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Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Isabel Dalhousie #2)

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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  8,456 ratings  ·  663 reviews
ISABEL DALHOUSIE - Book 2

Nothing captures the charm of Edinburgh like the bestselling Isabel Dalhousie series of novels featuring the insatiably curious philosopher and woman detective. Whether investigating a case or a problem of philosophy, the indefatigable Isabel Dalhousie, one of fiction’s most richly developed amateur detectives, is always ready to pursue the answers
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 20th 2005 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2005)
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The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall SmithThe Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall SmithThe Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall SmithFriends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall SmithThe Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel Dalhousie
4th out of 6 books — 9 voters
Witch Song by Amber ArgyleFallen by Lauren KateCrossroads by Mary TingRevelations by Lindsay Anne KendalBloodlines by Lindsay Anne Kendal
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Donna
Nov 25, 2007 Donna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like to read about relationships
Shelves: literary-novels
I'm getting worried. I've read all but two of Alexander McCall Smith's books, and I read faster than he can write. It'll be hard to find another author I can trust for my bedtime reading--one whose books are like slipping into a cozy conversation with a thoughtful, well-read, gossipy friend.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, the second book in the Isabel Dalhousie series, explores the intriguing subject of whether memories can be stored in organs other than the brain. Meanwhile, Isabel's intense, Plato
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Margaret H.
This should really be a 3.5 star book-- certainly better than The Sunday Philosopher's Club, as its plot has a bit more resolution to it. Isabel, however, begins to wear a bit thin-- a little too self-righteous, and not nearly self-aware enough to really justify it. However, I might be feeling this more from the last two books (The Right Attitude to Rain and The Careful Use of Compliments) than from this particular book. I think she's really at her best in this installment.
Caroline
Another pleasant mystery, full of interesting philosophical musings rather than melodramatic deaths and red herrings. Like the No. 1 Ladies series, and the previous book in this series, the mystery is almost second place to the lives of the characters, although it's definitely an compelling one this round. Isabel meets a man who has had a heart transplant, and thinks he is having visions of the donor's life--specifically, he keeps seeing a face. Isabel jumps to the conclusion that this face must ...more
Lain
I have really enjoyed this series, and was intrigued by the idea of "cellular memories." But I was so disappointed in the resolution of this book -- I felt like McCall Smith ran out of energy after writing the first 75 percent of the book. The end just petered out. I kept expecting some kind of "kicker," but none ever came.

The writing, as always, is smooth, and the descriptions of Edinburgh compelling. But there wasn't much else to recommend about the book.
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Book Report: No life is perfect. Isabel Dalhousie would seem to be an exception to that rule, since she's rich, well-educated, and has a job she loves. (Hate her yet?) But all else being equal, which it never is, how can you hate a woman who believes it is a moral duty to help someone who most of us would call nutsy-cuckoo?

She meets a man who has had a heart transplant. He's troubled by dreams and memories of a man with a scarred eye, and a sense of foreboding and unhappi
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Jessica
Jun 28, 2008 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anna
Recommended to Jessica by: Jennifer
This series just gets better. It's the mystery novel for the thinking person. Our heroine, Isabel Dalhousie is, as ever, distracted from her mystery (which is usually more of an intrigue than a real mystery) by the pressing issues of applied ethics. The real delight in this, of course, is setting the book down in your lap for a bit to think over whether or not it is our moral obligation to respond to all emails, or whatever question may have arisen, and then pop back into the story like nothing ...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Davinia Porter

Book #2 in the Isabel Dalhousie series has Isabel contemplating mysteries of the heart – literally and figuratively. When her niece, Cat, asks her to look after the delicatessen while Cat is on holiday, Isabel meets a man with a very interesting problem. He has recently had a heart transplant and now is experiencing strange dreams / memories of things that never happened to him.

This has been languishing on my tbr for quite some time. I read the first book
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Anne Hawn Smith
I am always amazed at the interesting questions Alexander McCall Smith brings to his novels. Again, the mystery is not the most important thing about the book. In this one, the strange feelings of a man who has received a donor heart are the mystery. Is there something as a cell memory which is giving him visions he can only suspect are from the donor's life? Isabelle decides to tackle the question and we follow her thorough many false starts and red herrings.

As with the others, the lives of her
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Carissa
i checked this one out (in fact, i also listened to the sunday philosophers club since it was the first in this series) simply because it had the word chocolate in the title and the pictures of a cafe on the front–ripe with the promise of foodie fiction. no such luck. i don’t actually remember any chocolate at all in this book. yes, isabel dalhousie (which always brings to mind a tiny toy house for precious dolls) does “mind the shop” for her niece, but… not really. that is such a miniscule part ...more
Jem
The second instalment in the Sunday Philosophy Club series (Isabel Dalhousie novels) was almost as good as the first. It was intriguing to see more exposition of Isabel as a human being with human flaws and failings; namely occasional jealousy, a tendency to jump to conclusions and the odd touch of paranoia. In this series so far, as in the 44 Scotland Street series, Edinburgh and it's character as a city pervades all aspects of the book and as someone who loves the city that works well for me! ...more
Stig
Alexander McCall Smith is one of my favourite writers, and it's always a joy to dig into one of his books. I'm pretty much up to date with his Botswana novels and his 44 Scotland Street stories, and now it's time to have a serious go at his series about Isabel Dalhousie, slightly frustrated middle-aged ethical philosopher.

I have seen it remarked that nothing much ever happens in an Alexander McCall Smith novel. That is both true and false. There is not much high drama, and conflicts, such as th
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Nicole
I am a big fan of McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, but was disappointed when I began reading this newer series, starting with The Sunday Philosophy Club. I didn't find Isabel Dalhousie anywhere near as endearing as Mma Ramotswe, but I decided to press on and read Friends, Lovers, Chocolate to see if the series improved any.[return]I enjoyed this book much more than the first in the series. Isabel seemed more likable and a bit funnier, whereas I had only found her strange and ...more
Liz
Jun 20, 2008 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who appreciate witty humor
The Isabel Dalhousie series is close to the Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency series as far as style goes, but different enough that it doesn't feel like the same story written over again. This story is aimed towards a more sophisticated audience, however; there were quite a few words in this book that I had to either use context clues to decipher the meaning or convince myself that the meaning was unimportant to the storyline (too lazy to grab my dictionary, I'm afraid).

It's amazing to me that a m
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Anne
This is the second installment in Smith's Isabel Dalhousie series about a meddling philosopher in Scotland. Isabel edits a philosophy journal, moonlights at her beautiful niece's deli, maintains friendships with a budding musician 15 years her junior, and interjects her opinions with reckless abandon wherever she pleases. In this one, Isabel meets a gentleman by the name of Ian, a recent recipient of a heart transplant. Ian has been experiencing strange visions and memories, and considers the po ...more
Jean
This, the second book of McCall Smith's , " Sunday Philosophy Club " trilogy " leads me directly on to the third and final book, " The Right Attitude to Rain "

Not only to I lean toward the philosophical/ethical musings of the main character, Isabel Dalhouse, editor of the, "Review of Applied Ethics" , but I find in her a companion to my thoughts, where as in real life I often get "looks" as does she when these thoughts are verbalized.

And, when I'm through with the final edition......I'll miss yo
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Kathleen Dixon
This is the second of the Isabel Dalhousie series, and ordinarily I prefer to read the first first, but as I'm trying to wend my way through books on my WaitShelf I decided to read this anyway. I'd have to order the first from the library, and I've already broken my intention to get nothing from the library until I'd read all my own books. So the second has come first.
Not a problem - the author has threaded enough in about the protagonist to make the allusions to the Sunday Philosophy Club (the
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Joanna Mcdonald
This is book about a philosopher Isabel Dalhousie who is asked by her cousin (Cat) to look after her cafe while she is away on holiday.

While working in the Cafe, one of the customers, she discovers, has recently had a heart transplant and is now being plagued by memories that cannot be rationally explained and which he feels do not belong to him. He confides in Isabel over lunch at the Scottish Arts Club.

Isabel is intrigued so much so that she finds herself accompanying her housekeeper Grace to
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Dolly
May 14, 2015 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alexander McCall Smith fans
I've read several of the author's books and this is the second I've read in the Sunday Philosophy Club series.

While I liked this story, I had many of the same issues with this one that I had with the first one. At least in the first book, the characters were new and the plot was a bit more exciting.

This time around, the characters seemed more whiny, more two dimensional and the book rambled so much, it often felt like there was no storyline.

Overall, it just didn't seem as well put together as
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Valerie
A warm book to curl up with. Unfortunately I didn't realize this was the second in the series--will have to go back and read the first. Smith has a very personable way of writing that makes the world feel like a cozier place.
Norah
I'm enjoying this series as much as the Number One Ladies Detective Agency...I love Isabel's philosophical thinking. "Comfort food" reading, for me.
Harold
Typical of this author.
Lillian Carl
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate is the second in Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie

mystery series, which I'm growing to like as much as I like his Ladies No 1 Detective

Agency series.

In this installment, Isabel is still angsting over the nature of her relationship with her

niece's ex-lover Jamie, a musician who is 15 years younger than Isabel. Fortunately

Isabel takes a brisk approach to her own angst and it's not the focus of the novel. She

also helps a man who's had a heart transplant find
...more
Sally Koetsveld
Apr 26, 2007 Sally Koetsveld rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I've just now finished this book and absolutely loved it. Its perfect for someone affected by brainfog, not too difficult to take in and remember, likeable characters, a joy to read.

Here's something funny. I had the book with me yesterday at the doctors. When he referred to the author as 'he', I baulked, then looked at the book. Because the main character is a female, when reading this and the preceding book I'd read "Alexander' as "Alexandra'. It cracked up both me and my GP.

Go Brainfog.
Gina
My sister said this story was rather draggy and slow paced; I could understand why when I was reading it. It's rare to find the main character a philosopher because philosophers are deep thinkers. For the same reason, everything about the plot and dialogues in this book is profound and thought-provoking. It's like reading a philosophy book about life, only this one is made interesting through storytelling approach. Surprisingly I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for a great masterpiece, Alexander!
Barb Morgan
Just finished up listening to audiobook---my FAVORITE reader Davina Porter. If you love audiobooks, be sure to give this reader a listen. She is wonderful, delightful Scottish brogue.

Recently discovered McCall Smith. This is my second Dalhousie mystery. They are not the typical 'mystery'--no dead bodies, no crime clues. But very engaging. Although Isabel is certainly annoying at times, she is very true to life. And the character studies that drive the stories are entertaining.
Linda
Mar 20, 2008 Linda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of gentle, character driven mysteries
Shelves: mystery, scotland
If I were reading these in order, I probably wouldn't have liked this book as much as I did. Isabel is just as dithery in this book as she was in the first. However, knowing her better as a character helped me to have a bit more patience, and I did appreciate filling in the gaps in her story that jumping around had created. The mystery in this one is ok, but as usual it is an excuse for the characters to interact, rather than the driving force of the book.
Marilyn
This just seemed a bit off for me. I had a hard time getting into the novel and then it just didn't seem to flow as well as the No.1 Detective Agency series. I liked Isabel Dollhousie, but felt her "philosophizing" didn't take the reader anywhere.And the adventures she had were very muddy. She didn't go with the Italian. The big murder mystery was turned out to be quite tame, etc. Quite disappointed from what I was expecting.
Susan Johnson
I listened to this on my Thanksgiving drive and enjoyed it. I love his No. 1 Ladies series and found this one to be OK. Isabel Dalhousie is a little tiring to me. She is a philosopher and can rationalize on any little detail until you just get tired of it. Still, it was a good companion for a long ride. It was a nice story and Davina Porter does a wonderful reading job. I have heard her on the "Outlander" series and really like her.
Corinne Waterbury
OK, I confess, another book on CD. This series is way tongue-in-cheek, fun light reading (or listening) with a foolish, nosy, but endearing heroine. This author, Alexander McCall Smith, is very prolific but also very good. If you want a laugh-out-loud take on academia, try "Portugese Irregular Verbs" and it's spinoffs featuring the exploits of a pompous German professor. Wish I could write like this!
Jill
Jan 14, 2008 Jill rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jéan
Lame! Total "No.1 Ladies Detective Agency: Redeux in Scotland!" effort.

but I must admit, if you've ever lived in Edinburgh/Scotland or have even spent much time in Edinburgh/Scotland, you would probably like it because the way AMc-S writes is to drop names and addresses and landmarks all over his books. That creates a nostalgia and whimsy if you've ever been there before, whilst you're reading.
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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 11 books)
  • The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie, #1)
  • 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: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel  (Isabel Dalhousie, #10)
  • At the Reunion Buffet (Isabel Dalhousie, #10.5) (Isabel Dalhousie Novels)
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1) Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2) Morality for Beautiful Girls (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #3) The Kalahari Typing School for Men (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #4) The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #5)

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“But don't we often lie to people we love, or not tell them things, precisely because we love them?” 44 likes
“You have to leave your heart to get on with it. It's rather like breathing. We don't have to remind ourselves to breathe.” 19 likes
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