Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

by Alexander McCall Smith

Reviewed October 31, 2005.
Pantheon Books, New York, 2005.  261 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (MCN F MCC).

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate is the second book in Alexander McCall Smith’s Sunday Philosophy Club series, featuring Isabel Dalhousie, the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics.

In this book, Isabel temporarily takes charge of her niece’s delicatessen and meets a man who has recently had a heart transplant.  This man has been having disturbing visions of a face.  Could it be that the face in his vision had something to do with the death of the one who donated his heart?  Isabel’s curiosity gets the best of her, and she feels compelled to investigate.  After all, ethically speaking, when something like that comes your way, is it right to do nothing?

I found the answer to this mystery a bit anticlimactic and the story itself pleasant, but not terribly absorbing.  Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will want to read it, but I don’t think it will make many new fans.  In this book, Isabel Dalhousie sounded quite a bit like Mma Ramotswe, and I wasn’t sure I liked that coming from a different character.

Still, this does make pleasant reading.  The way Isabel ponders ethical questions will also get the reader thinking.

Reviews of other books by Alexander McCall Smith:
The Sunday Philosophy Club
The Right Attitude to Rain
The Careful Use of Compliments
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men
The Full Cupboard of Life
In the Presence of Cheerful Ladies
Blue Shoes and Happiness
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
The Miracle at Speedy Motors
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built
The Double Comfort Safari Club
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon
The Handsome Man's Deluxe Café
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
Precious and Grace
The House of Unexpected Sisters
The Colors of All the Cattle
To the Land of Long Lost Friends
The Great Cake Mystery
The Mystery of Meerkat Hill
The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean
La's Orchestra Saves the World
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs
My Italian Bulldozer

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All rights reserved.

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