Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2004.
Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, 2004. In this second novel in the Sunday Philosophy Club, Isabel Dalhousie's niece, Cat (she of the unsuitable boyfriends) is invited to a wedding in Italy. This means that Isabel is left in charge of Cat's delicatessen: a task to which the redoubtable moral philosopher proves more than equal. She is intrigued by the customers, of course, given her irrepressible tendency to take an interest in the business of others, and one man in particular attracts her attention. He is recovering from heart surgery - a heart transplant, in fact, and when Isabel gets to know him a bit better he reveals an extraordinary aspect of being the recipient of another's heart. Isabel is drawn into an investigation of the facts behind the transplant, with disturbing results. Her enquiries take time, but not so much time as to prevent romantic entanglements, both for Isabel and her housekeeper, Grace. And as for chocolate: that proves to have some very interesting philosophical ramifications, at least in the mind of Isabel Dalhousie. Chocolate is a moral problem, invoking questions of temptation and, of course, human weakness. We are all weak when it comes to chocolate, Isabel decides. Should we just accept the fact and get on with it?
"Isabel Dalhousie's charm is undeniable." (Sunday Times)
"The Sunday Philosophy Club is vintage McCall Smith, written with a characteristic twinkle in his eye and the graceful clarity of an aesthetically attuned lawyer....sets up Isabel Dalhousie as Edinburgh's latest, and most engaging investigator." (The Herald)
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Great story, beautifully read
I have started on this series having read all the Ladies Detective books and almost all the Scotland Street. This book did not disappoint and I have immediately bought the next episode. Isabel Dalhousie is a great character and I'm looking forward to hearing her development. By far the best thing about this book though is the narration by Phyllis Logas (Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey) who has such a beautiful lilting reading voice. I hope she is narrating some of the others too. I would therefore recommend it to anyone.
Isabel meeting the donor's mother.
Again, the mothers describing the loss of their sons.
As with the Scotland Street books, Edinburgh is an additional character,