The Isabel Dalhousie Series

The Novel Habits of Happiness

An Isabel Dalhousie Novel

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The tenth book in this beloved author's consistently bestselling series featuring his insatiably curious, ever-delightful Edinburgh philosopher and amateur sleuth who now takes on a case like none she's had before: one with paranormal implications.
     From a small town outside Edinburgh comes the news that a young boy has been recounting vivid recollections of a past life: a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland which he couldn't possibly know, and a house there, where he claims to have spent his former life. When the boy's mother asks Isabel to investigate his claims, she feels she must--of course!--help them learn the truth, and she and Jamie set off for the island. But finding the house the boy described only leads to more complicated questions. And when they learn the tragic story of the family who lived there, Isabel is suddenly faced with a situation of extraordinary delicacy that will require all of her skills both as sleuth and philosopher. (Meantime, back in Edinburgh: Will an elderly lothario take Grace, her stalwart housekeeper, companion and babysitter, away from Isabel? Would Isabel be able to manage without Grace?)

From the Hardcover edition.


No writer makes the philosophical life as inviting and cozy as Smith does in his episodic novels featuring Isabel Dalhousie. . . . The real substance of this charming series lies in Isabel’s thoughtful observations and the interactions among a large cast of characters.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] stimulating thinking-person’s read.” —Carolyn Haley, New York Journal of Books
“Settle in for a soul soothing read.” —Hannah-Rose Yee, Marie Claire (Australia)

“If you are a fan of the Isabel Dalhousie novels then you will delight in Alexander McCall Smith’s latest addition to the series. . . . The tenth fabulous story in the Isabel Dalhousie series will leave you wanting more.” —Sophia Whitfield, Culture Street


“Isabel Dalhousie is a force to be reckoned with.” —USA Today
“The literary equivalent of herbal tea and a cozy fire . . . Invites readers into a world of kindness, gentility and creature comforts . . . McCall Smith’s Scotland is well worth future visits.” —The New York Times
“Isabel Dalhousie is such good company, it’s hard to believe she’s fictional. You finish [each] installment greedily looking forward to more.” —Newsweek 
“A world where humor is gentle, suffering is acknowledged but not foregrounded and efforts to do good are usually rewarded. It’s a wonderful place to visit, even if we don’t get to live there.” —The Washington Post