Monday, April 14, 2008

Smith, Alexander McCall (The Sunday Philosophy Club)

On the strength of his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, I decided to try out one of McCall Smith's other series. The protagonist in this one is a rich, middle-aged, single woman living in Edinburgh (McCall Smith's hometown), who happens upon a mystery and unwillingly solves it.

The book made me realize that the reason I like the Botswana series is because of how he describes Botswana, the people who remember the traditions, and the laid-back atmosphere so different from here in the U.S. Nothing like that comes through in this series, and it's the poorer for it.

Isabel is quite likeable and so are her friends, but it all seems quite vague and at-arm's-length from the reader. Maybe it's all the philosophical tangents? Perhaps Edinburgh is just not quite as enticing a venue as Botswana?

1 comment:

Lara Zielin said...

Thanks for the review! I often thought about picking this up but I never did. I think I might move on now that I know it doesn't have the same charm as our #1 Ladies.