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Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year, 2004.
Winner of the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, 2004.

Amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie is a philosopher who uses her training to solve unusual mysteries. She edits the Review of Applied Ethics, addressing such questions as "Truth telling in sexual relationships", and she also hosts The Sunday Philosophy Club at her house in Edinburgh.

Behind the city's Georgian facades, its moral compasses are spinning with greed, dishonesty, and murderous intent. Instinct tells Isabel that the young man who tumbled to his death in front of her eyes at a concert didn't fall. He was pushed.

The Sunday Philosophy Club marks new territory, but familiar moral ground, from the author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. With Isabel Dalhousie, Alexander Mccall Smith introduces a new and pneumatic female sleuth to tackle murder, mayhem, and the mysteries of life.

Click here to see all the titles in our Alexander McCall Smith collection.
©2004 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic reviews

"Fans of Botswanese heroine Precious Ramotswe are sure to embrace McCall Smith's irrepressible new protagonist, who leads a cast of delightfully flawed characters." ( Booklist)
"The literary equivalent of herbal tea and a cozy fire....McCall Smith's Scotland [is] well worth future visits." ( The New York Times)

What members say

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  • Creeda
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 10-07-18

A creepy busybdy

So disappointed! All McCall Smith's other stories have such joy in them! This is the story of a middle-aged spinster , who seems to have no life - apart from the Sunday Philosophy Club, which the members are very reluctant to attend! On evening in the theatre she seems someone fall to their death and immediately feels she should investigate, being the last person to meet his eye.
This involves getting together with her niece's former boyfriend, a weedy youth after whom our heroine seems to lust (at least she feels she could teach him how to make love properly...) and this lady.
Things take their natural course; turns out, of course, it was an accident, but this person knows about and is able to absolve the guilty party!
I only kept reading because I hoped someone would throttle this woman - but no such luck!

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  • Needles
  • 02-04-12

Not McCall Smith's best

Would you try another book from Alexander McCall Smith and/or Phyllis Logan?

I'm a big Audio-book fan of Alexander McCall Smith (love the Corduroy Mansions series in particular) but this one is far from his best work. The central character -Isabel Dalhousie- becomes annoying after a while, falling into the McCall Smith cliches; just too comfortably smug middle class Edinburgh, with a mystery tied up too conveniently in a neat bow at the end.

Would you ever listen to anything by Alexander McCall Smith again?

Yes absolutely, I would listen to the Corduroy Mansions series again rather than the Isabel Dalhousie series though...ANY day!

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Nothing, Phyllis Logan's reading is the best thing about this book, she has a very pleasing

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Sunday Philosophy Club?

I would cut all of the moral philosophising monologues, I found them rather laboured.

Any additional comments?

Not recommended

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-11-10

Slow food for the brain

This is a really gorgeous audible book, reveling in WH Auden and the great philosophers, with a gentle mystery to keep it moving along. The pace of this book could be described as unhurried, and I would not recommend it to listeners who only like their fiction at a cracking pace. The narration suited the pace, and I found the voicing of the different characters to be well pitched, enabling the distinction of the characters without sounding like overacting.

For me it was perfectly enjoyable for a rainy Saturday afternoon, stuck on the couch with the flu.