Book Review: The Sunday Philosophy Club

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Reviewed by : Faith Oneya

Never before the Nancy Drew Series have I enjoyed a female detective novel as much as I did the The Sunday Philosophy Club.

In his first book under The Sunday Philosophy Club (also known as Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries), Alexander introduces as to something of a female Sherlock Holmes in the main character Isabel who starts off her detective ‘work’ in the space of the first sentence in the book “…saw a young man fall from the edge of the upper circle from the gods.”and in true Sherlock Holmes spirit , suspects that this is no ordinary fall. She, as expected, ends up making a sort of ‘moral’ decision to further investigate.The whole novel is then built upon this one major decision.

What makes for an interesting read, apart from the charming main character, is the author’s almost endearing writing style-witty, humorous, charming and unpretentious.His use of simple yet profound sentences and choice of characters also set it apart from the ordinary criminal investigation book.

The character Grace, for example is a househelp and is as opinionated as they come. Then there is Isabel’s loving niece Cat , her boyfriend Toby and many more.

The book is not your average fast-paced,thrilling criminal investigative work of fiction if this is the kind of read that you are looking for.The author seems to possess a unique ability to engage the intellect and the heart.

Also under the Isabel Dalhouse Mysteries series are;

2005 Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

2006 The Right Attitude to Rain

2007 The Careful Use of Compliments

2008 The Comfort of Saturdays (UK title) or The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday (American title)

2009: The Lost Art of Gratitude

2010: The Charming Quirks of Others

2011: The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (publishing December 2011)


Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

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