- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 12 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: October 22, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009T7JZP6
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The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, Book 9 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
And the basic story seemed promising: Isabel Dalhousie, a familiar character from some of McCall Smith's other books, is enlisted to unearth a thief - or thieves - who stole a valuable painting from Duncan Monrowe. The painting was to be given to Scotland's National Gallery. But it is taken from Munrowe House during an annual tour. Although Isabel is at first reluctant to become involved, when she meets Duncan her reservations disappear. With her usual sharp perception, Isabel is able to see beyond Duncan's seemingly formal and stiff exterior to sense how deeply he cares about the stolen picture.
With such a promising start, I hoped this would be an engaging mystery, one written with the riveting style of McCall Smith's best works. But this novel never quite got off the ground for me. Because I'm so fond of the author, I stuck with this book but by the time I'd reached the halfway point I was beginning to lose interest.
What kept me going were the gems of wisdom about human character and life that reside in McCall Smith's books. Even in his less notable novels, those qualities always give me pause and cause me to ponder human nature. It is often the side characters, the ones who may seem trivial, which become the focus of some of the author's sharpest perceptions. An example from this book: Isabel's friend Eddie, who works at Cat's delicatessen is infatuated with a particular woman. When he asks Isabel for advice, she shares her views on love and what makes for lasting relationships.
When it comes to Duncan Munrowe, Isabel is compelled to think about loyalty, art, passion and more. All of this is interesting - but the plot itself falters, sputters, and never really gets going. At the end of each chapter, I didn't feel curious about what would happen next or even really care who had taken the painting. But I plodded along - only to feel disappointed by the ending. I'd write more about that but I don't want to give away any details that might spoil it for other faithful - or new - readers of McCall Smith. If this is the first book of his you've read, I urge you to try others. He is a very fine writer. This is just not the best example of his work.
I am never disappointed in the books he writes and am always checking to see if he has a new one on the
way. I love his way of telling a story and with this book I was pleasantly entertained as usual when I read
his books. Another fine installment in this series. I love the stories set in Edinburgh and recall with fondness
my visits there when I read the books.
PS - One time I mailed the set (6 back then) to a friend in Alabama; she enjoyed them immensely and mailed them back when finished. Books qualify as media mail and ship at a big discount.
Most recent customer reviews
This lady detective nearly as engaging.