The Careful Use of Compliments

Alexander McCall Smith, Author . Pantheon $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-375-42301-7

Best known for the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, bestseller Smith shows he's just as adept at exploring mysteries of the heart in his fourth book to feature Edinburgh philosopher-sleuth Isabel Dalhousie (after The Right Attitude to Rain ). Isabel has recently become a mother, but she has an ambiguous relationship with her son's father, Jamie, whose attempts to formalize their connection have been unsuccessful. Their ties are further strained by Jamie's ex-girlfriend, Cat, who not only still harbors strong feelings for him but is Isabel's niece. Isabel must also deal with petty academic politics aimed at depriving her of her position as editor of the Review of Applied Ethics . Smith throws in a mystery subplot—did an obscure but talented Scottish painter drown, commit suicide or fall victim to foul play?—but the resolution of that plot thread is more noteworthy for its insights into Isabel's humanistic and optimistic philosophy than for any surprise twists. Once again, Smith displays his skill at illustrating subtle nuances of human nature. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-1-4000-7712-0
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-676-97668-7
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-307-37171-3
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-676-97692-2
Hardcover - 436 pages - 978-0-7393-2746-3
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-375-42527-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4281-5527-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.