The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Book - 2012
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Isabel, Jamie and Charlie are off to Highland Perthshire to visit an old schoolfriend of Isabel's, who married into a family of wealthy newspaper owners. The weekend is a success apart from one thing: Charlie witnesses a fox being shot by the estate manager, and is very upset. A few weeks later, the Edinburgh press reports a major art theft from the friend's Highland estate, including a valuable Dutch masterwork that was going to pay the estate tax. In helping her friend and the team of lawyers to negotiate the ethical dilemmas of paying ransom for the painting's return, Isabel will face her first real criminals. The lawyers are distinctly suspect, and may be closely tied to the thieves--they may even be the thieves themselves. At the same time, she must confront the thorny issues of old friendships that have run their course and truth-telling in the provision of references.

Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, ©2012
ISBN: 9780307361882
Branch Call Number: MCCALLS
Characteristics: 259 p. ; 22 cm


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Jun 21, 2014

a light mystery with a philospher sleuth in the soft style of McCall Smith. Always pleasing to read him!

Apr 07, 2013

Surprisingly slow, discursive, and finally, quite self-indulgent. What was essentially an interesting story seems to have been written as a means for Mcall to unburden himself of all his apercus about the human condition, to an extent that tried this reader's patience. While he does this in several of his other series, and certainly his observations and comments are kindly and perceptive, if much too avuncular, I felt this needed much more editing and self criticism. Very disappointing.

If you are interested in the minutia of life in Edinburg from why cars won't start in the damp to whether 3 y/o Charlie should learn to divide and multiply before he starts school, then this is the book for you. The plot eventually rears its sleepy head only to peter out at the end. I promise I will never pick up another book by this author. I'd rather watch paint dry.

Dec 12, 2012

I'm not certain which book the reviewer read, but no foxes were shot in this one!

Nov 30, 2012

One of A. M. Smith's better written Dalhousie books UNTIL the end, where the story seems to just peter out.

Oct 05, 2012

#9 Isabel Dalhousie series
Another very enjoyable episode in the Isabel Dalhousie series set in Edinburgh, Scotland. The mystery surrounds the disappearance of a very valuable painting. There are the usual side stories involving her husband, Jamie; their 3 year old son, Charlie; her rather "sometimes difficult" housekeeper, Grace; her neice, Cat who runs a delicatessen; and my favorite, Eddie who helps Cat run the delicatessen but has social and emotional issues. I love the last line of this book! Plus this time the outcome of the mystery seems to be left to the reader. My memory is fairly poor and I've read so many of his novels that I'm not sure if this has happened in the other books in the series but it didn't bother me as that is how real life is: sometimes there isn't an obvious answer.

Some readers complain that the pace of his writing is too slow but I love the way his words seem to "flow" across the page. IMO, his characters are so human and have flaws like all of us. One of the reasons that I love Isabel is that she truly does try to see the good in most people.

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