Review-The Uncommon appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Smith

Title: The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (book #9, Isabel Dalhousie Series)

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Publisher: Pantheon, Oct. 2012

Source: Free for Review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Description from

One afternoon over coffee at Cat’s delicatessen, a friend of Isabel’s shares a call for help from Duncan Munrowe. Crafty thieves have stolen a prized painting from his collection, a work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Poussin that was earmarked for donation to the Scottish National Gallery. Munrowe has been approached by the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him in recovering the painting. Never one to refuse an appeal, she agrees, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.

Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel copes with life’s issues, large and small. She and Jamie have begun to suspect that their three-year-old son, Charlie, might be a budding mathematical genius. What should be done about it? Then there is the question of whether Isabel should help a young couple who want to move in together—against the wishes of the girl’s parents. The boyfriend is hoping Isabel might intercede.

As she wrestles with these problems, Isabel finds herself tested as a parent, a philosopher and a friend. But, as always, she manages to use the right combination of good sense, quick wits and a kind heart to come to the right solution, proving once again why Isabel Dalhousie has become one of Alexander McCall Smith’s most beloved characters.


This is my first Alexander McCall Smith novel.  He has written many in series, one of his most famous series is THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY SERIES which was made into a TV show.

I expected a cozy mystery and there is a slight mystery running through the book, but it is not the major focus of the novel which seems to be a discussion of ethics, morality and society rules.  I enjoyed the character of Isabel and her interaction with friends and family.  I thought her detecting skills took a back seat to her family affairs.  The mystery really was a secondary part of this book.  This is a quiet book as opposed to a slow read.  There is a true sense of the reality of Isabel’s life even if her husband, Jamie, seems almost “not there”.  The two of them were always going to talk about things “later”, the when later comes they don’t really have a deep discussion.  I think those who have been following this series will truly enjoy this offering.  Being new to the series, I found many things to enjoy in reading about Isabel and her life.


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Filed under Book review, Books, Mystery

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