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The Perils of Morning Coffee (Isabel Dalhousie)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,796 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
In this Isabel Dalhousie original short story, available exclusively in electronic format, our intrepid heroine - accused by a distraught wife of being the "other woman" - makes a surprising discovery as she attempts to defend her reputation.

Summer in Edinburgh is a season of delicate sunshine and showers, picnics with loved ones in blossoming gardens, and genteel celebrat
Kindle Edition, 45 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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Nov 25, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
An Isabel Dalhousie novella that'll take you an hour or so to read. Vintage Alexander McCall Smith, Isabel is accused of having an affair with a married man, at which she takes great umbrage, but ferrets out the truth in the end and, in the process, thinks about things a little too much. If you like this series, this one will not disappoint.

Post Script:

How does McCall Smith churn out such good books so quickly and regularly. He publishes at least one per quarter. Here we are screaming at George
Jan 02, 2016 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: npl
This title appeared last week as I was enjoying my morning coffee; I knew I had to read it and I was really happy to see it was a short story.
What's not to like? A little puzzle and a few misconceptions mixed with a bit of philosophy and a touch of humor.
I shall have to check out this series.
Aug 20, 2014 RebeccaS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
This was a quick but delightful story. Isabel always likes to meet with fellow philosophers to discuss and think about a variety of things. Her minds wanders constantly and it is fun to follow her tangential train of thought. In this story, a chance meeting gets her involved in a dramatic situation involving people she doesn't really know. She is accused of having an affair and sorts it out in a very Isabel-like fashion (lots of thinking) before she comes to a conclusion. I was shocked by the tr ...more
Aug 08, 2014 Roslyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-read
I continue to have mixed feelings about the Isabel Dalhousie series, though there is usually enough to keep me interested. As usual, I found Isabel's domestic world unconvincing, but I enjoyed the moral and philosophical probing elicited by Isabel's musings. This is probably really a 3 and a half, but I'm rounding it up to a 4 because it's Isabel, after all! :-)
Sonja Arlow
Jul 22, 2012 Sonja Arlow rated it it was ok
I have always loved the Nr 1 Ladies Detective series by the same author and this novella served as an introduction to his Isabela Dalhousie series however I just didnt like it. The characters seemed immature, annoying and making drama out unnecessary events.
A philosophical little story. Interesting little twist of an ending.
Nov 10, 2012 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I love Alexander McCall Smith so it is with a bit of reluctance that I give this book only 3 stars.

It is a short story featuring Isabel Dalhousie who is wrongly accused of having an affair by the wife of a man she met once.

There were many many memorable quotations and the writing is, of course, excellent.

The reason I only give it 3 stars is that I didn't much care for the ending.
Jul 17, 2015 Kirk rated it really liked it
I don't drink coffee but understand the perils of not giving a coffee drinker their morning coffee! Lol, that remark has nothing to do with this novella. As others have posted, an interesting little tale with a little plot twist.
Oct 24, 2011 dancingdeer rated it it was amazing
A wonderful teaser of a story! Bring on the next in the installment!
May 01, 2015 Amy rated it liked it
This short story in the Isabel Dalhousie universe is quintessential Dalhousie; with regards to the title, it's as if one is drinking an espresso version of the series versus drinking a cup of coffee. THE PERILS OF MORNING COFFEE is Isabel investigating a tiny "mystery" of an affair and all of the usual things that happen in these books happens in this enovella:
- Random philosophizing, usually at embarrassing times such as in mid-conversation with someone else
- Agonizing over whether Isabel is ge
Jul 23, 2012 Mandolin rated it it was amazing
What harm could an innocent meeting for morning coffee bring to a quiet life of a philosopher? When a computer glitch schedules Isabel Dalhousie for a coffee meeting with a professor from the nearby university, she decides to meet with him despite the initial mistake. Initially glad in her choice, for she finds in him a kindred spirit, she comes to later regret it when his wife unjustly accuses her of carrying on an affair with her husband. Isabel is hurt by the accusation and, as usual, cannot ...more
Aug 10, 2013 Damaskcat rated it really liked it
I’m a fan of this author’s No 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series but this is the first story I’ve read featuring Isabel Dalhousie. I enjoyed reading the story but found I was having to consciously slow down my reading speed in order to appreciate the philosophical asides. This is not a criticism because I actually found those asides of interest and worth thinking about. I liked the gentle humour and the huge knowledge of human nature this author displays.

If you’re not sure whether the Isabel Dalho
Having read the first five books in the Sunday Philosophy Club/Isabel Dalhousie series, I thought I'd squeeze in this e-book exclusive novella to get a few more quick pages read before the end of 2011. Technically, I guess this would be considered Book 7.5 in the series, but no worries of any ongoing plot spoilers as long as you are past Book 4 (The Careful Use of Compliments) when Isabel's personal/home life took a dramatic turn.

As with the rest of the series, this was a perfectly pleasant tale
Fr. Kyle
Apr 10, 2012 Fr. Kyle rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 04, 2011 Marianne rated it it was amazing
The Perils of Morning Coffee is an Isabel Dalhousie short story by Alexander McCall Smith, offered in electronic book format. Isabel accepts an invitation from a fellow philosopher to meet for coffee, but is subsequently accused by the man’s wife of having an affair with him. As usual, Jamie urges caution, but Isabel is indignant about her innocence and cannot resist investigating further. And again, as usual, Isabel gets the wrong end of the stick, although this time, her misunderstanding is qu ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Rrshively rated it liked it
This book comes between book 8 and book 9 of the Isabel Dalhousie series. It is a delightful short book which took me less than an hour and a half to read. What perils can come from morning coffee? When Isabel has coffee at a café with a philosophy professor from the university, his wife angrily accuses Isabel of having an affair with him. No spoilers here, but, of course, Isabel eventually has to try to get to the bottom of this accusation in spite of Jamie's warnings. This book can stand alone ...more
Nov 25, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
I so love #1 Ladies Detective Agency series that I wanted to try one of the authors other series. I love his writing style, his ability to bring a character to life, his humor, his wit....and you hear the but coming, don't you? This book was ok, nothing really amiss..and here comes the but....didn't suck me in like the #1 Ladies. Oh, and I had forgotten, I've read one or two in the Scotland series, didn't care as much for them either. Oh well, this was a short read and I'm not sorry I took the t ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Kathyanngallagher rated it liked it
This was my first Isabel Dalhousie book. It was a very short read & left me wanting. I was genuinely surprised when the story ended on my Kindle-Fire. I was at 87% and it was done. Maybe I missed something along the way as I generally love Alexander McCall Smith's "Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency" series. I will try to start with book #1 and hope it has a better story line than than "Perils of Morning Coffee" did.
Jan 26, 2017 Bruce added it
This novella is available in e-book format only. Consistent with other books in the series, this novella features an Edinburgh Scotland philosopher who sees moral ambiguities and conundra in almost every situation. In this story, she is accused by a fellow philosopher of having an affair with her husband, an issue which is resolved by the end of the book. I would not choose this as the first book in the series to read, but in context it is moderately interesting.
Sep 16, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it
This is a short novellette in this series but a good one. Isabel meets a colleague for breakfast coffee but is soon confronted by the man's wife who accuses Isabel of having an affair with her husband. This is a good story but I don't see why it is separate from the other books.
cecelia clark
Apr 24, 2015 cecelia clark rated it really liked it
Short and Sweet

Tightly written with characters I could recognize. Sweet story of the drama that pokes up sometimes in my life but resolves better on paper than in reality.
May 09, 2017 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-as-ebook
An Alexander McCall Smith book is like a visit from a welcome friend - warm, familiar and satisfying. After a heavy read, it's good to have a break and experience the whimsical observations in the human life stories he writes. Isabel Dalhousie is fundamentally a wealthy, nosey and judgemental snob, but she is such a richly cast character that you can't help but like her. In this novella, Isabel is accused of having an affair, but the situation turns out to be much more salacious than it first se ...more
Jun 16, 2017 Kay rated it liked it
A novella in which Isabel is wrong. Gasp! Actually very enjoyable but not as philosophical as most.
May 08, 2017 Duncan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scottish
Sadly AMS has allowed this to be published as 2/3 short story 1/3 preview of other novel. Beware.
Coffee, Isabel, Edinburgh make for a few hours of fun! And of course, a dilemma to solve.
Antoinette Buchanan
A novella where not everything is as one may assume.
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 23, 2012 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was ok
Was it the slight length? Or just the slight subject matter? I can't really say with precision why I found The Perils of Morning Coffee so very unsatisfying. Available only as an eBook, at 45 pages, author Alexander McCall Smith's 2011 work is closer to a long short story than to a novella. What can happen in less than 50 pages? Well, not much. Isabel Dalhousie responds to an email sent by accident, and she ends up having lunch with the email's sender. A distraught wife accuses Isabel of engagin ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads, fiction
I found the book to be a quirky, enjoyable read. While it had its moments, I also found that I felt a little detached from the plot and characters. I think this was due to the fact that it's a short story, which is part of a larger series, which I haven't read yet.

Isabel was a very original character. She's odd, but in a good, fun way, and I did enjoy reading about her. The plot was okay, but somewhat unoriginal and predictable in how it played out and how it ended. It was underwhelming for me a
Dec 22, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-novels
The price being irresistible, I downloaded two little stories by two of my favorite book authors onto my Kindle. (These stories and/or others are, of course, available for other types of e-readers, as well.) This is something new: short stories or novellas featuring characters familiar from series of novels.

The Perils of Morning Coffee, by Alexander McCall Smith, featured an installment in the life of Isabel Dalhousie that I would hate to have missed. It was as deeply interesting and satisfying
May 06, 2013 Brett rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
In this novella, Isabel Dalhousie's reflections on the human condition get a little frustrated when a chance encounter over coffee with a philosophical colleague leads to accusations of her being an adulteress. Of course, this makes things personal for Isabel, & leads to some typical interference (purely undertaken to clear her good name, of course): is the accusation based on the fact that the wife is paranoid with jealousy, or is the colleague in fact having an affair? If so, with whom? Or ...more
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Isabel Dalhousie (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie, #1)
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Isabel Dalhousie, #2)
  • The Right Attitude to Rain (Isabel Dalhousie, #3)
  • The Careful Use of Compliments (Isabel Dalhousie, #4)
  • The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday (Isabel Dalhousie, #5)
  • The Lost Art of Gratitude (Isabel Dalhousie, #6)
  • The Charming Quirks of Others (Isabel Dalhousie, #7)
  • The Forgotten Affairs Of Youth (Isabel Dalhousie, #8)
  • The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (Isabel Dalhousie, #9)
  • The Novel Habits of Happiness (Isabel Dalhousie, #10)

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“Coffee could easily become lunch if one was not careful, and lunch could so comfortably slip into afternoon tea.” 1 likes
“Time, she felt, made quite enough claims on us, without our conniving in its relentless tyranny.” 0 likes
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