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The Right Attitude to Rain (Isabel Dalhousie #3)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  6,947 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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 answ
Paperback, 276 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Anchor Books (first published 2006)
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Moray Barclay
Aristotle was wrong. When he wrote “Why is it that all men who are outstanding in philosophy, poetry and the arts are melancholic”, he reckoned without Alexander McCall Smith, an author whose expertise in these fields is matched, if not exceeded, by his frivolity. The character of Isabel Dalhousie reflects this mixture of high intellect, sharp observation and easy sense of humour. During some pre-party wardrobe angst we read that “There were word people, idea people – and then there were clothes ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
About halfway through this book, I thought to myself, "Is anything ever going to HAPPEN, or do we only get to read about Isabel Dalhousie's anguishing over philosophical questions?" Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I think I am as concerned with moral issues as the next person and maybe more so than some of the "next people" of my acquaintance, but the process of intellectual theorizing about these questions page after page after page, alleviated by very minimal action, makes for a fair
Laura Droege
Picking up an Alexander McCall Smith novel makes me want to curl up in a chair with a cup of hot tea. Considering the temperature here in the Southeast, I'll pass on the hot tea. But I have enjoyed the Isabel Dalhousie "mysteries" a great deal. Isabel is a philosopher, given to musings that are thought-provoking for me and that tie in with the novel's themes and plots more than you'd think at first glance.

In Book 3 of the series, Isabel is her usual inquisitive self. She has her American cousins
In creating the character of Isabel Dalhousie, McCall Smith has given us a heroine who is very real and someone I for one am able to identify with (it may be because I am 40!). It is possible that a younger reader may not appreciate her life, her thoughts and her actions as much. However, this is where Mccall Smith is at his best no doubt. He writes so beautifully and so exactly about Isabel's state of mind and the thoughts that almost always seem to make her a participant and an observer at the ...more
Far and away the best of Smith's Isabel Dalhousie novels, IMO. They're branded as mysteries, but they're not really. The first two had more of a "figure out what really happened" kind of vibe, but this one focuses more Isabel's life and personal search for happiness ("How Isabel Got Her Groove Back") and I think it's a stronger story as a result.

Sure, you gotta want a cerebral read. Isabel is a moral philosopher who thinks about everything way, way too much. But she's got such an interesting per
An enjoyable book three with a slightly different feel. Not a mystery, more of a transformational book with pivotal character & plot development. Whereas in book 1 I found it hard to buy into Isabel being in her early forties, over the course of book 2 & 3 we see Isabel less stogy & nosy and more open, active, freer, helping the reader buy into her being a fab 40. I liked the character of Florence, an older wiser woman who encourages Isabel to live without regrets. I equally enjoyed ...more
Highly ambiguous novel, due to the main character, Isabel Dalhousie, who turns out to be an unreliable narrator. At first, 'The right attitude to rain' appears to be a real 'feelgood' book, homely and cosy, paying attention to weather issues and the small complexities of human life.

The main character, Isabel Dalhousie, is a careful observer of human life. She believes she knows how to live life at the fullest and is quick in offering some mental support or advice. She wants to secure the financi
Novel set in Edinburgh (“love paints the world”)

A cosy novel that will entertain at many levels, beautifully bringing Edinburgh and the Scottish way of life to the reader.

I took this book on a recent visit to Edinburgh and was delighted to be able to explore the city in the company of Isabel Dalhousie, philosopher and observer of human life. The storyline is essentially a vehicle for musings about moral conundrums, explorations of the curved balls that life can throw at us, and delighting in the
Sylvia Valevicius
Always gentle, always bright, always just right!

Alexander McCall Smith books are wonderfully, intellectually comforting.

Love this Isabel Dalhousie series. Inadvertently, I read this novel out of order, but no matter - still lovely.

Love her life as a thinker - a philosopher - questioning moral ethics, but living freely.

Enjoy McCall Smith's quaint descriptions of the city of Edinburgh:

"Isabel...was sitting in the window of the Glass and Thompson café at the top of Dundas Street - where it descend
Jennifer D
I just didn't get the point of the story. It was lovely and quaint and I did enjoy the fact that it is set in Edinburgh, but there was really nothing much else to it. Now, I have only read The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by McCall Smith and that was quite a while ago. It was enjoyable. The Right Attitude to Rain is the third book in the "An Isabel Dalhousie Novel" series McCall Smith has created. Did I miss something by jumping into it at the third book? I don't think so. There was enough inf ...more
Ivonne Rovira
The Right Attitude to Rain is the sort of novel which readers will either love or loathe. If you value action and despise what you see as overly thinking about what in Isabel Dalhousie's philosophical journal is called "practical morality" -- moral issues in our everyday lives -- this book, like the others in the Sunday Philosophy Club series, is definitely not for you. You will be ground down by minute examinations of how our everyday decisions truly define who we are at our cores.

However, if y
Enjoyable and unexpected. A bit slow at the start, but then it warms up. As usual I enjoyed the character Isabel's philosophizing and inquiries into what is moral and right, what we are personally responsible for. Questions such as that are not addressed much these days, but our modern world might be better off if they were.

"She moved away from the rug shop. A man inside, anxiously waiting for customers, had seen her and had been watching her. Isabel had looked through the glass, beyond the pile
Dear Ms. Dalhousie--
I continue to enjoy your company (particularly as a light interlude between weightier works--although you are weighty in your own way), but I do have a few bones to pick with you this time.
1. If there was a mystery in this one, I completely missed it. In previous books, the mystery has been rather low-key, but still there. I appreciate that you needed some airtime for the development of your own character, but I kept waiting for a mystery that never appeared.
2. I continue to
Every once in a while, I like a book that makes me think, but makes me think about my immediate world, the little questions that occur to me every day. The big world questions (how to bring world peace, how to solve hunger, why do men kill each other) are too ambitious and depressing for the likes of me. And that's why this series by McCall Smith appeals to me so much -- he makes me think, but does so in an immediate, useful sort of way.

This, the third in his Isabel Dalhousie series, doesn't di
In this third installment of the Isabel Dalhousie series, Alexander McCall Smith has done an admirable job of advancing the plot without being too redundant. For those unfamiliar with the series, but who have read the authors No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, Isabel Dalhousie is a far different protagonist than Mma Ramotswe. While both philosophers in their own right, Isabel's philsophies are academic and rooted in social modernity whereas Precious Ramotswe prides herself on simple wisdom ...more
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This is by the author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which I've seen a lot more at airport bookstores all of the sudden - apparently, HBO did a movie of it.

HBO didn't do a movie of this series, but it's quite good. It takes place in Scotland. This is the second book I've read in the series (the first one I read was #4. I'm going backwards). I'm not sure if they're meant to be mysteries or not. I had thought they were, but maybe I just thought that because the author has another series of
My word it took me a while to get into this one. I had decided not to read any more of McCall Smith's books, in order to give other authors a chance. However, a friend had given me a copy of this for Christmas and I felt obliged to read it.

Another friend spotted it in my handbag and said how much she had enjoyed it. Perhaps I should have told her my misgivings and she would have told me to stick with it. She didn’t, and I persevered, and I am glad I did.

At first I was incredibly envious of Ms Da
It's hard to believe that Alexander McCall-Smith, the same author who wrote the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency and the 44 Scotland Street series, wrote this book from the Sunday Philosophy Club series. So far, I think that this is the worst of the four-book series. The main character, Isabel Dalhousie, a philosopher and professor of ethics, can't seem to get through an hour of her day without analyzing everything into the ground. She spends so much time worrying about her feelings, beliefs, an ...more
The books in this series are like little windows in the life of the protagonist, Isabel Dalhousie. However, at least with the first and second book in the series there was a clear (or not-so-clear in case of book 2) plot involving a mystery of some sort. This book doesn't even have that. It is literally a series of philosophically-oriented musings prompted by a weekend in the country and the fact that Isabel's in love with someone much younger than her who is oh-my-god-so-handsome-and-perfect (t ...more
“The Right Attitude to Rain” is a cozy mystery written by McCall Smith. I listened to this book which kept my attention as the reader did a good job with the characters. Isabel Dalhousis is a philosopher who has a very conservative view of herself and of the moral aspects of life's. In this book she grapples with romantic relationships between individuals of different ages. She also grapples with the importance of the opinions of others related to the freedoms one might enjoy in one’s own life. ...more
Isabel Dalhousie. What a delightful woman, what a delightful story, what a delightful balancing act. I was all set to coast through this series of books in cozy conversation with this thoughtful narrator. Now I see that my window into Isabel's world is to be rather more than that, not just episode after episode of mysteries to be unraveled but a progression of events, not just anticipations but expectations, not just wish fulfillment but a parade of little joys and puzzles and surprises such as ...more
What can I say? This is my third book in this series (the Isabel Dalhousie mysteries) in a short amount of time. I didn't quite devour this one at the breakneck speed employed for the first two, but it still was a very satisfying read. After this one, I would strongly suggest potential readers to read them in order.

I'm reminded of math books that teach a transition to higher (abstract) math. These books are almost like a trasition from murder mysteries to literature. In fact, in this one, ...,
2.5 stars. This series is growing on me. This one has very little mystery; it's about Isabel mulling over the idea of having a love affair with - you know who, if you've read the earlier books. Not much is done with the secondary characters.

There is gradually more Scottish flavor in each book. The tone is faintly wistful about idyllic past times while remaining aware that no such thing ever really existed.

The reveal at the end caught me by surprise. It's not the direction I thought this series w
Now Jamie is 28 and there are 14 years between Isabel and him. In the first novel he was 24 - same age as Cat- and Isabel was in her early forties, which she still is - 42. Also, there was 6 years age difference between Isabel and Grace in the first novel now there is 4. I don't understand the author's total lack of consistency with his characters' ages. If he wants to be flexible he should not be specific in the first place. Wouldn't you go back and check what you had previously written???? I k ...more
Imagine you're taking a walk, all alone. You see an acquaintance on the way. You join her, you catch up on her life, you part when you need to.

That's what this book reads like. You get a peak into the life of Isabel Dalhousie - a kindly soul who happens to be a philosopher. She's 41 years old, she's wealthy (by her own admission), she's beautiful (say others). She's also in love with her niece's ex-boyfriend and wondering what to do about it.

You will enjoy this book if:
1. You have no expectation
Lillian Carl
This is the third book in the Isabel Dalhousie series, which I'm enjoying as much as the No
1 Ladies Detective Agency series. This installment doesn't even pretend to be a
mystery---there's a hint of a suspicious incident right at the end of the story, but it's
abandoned as soon as it's introduced. This is a romance, detailing the transition of
Isabel's relationship with Jamie from friendship to lover---and beyond.

With so little plot in this episode, Isabel's tendency to overthink everything act
Peter Herrmann
I normally don't care for books where not much happens. But, like many of the Japanese movies of director Yasujiro Ozu (a leap here, perhaps), where - similarly - not much happens, I found myself riveted and infused with a warm feeling. I had to know where this book was heading and whether anything dramatic would occur; and throughout the experience I felt a warm sense of community (in Isabel's case, her concern for others) and of traditions (in her case, consistent pursuit of truth and respect ...more
Ellen Seltz
I read the preceding Dalhousie books several years ago, and was very disappointed in this one. Almost immediately, I was put off by the main character's defense of her obsessive nosiness. Some amateur sleuths shrug off their busybody tendencies in a humorous way as a charming quirk.

Isabel, however, argues that it makes her morally superior to people who believe in respecting other people's privacy and personal boundaries. She states that one must intrude into other people's lives - even uninvite
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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)
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
  • 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)
  • 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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