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The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel    by Alexander McCall Smith order for
Comforts of a Muddy Saturday
by Alexander McCall Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Pantheon, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I always feel inadequate when reading Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series. So much erudition. I also feel vastly rewarded to be a part of the life she leads, even if only for a few hours, and to enjoy the environs of Edinburgh for a brief interval.

In The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, Isabel is beset by a plethora of other people's problems as well as her own. A research scientist is accused of altering figures on a new drug and causing a death. His plunge into despair touches her. Her niece Cat flies off to Sri Lanka – possibly to marry. Cat's employee at her café lies to Isabel about his need for money. She is sure that her younger life partner (the father of her son Charlie) is having second thoughts about their relationship. Isabel is curious – spell that nosy – and inserts herself into situations from which it may prove hard to extricate herself.

Isabel's ongoing battle with her housekeeper Grace over the care of Charlie is delightful and completely understandable. As is the relationship Isabel has with most of the characters in this charming newest offering in the series.

Smith not only manages to weave this all together into an engaging tale but he ties up all the loose ends before closing. He is also the author of the delightful #1 Ladies Detective Agency series placed in Botswana.

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