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In the past, I had read Alexander McCall Smith’s series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and I mostly enjoyed it. They are mysteries, but fairly lighthearted and easy reads. So when I was looking for a lighthearted, easy read, I turned again to McCall Smith.
The Sunday Philosophy Club is the first in the Isabel Dalhousie mystery series. Isabel is an independently wealthy philosopher, living in Scotland and editing a philsophy journal. She ponders philosophical questions and sticks her nose into other people’s business, even though her friends tell her not to.
This book isn’t quite as light as I’d expected — one paragraph talked about the Orwellian characteristics of a situation and the Sisyphean nature of life, plus there were numerous mentions of Kant and Freud throughout the book — but it the plot was easy to follow even though some of the main character’s thought processes were complex. Isabel’s mental wanderings were actually a fun challenge for me — and the times when I didn’t understand what she was talking about, I knew it was okay to skip over it because it didn’t really have significant bearing on the storyline. However, if you don’t like big words and complicated thought-processes interrupting your pleasure reading, you may not enjoy this book.
I enjoyed the characters and their relationships and Isabel’s philosophical quandaries. This novel does not have a lot of action, but there is much to think about, which can be enjoyable even when the questions meander off the main point of the plot.