The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith

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The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Although I found the mystery in this plot a little disappointing at the end, the book as a whole, as ever, left me feeling calm and content.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408704141

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So, here we are with Isabel Dalhousie in her ninth story, and I'm assuming that you know who she is by now because really, if you don't, then you'd better not start with book number nine and instead you should really go all the way back to the beginning of the series and The Sunday Philosophy Club. If, on the other hand, you are well acquainted with Isabel then settle yourself down for another good read from the master of gentle, funny fiction.

As usual, dear Isabel finds herself prevailed upon to give assistance in a 'situation' with a stranger. Jamie knows better by now than to try to dissuade her, and of course it would be impossible, for she finds it so hard to say no when people ask for her help. In this instance it is the mysterious theft of a precious family painting. The owner is hoping for Isabel's help in negotiating with the thieves, and although Isabel is unsure of what she can do she agrees to assist. Of course, things turn out to be even more complicated than she imagined, and the reality of unmasking the thief is not as simple as it first appeared.

Other than this mystery, life for Isabel continues much in the way that it always does. She continues to edit the philosophical review, and to help out in her niece's deli when required. She and Jamie are still happily married, and their little boy, Charlie, has suddenly shown an incredible aptitude for mathematics. I have to admit, when that particular story line began I did roll my eyes a little at Charlie the prodigy since I've found him annoying in the past and seeing him carrying out division aged three felt like a step too far, but then it turned out to be a different little plot than I'd imagined, and an interesting one at that...I wont spoil it for you though!

The mystery that Isabel is working on is interesting and also, at times, rather exciting which is unusual for an Isabel story. However, I found that I wasn't entirely satisfied with how things were left at the end. I'd found it rather an intriguing mystery and so I was disappointed by the way things turned out. See what you think, but I was left wanting to know more...

We're still privy to Isabel's thought patterns, following her mind as she skips from subject to subject in her head, which is one of my favourite things about these books. I always find it interesting to see what she's thinking about, and find it often sets off little thought trains of my own as I read. I like that some of the ideas she thinks are provoking, and that even Isabel doesn't have all the answers. There's an interesting little bit about mixed race adoption that certainly made me stop and think for a moment. As you'd hope there is still the gentle humour and the general sweet nature to the story, and really my only quibble was, as I mentioned, the conclusion to the theft of the painting. If you're a fan like me then I know you're going to go out and read this anyway, and if you're wavering then do go ahead, safe in the knowledge that it's another wonderful comfort read!

I'm a big fan of Alexander McCall Smith's novels, and if you enjoy Isabel's stories you should definitely take a look at some of his other books.

Buy The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith at Amazon.com.


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