A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith

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A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Back with old favourite friends, this particularly episode captures a good mixture of intrigue and mystery, secrets and lies. Deliciously comfortable!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: March 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781408709399

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Ah, Isabel Dalhousie! The more I read about Isabel, the more I like her. I could see, in this book in particular, how annoying she could potentially be as a friend, since she is forever gazing off into the distance, heading into her inner imaginings rather than staying focussed on the conversation, and yet I think she would be an interesting, and thought-provoking, sort of friend to have. In this, the eleventh novel in the series, Isabel finds herself once more embroiled in someone else's business. She, and her husband Jamie, are starting to be resigned to the fact that she just can't help but get involved! Mysteries abound, both in this business and in her own family life, as we watch her day to day doings up in Edinburgh.

Charlie has the biggest changes to deal with, in this story, as he suddenly finds himself with a baby brother, Magnus. I rather like the entry of another child on the scene, since Charlie no longer behaves like the perfect child and, instead, is really very against the entry of a new child into their lives! I'm looking forward to see how Magnus will change things in the household in the future. I did feel a little jealous of how 'easy' Isabel has things - with Grace there to take care of the children whenever she needs her too, sometimes things feel just a little too convenient for Isabel. I'm quite sure Isabel never turns up for work with her hair unbrushed, or toothpaste stains on her top as I do, and there is a little bit of me that resents her for her excellent cook of a husband, and her 'housewife', Grace, who helps her with everything!

Anyway, the mystery this time relates to a friend of Isabel's who has been matchmaking and now fears she has made an unfortunate, and possibly dangerous match! Isabel must tread carefully in order to investigate a man's credentials, to try and uncover the truth of what is going on. Isabel's niece, Cat, is also proving very mysterious with her new friend. Cat refuses to divulge where they met, and Isabel's imagination is running riot!

The story has a good pace throughout, and I felt there was a good mixture of things happening alongside of the things going on in Isabel's head. I did, once again, get a little twitchy about Isabel and Jamie, and whether everything was going to be okay. You'll be relieved to hear it's another happy ending, thank goodness! There's music, and philosophical discussion, and baby talk, as well as some sadness, and through it all is Isabel's gentle, enquiring nature shining through.

The garden-visiting fox also pays a couple of visits, and so everything feels just as it should, in this little corner of Edinburgh. If I had any complaint at all it would only be that the book felt just a little too short...I wanted more! Perhaps I always feel that way with AMS's books, that I would like just a little bit more to read, since he is one of my absolute favourite authors, and he is rapidly taking over the bookshelves of my home with his prolific writing! Happily, this is another excellent addition to the Isabel Dalhousie stories.

Just in case you're losing track of this series, here's a helpful chronological list, to keep you on track! Alexander McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club Series series in Chronological Order

Buy A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon.com.


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