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The Novel Habits of Happiness: Isabel Dalhousie Series, Book 10
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2015
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Description

The insatiably curious Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie returns, taking on a case unlike any she's had before--this one with paranormal implications--in the eagerly anticipated new installment of Alexander McCall Smith's beloved and best-selling series. Through a mutual acquaintance, Isabel is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy's mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel naturally feels inclined to help, and so she, her husband, Jamie, and their son, Charlie, set off for the island. To their great surprise, they actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel's desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. It's an extraordinarily delicate situation that will require all of her skills, as both sleuth and philosopher, to solve. Back home, as she begins to prepare the next issue of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel confronts a threat to her professional well-being in the form of two visiting academics--Lettuce and Dove--who she fears will be a destabilizing influence on her cozy perch in enlightened Edinburgh. But no matter the trials she faces, Isabel is blissfully content in her personal life, which is centered on her young son and devoted husband. Readers will be filled with happiness as they once again spend time with their beloved heroine and the people she holds dear.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Format:
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Street Date:
07/21/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307907363
ASIN:
B00OWWC26M
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Alexander McCall Smith. (2015). The Novel Habits of Happiness: Isabel Dalhousie Series, Book 10. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Alexander McCall Smith. 2015. The Novel Habits of Happiness: Isabel Dalhousie Series, Book 10. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Alexander McCall Smith, The Novel Habits of Happiness: Isabel Dalhousie Series, Book 10. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Alexander McCall Smith. The Novel Habits of Happiness: Isabel Dalhousie Series, Book 10. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.


      • name: Alexander McCall Smith
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fullDescription

The insatiably curious Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie returns, taking on a case unlike any she's had before--this one with paranormal implications--in the eagerly anticipated new installment of Alexander McCall Smith's beloved and best-selling series.

Through a mutual acquaintance, Isabel is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy's mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel naturally feels inclined to help, and so she, her husband, Jamie, and their son, Charlie, set off for the island. To their great surprise, they actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel's desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. It's an extraordinarily delicate situation that will require all of her skills, as both sleuth and philosopher, to solve.

Back home, as she begins to prepare the next issue of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel confronts a threat to her professional well-being in the form of two visiting academics--Lettuce and Dove--who she fears will be a destabilizing influence on her cozy perch in enlightened Edinburgh.

But no matter the trials she faces, Isabel is blissfully content in her personal life, which is centered on her young son and devoted husband. Readers will be filled with happiness as they once again spend time with their beloved heroine and the people she holds dear.



From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: People Magazine
      • content: "Isabel Dalhousie's satisfying return. . . . Edinburgh's favorite philosopher/sleuth is back, this time helping a frantic mom whose son keeps talking about his previous life. Plot twists keep you reading (maybe the boy's claims aren't so crazy after all . . .), but it's Isabel's musings on duty and parenthood that linger."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: "A stimulating thinking-person's read, seeming light on the surface but actually going deep. . . . This is a love story. Not the conventional kind, a boy-meets-girl romance; rather, it's a novel about love--love of life, love of home and homeland, love of partner and family, love of fellow humans."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Times
      • content: "Isabel Dalhousie philosophizes the way some people drink. There is nothing that she won't contemplate, analyze or nitpick, from meerkats in the zoo to the difference between a good submarine (the crew doesn't swear or drink) and a bad submarine which of course must be nuclear."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content: "No writer makes the philosophical life as inviting and cozy as McCall Smith does in his episodic novels featuring Isabel Dalhousie. . . . The real substance of this charming series lies in Isabel's thoughtful observations dn the interactions among a large cast of characters."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2015
        No writer makes the philosophical life as inviting and cozy as Smith does in his episodic novels featuring Isabel Dalhousie. In her native Edinburgh, Isabel fills many roles: editor of The Review of Applied Ethics, mother of Charlie, partner of Jamie, and solver of mysteries. When people in Isabel’s circle have troubles, they come to her (“I am a recipient of unusual confidences,” she says to herself). In this 10th installment (after 2012’s The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds), six-year-old Harry is “convinced that he’s had another life,” complete with another family and a house with a red door near a lighthouse. Isabel looks into this odd situation with her usual efficiency, ready intelligence, and highly sympathetic nature. Smith adds a modicum of narrative energy with a subplot about a minor academic feud, but plot isn’t the point. The real substance of this charming series lies in Isabel’s thoughtful observations and the interactions among a large cast of characters. Agent: Robin Straus, Robin Straus Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2015
        More felony-free mystery for Edinburgh philosopher Isabel Dalhousie (The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, 2012, etc.), for whom all the world is one moral conundrum after another. Kirsten, the downstairs neighbor of Isabel's friend Sam, has an unusual problem. It's not so much a problem as a question: Why does her 6-year-old son, Harry, keep going on about his other life, the one that involves a different home and a different family? Isabel knows all about the imaginary friends of children-her husband, bassoonist Jamie, created one himself as a child-but Harry's tales of living in a house by the sea with the Campbell family and a view of offshore islands and a nearby lighthouse seem unusually detailed and consistent from one telling to the next. Can Isabel help, not just by lending a sympathetic ear, but by actually getting to the bottom of the little mystery that's causing Kirsten such anxiety? Of course she can, as soon as she tears herself away from a deliciously snarky exchange with her nemesis, professor Christopher Dove, at the Enlightenment Institute, and puts aside her musings about her niece Cat's unwontedly sensitive and intellectual new boyfriend, Mick, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Jamie. Isabel asks her spiritualist housekeeper, Grace, about reincarnation, gets a line on a likely lighthouse in Ardnamurchan from her friend Peter Stevenson, travels there in the company of Peter's friend Neil Starling, and then finds a completely different answer to her riddle. But the most memorable episodes-Isabel's impromptu tea with the wife of Dove's unpleasant mentor, Robert Lettuce, and her perusal of "The Ethical World of My Mother," an essay professor Geoffrey Trembling has submitted to The Review of Applied Ethics-have nothing to do with the mystery that provides a pretext for Isabel's ruminations. The woolliest of Isabel's ten appearances to date and the one that makes the most decided case for the mental digression as a structural principle.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2015
        McCall Smith has two series heroines. One is Precious Ramotswe, the proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana. The other is Isabel Dalhousie, a philosopher and editor of a philosophical review in Edinburgh. Both help people with their problems. Dalhousie is a philosopher to her core, and most of this book focuses on her wide-ranging musings and conversations, which can be funny, shocking, and thought provoking in themselves. The central action in this latest series entry concerns a woman who comes to Isabel through a mutual friend because of her little boy, who is convinced that he had a previous life. His incredibly vivid memories send Isabel off to a Scottish island that the boy appears to be describing. This voyage opens up more questions and a thorny ethical dilemma. Isabel has an enviable situation, with inherited wealth, a beyond-handsome young husband, a charming child, and engaging work. She verges on insufferable, in fact, and one wonders whether McCall Smith, whose other novels have delightfully flawed and quirky characters, means Isabel to be admirable or appalling.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2015

        In the tenth in the relentlessly best-selling Isabel Dalhousie series, the Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth is approached by a woman whose son recalls perfect images of an island off the coast of Scotland he's never seen. Obviously, Isabel is curious. The series will now be released in summer, that hot reading time.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The insatiably curious Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie returns, taking on a case unlike any she's had before--this one with paranormal implications--in the eagerly anticipated new installment of Alexander McCall Smith's beloved and best-selling series.

Through a mutual acquaintance, Isabel is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy's mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel naturally feels inclined to help, and so she, her husband, Jamie, and their son, Charlie, set off for the island. To their great surprise, they actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel's desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. It's an extraordinarily delicate...

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