The Isabel Dalhousie Series

The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Isabel’s incandescent curiosity is piqued when she is asked to help a professor of medicine who has been disgraced by allegations of scientific fraud concerning a newly marketed drug. Would a doctor with a stellar reputation make such a simple but grave mistake? If not, what explains the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a patient?

An investigation is in order, especially since a man’s reputation is in jeopardy, and a great deal of money is at stake for the pharmaceutical company involved.

She’s also occupied by the envy she feels in the face of Jamie’s new friendship with the composer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh. Whatever the case, whatever the solution, Isabel’s combination of spirit, smarts, curiosity, empathy and unabashed nosiness guarantees a delightful adventure.

From the Hardcover edition.


What made Isabel Dalhousie think about chance? It was one of those curious coincidences — an inconsequential one — as when we turn the corner and find ourselves face-to-face with the person we’ve just been thinking about. Or when we answer the telephone and hear at the other end the voice of the friend we...
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1. At a somewhat dull dinner party, Isabel is engaged in a conversation about happiness with a doctor seated next to her. She argues, “most people are reasonably happy”; he argues that “most people are unhappy in one way or another” [p. 12]. With what evidence does he support his opinion? With...

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“McCall Smith’s gentle wit, his intriguing characters and his compassionate understanding of the human condition make all his stories delightful reads.” The Toronto Sun
“As this is McCall Smith, there is gentleness and an inherent belief in the goodness of people that permeates the book, despite the despicable actions of a few bad apples.” Calgary Herald