleasant but extremely slow-paced story without a great deal of plot. Also, there is a reason why introspection mostly takes place quietly between people's ears. It can get annoying to listen to someone, even a person as nice as Isobel, going on and on and ON about their every thought and most minor moral dilemmas. And yet, her incessant musings don't strike me as those of the mother of a very young child - of which I've done my share and listened to more than my share as a counselor,a discussion group leader, and a happy member of a most philosophical peer group of young mothers back in the day - and nor does Charlie develop any sort of character. He's a limp, lacklustre pillow that gets passed from hand to hand between Isobel, his father Jamie, and the daily help Grace. Isobel agonises interminably about her relationship with Jamie, which she herself has refused to regularise, but gives nary a thought to the effect of separated parents on a small child's development. The personal deficiencies of Charlie and Isobel's strange disconnection from the common concerns of motherhood make it difficult for the reader to connect as satisfactorily with Muddy Saturday as we did with earlier books in the series. Pleasant as it is, this book is not a keeper, and since the fifth in the series was gone, there seemed little point in keeping the earlier books either. ( )
  muumi | May 18, 2016 |
Another satisfying light read from Alexander McCall Smith. His stories are predictably happy, with just enough angst to make the reader think these could just be real people. The musings of Isabel Dalhousie in this episode about her own "realness" are a little precious, perhaps, but still the entire reading experience is entertaining overall.
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
9A non-taxing relaxing read. Not as much in it as others in the series. For interest I've borrowed the Collected Poems of W H Auden from the local library. (He wrote on an amazing number of subjects in a great number of styles.) Anyway in the story Isabelle goes to a lecture by Edward Mendelson on Auden's work. He later come to dinner at her place. A nice touch of reality in a novel. ( )
  GeoffSC | May 31, 2015 |
I am enjoying this series and see them more as peeks into the lives of some people living in Edinburgh than mysteries. I liked seeing baby Charlie grow as a toddler and the romance develop between Isabel and Jamie and grow closer to marriage. Cat and Eddie are both growing as characters also. ( )
  eliorajoy | Jul 1, 2014 |
A very light read as nothing happens in this novel. There is no climax. Not sure why I kept on reading it. ( )
  karynwhite | Jul 27, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander McCall Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Dust jacket:

In the fabulous new installment in the best-selling adventures of Isabel Dalhousie, Isabel is asked to help a doctor who has been disgraced by allegations of scientific fraud concerning a newly marketed drug. Our ever-curious moral philosopher finds her interest piqued. Would a doctor with a stellar reputation make such a simple but grave mistake? If not, what explains the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a patient? Clearly, an investigation is in order, especially since a man's reputation is in jeopardy. Could he be the victim of someone else's mistake? Or perhaps he has been willfully deceived by a pharmaceutical company with a great deal to gain.

Not every problem prompts an investigation (take, for example, her ongoing struggle with her housekeeper, Grace, over the care of Isabel's infant son, Charlie), but, as we've seen, whatever the case, whatever the solution, Isabel's combination of spirit, smarts, empathy, and unabashed nosiness guarantees a delightful adventure.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375425136, Hardcover)

ISABEL DALHOUSIE - Book 5

Nothing captures the charm of Edinburgh like the bestselling Isabel Dalhousie series of novels featuring the insatiably curious philosopher and woman detective.  Whether investigating a case or a problem of philosophy, the indefatigable Isabel Dalhousie, one of fiction’s most richly developed amateur detectives, is always ready to pursue the answers to all of life’s questions, large and small.

In the fabulous new installment in the best-selling adventures of Isabel Dalhousie, Isabel is asked to help a doctor who has been disgraced by allegations of scientific fraud concerning a newly marketed drug. Our ever-curious moral philosopher finds her interest piqued. Would a doctor with a stellar reputation make such a simple but grave mistake? If not, what explains the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a patient? Clearly, an investigation is in order, especially since a man's reputation is in jeopardy. Could he be the victim of someone else's mistake? Or perhaps he has been willfully deceived by a pharmaceutical company with a great deal to gain.

Not every problem prompts an investigation (take, for example, her ongoing struggle with her housekeeper, Grace, over the care of Isabel's infant son, Charlie), but, as we've seen, whatever the case, whatever the solution, Isabel's combination of spirit, smarts, empathy, and unabashed nosiness guarantees a delightful adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Isabel Dalhousie is asked to help a doctor who has been disgraced by allegations of scientific fraud concerning a newly marketed drug.

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