The Careful Use of Compliments- A Review
The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith is the fourth installment in the Isabel Dalhousie series. Anyone familiar with my blog knows how much I adore McCall Smith and I am thrilled to report that once again he has managed to produce a novel that was both moving and thought provoking.
Isabel is a philosopher and the editor-in-chief of The Review of Applied Ethics. She is juggling a number of complicated things in her life including a new baby, her baby daddy (for lack of a better term), being suddenly fired from her post as editor on the Review and dealing with the mysteries of an art forgery.
Alexander McCall Smith has such a masterful way of weaving his characters around philosophical plot twists. These novels are classified as "mysteries" but if anything they are more mysteries of the heart rather than traditional whodunits.
What I love the most about this series is the subtle way McCall Smith explores certain philosophical questions and very funny moral dilemmas concerning human nature... such as- should one use compliments (false compliments) to get ahead in certain necessary situations? (Hence the title). Or when one firmly believes in the power of good manners... is it OK to disregard them when met with a nemesis?
If you are new to the Isabel Dalhousie series, I suggest you start at number one, The Sunday Philosophy Club. Getting to know Isabel and Co. will feel like you are making lifelong friends and you will find yourself laughing out loud from McCall Smith's take on the nuances of human nature.
Now to catch up I have (of course) ordered the next one... The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday. Until then...
The Careful Use of Compliments can be purchased at: www.amazon.com