The Novel Habits of Happiness (Isabel Dalhousie Series #10) (Paperback)
Isabel Dalhousie, the insatiably curious Edinburgh sleuth and philosopher, takes on a case unlike any she’s had before: a six-year-old boy has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life. His visions include a perfect description of a Scottish island and a house where he claims to have lived. The boy’s mother asks Isabel to investigate, but her findings continue to perplex as her efforts to seek rational explanations are thwarted by the unusual mystery unfolding before her.
Isabel is presented with further challenges as she begins to prepare an important issue of the Review of Applied Ethics. Two visiting academics, Lettuce and Dove, arrive in Edinburgh with plans that may upset the harmonious balance of her life. These trials will require all of Isabel’s wit and understanding—but happily, in her blissful home life with her husband and young son by her side, Isabel is always reminded of her blessings.
ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.
“Remarkable. . . . [Isabel] is such good company, it’s hard to believe she’s fictional.” —Newsweek
“Edinburgh’s favorite philosopher/sleuth is back. . . . Isabel’s musings on duty and parenthood linger.” —People
“Charming. . . . No writer makes the philosophical life as inviting and cozy as McCall Smith does.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A novel about love—love of life, love of home and homeland, love of partner and family, love of fellow humans. . . . A stimulating thinking-person’s read.” —New York Journal of Books
“Isabel’s search for truth follows a route that offers tantalizing glimpses of Edinburgh’s complex character and a nice, long look into the beautiful mind of a thinking woman.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Habit-forming. . . . Leaves plenty of time for pondering moral conundrums, the drinking of steaming cups of hot brew (coffee, in this case) and . . . gentle probing into the human condition.” —The Oregonian
“Philosophical inquiries are spontaneous and ongoing, stitched into everyday life and conversation. . . . Genial [and] wise. . . . Glows like a rare jewel.” —Entertainment Weekly
“[Isabel] is by turns fearless, vulnerable, headstrong, and insecure, but always delightful.” —Chicago Tribune
“Delicious mental comfort food.” —Los Angeles Times
“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