The Sweet Remnants of Summer

Pantheon. (Isabel Dalhousie, Bk. 14). Jul. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780593316948. $27. M
In this 14th installment in McCall Smith’s Isabel Dalhousie series (after The Geometry of Holding Hands) moral philosopher Isabel has agreed to sit on an advisory board for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. She is approached by Laura, a fellow board member, who asks her to broker a reconciliation between her husband and adult son. Meanwhile, Isabel’s husband Jamie has thorny issues of his own as he suspects a love affair in his chamber orchestra might be unduly influencing the conductor. In an unexpected twist, Jamie and Isabel agree to investigate each other’s cases and soon even their steadfast housekeeper, Grace, gets in on the action. Celebrated author McCall Smith delves into the inner machinations of a modern-day philosopher whose nuanced approach stands in stark contrast to the fiery rhetoric of the day. While touching on a variety of topics, the tone is never preachy or pedantic but instead is an open examination of how to lead a moral life.
VERDICT Hand this title to those looking for a more contemplative approach to their mysteries, without any violence or gore.
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