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The Charming Quirks of Others (Isabel Dalhousie, #7)
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The Charming Quirks of Others (Isabel Dalhousie #7)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  3,323 ratings  ·  478 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 answer
Paperback, Large Print, 400 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Random House Large Print (first published 2010)
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I'm growing to hate Isabel Dalhousie. If I knew her in real life I would avoid her at all costs. But I keep reading these books and I can't say why. The main plots limp along at soap opera pacing and every book is basically the same:

Isabel insecure in relationship, spends lots of time fretting and thinking about how kind and beautiful Jamie is.

Isabel worries about her niece's latest boyfriend and grills Jamie about his feelings for Cat.

Isabel spends lots of time thinking about how terribly busy
I admit it--I'm an Alexander McCall-Smith addict! I've read everything he's written thus far, and eagerly await each new volume. His wisdom about human nature is acute--this volume has a couple of wonderful quotes about love: "We do not need to look for reasons for love. It is simply there; it comes upon us without invitation, without reason sometimes; it surprises us when we are least expecting it, when we think that our hearts are closed or that we are not ready, or we imagine that it will nev ...more
Although Alexander McCall Smith sometimes puts his main characters in peril they don't, in the end, suffer: leaving the reader feeling happy and content and that all in right in the world! Alexander McCall Smith's writes kindly and humane books which are an antidote to all the crime fiction I read!

As this is the 7th book in the Isabel Dalhousie series, I could barely keep my interest in Isabel as all the moral dilemmas that a middle-class lady in Edinburgh can plausibly encounter has been exhaus
This is such a sweet series that I feel guilty for not liking it better. If I were the heroine, Isabel Dalhousie, I would now spend several pages on the nature of guilt, why everybody is guilty, why I should or should not feel guilty...It's gotten so I find Isabel one of the most irritating characters in current fiction, so maybe I'll just give up on her. In this book, she's asked to find out which of three candidates for a job has something questionable in his past. She spends most of her time, ...more
Graeme Roberts
I just love Isabel Dalhousie and her philosophical meanderings, despite the flaws of the series, which become more obvious with each book. When will Jamie (Isabel's beloved) and Cat (Isabel's niece and Jamie's former girlfriend) be more than two dimensional. Cat hasn't been allowed to grow, despite her increasing experience of men, who are mostly unsuitable. Perhaps too much about complete love and total immersion in each other, but I guess that I need to understand if that exists.

This book lame
Nov 27, 2010 Naomi rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010

The first one of this series I can truly say I just didn't like. The end almost redeemed the book, but Isabel is just not her level-headed self, and jumps to outrageous conclusions based on hunches. Very unsatisfactory.
Isabel's thought after a brief hug from her son Charlie, "That was the lot of the mother of sons; one embraced and held them, but even in their tenderness they were struggling to get away, and would."

OK, that sentence isn't particularly relevant to the book. It's just one of the many Isabel Dalhousie thoughts that I found myself going back and reading again. As the mother of sons I found it poignant, especially those last two words "and would".

I don't really read these books for the mystery, but
I vacillate in my opinion of the Isabel Dalhousie character between finding her rather sweet and charming and finding her insufferaable and irritating. This entry in the series has to be placed in the latter category.

The story here is that a school is looking for a new headmaster and has narrowed its list of candidates down to three, but an anonymous letter has been received indicating something scandalous in the background of one of three. Unfortunately, the letter doesn't say which one. Isabel
I was somewhat disappointed by the latest Dalhousie novel. It wasn't as engaging as usual and the storyline is wearing thin. Not the Jamie/Isabel storyline, but the actual mystery she is asked to solve. I am hoping the next novel will be more lively and embedded in a solid story.

I agree with one of the other reviewers that her persisting anguish and insecurity with regard to Jamie's reasons for being attracted to her is starting to become slightly annoying, though understandable. It makes her s
Jo Bennie
Nov 30, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: m, s
This Isabel Dalhousie novel was still charming and thoughtful, just not as gripping as some of the others. Isabel is asked to vet three candidates for the headship of a nearby boarding school, feeling obliged she takes it on and finds the affair complicated by one of them being her neice Cat's new boyfriend. Juggling life with baby Charlie, partner Jamie, plans for weddings, work for the Review of Applied Ethics and the machinations of her nemesis Christopher Dove, this is a low key reflection o ...more
I love the Isabel series, so getting a new installment is a treat. This one does not disappoint; although the problem Isabel is called to solve is a bit thin, her interpersonal relationships are as vibrant as ever.
Catherine  Mustread
I find Alexander McCall Smith's novels entertaining and quick reads, yet somewhat condescending, sometimes annoying and not very satisfying. I will rank AMS high on the storytelling ability scale and perhaps that's what draws me back to his series.

This seventh book in the Isabel Dalhousie/Sunday Philosophy Club series finds more tension than usual between Jamie and Isabel and the (remote) possibility that their relationship might be in trouble. Isabel manages to sleuth out the primary cause of
I feel a bit disloyal giving Alexander McCall Smith an "It was OK" rating, but, well, it was just OK. He is a humane and kind author, and this is a humane and gentle book, but it took some effort to get through it. I kept falling asleep. I do like the series and the characters, but the charming quirks of Isabel are getting a little thin. Her insecurities in her relationship with Jamie are wearing, and her relationship with her son is so cerebral that I have a hard time believing in it. All in al ...more
Another lovely installment in a series which deals not with big, flashy crimes, but with more intimate, low-key mysteries of life. Much of the action is quiet, and there is lots of talking and thinking, and that's just fine by me. As always, I am impressed by the author's clear affection of the people and the place in which the story is set (Edinburgh in this case, Botswana in the case of his other well-known series), as well as his obviously deep respect and admiration for women.
I feel better a
I became a fan of Alexander McCall-Smith with his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series, and also The Portuguese Irregular Verbs Series. I was not a fan of The 44 Scotland Street Series.

This is my first Isabel Dalhousie book and I like the character very much. Her obsessive introspection is insightful, "'We don't always see our own faults with crystal clarity,' said Isabel. 'But since you put me on the spot, I suppose I would have to say that I tend to over-complicate matters- it's my training.

Book 7 of the Isabel Dalhousie series, though I pretty much think any Alexander McCall Smith book could be called "The Charming Quirks of Others." I've let a couple years pass since reading the last installment in the series, but no problem with these book as it is just like picking up with an old friend you haven't seen for awhile: quick, easy and it never feels like that much time has passed. While Isabel always encounters many folks with "charming quirks" there seems no more apt description
Doug Cooper
It took me the better part of an afternoon/evening to read this. A quick, yet satisfying book for a lazy day. I've stuck with the Isabel Dalhousie series and I've come to realize that the point of the story is never the main dilemma that Isabel has to solve. It's always about her foibles, misgivings and thoughts. I identify with her because I have a tendency to over-think Everything and I tend to daydream (albeit when no one else is around to interact with). In the end of Charming Quirks she tel ...more
I'm sorry - I realize there is a huge following of this series but I am finding Ms. Dalhousie more boring and hypocritical. There's actually a point in this book where she's talking to another woman at a party and the woman ends the conversation and walks way and Isabel observes that "She thinks I'm boring." Yeah - she's not the only one. I also find her wishy washy jealousy and insecurity with Jamie scream worthy. She's definitely not a confident woman and she isn't that smart really. I have no ...more
Louise Reid
I loved this particular installment in Isabel Dalhousie's life. It was charming and fun. I do so enjoy Isabel's (i.e. the author's) way of thinking. I also appreciate that the author has made a 'real' character who has faults and who occasionally gets mired down and stuck in her way of thinking about things.
Readable enough, if you enjoy these characters as I do, but this is possibly the weakest book in the series. Very little happens. We get more of Isabel's jealousy and more of Cat's defensiveness about yet another boyfriend. The mystery is dull and Isabel "solves" it mostly through sheer guesswork.
The story-line is dull and the characters are a little flat. Isobel often comes across as whiny and insecure.
Gwen the Librarian
Not my favorite in the series, but still cozy and philosophical.
On Chapter Eight. I just love the character Jamie.
Pure comfort reading.
Well, in some ways I liked this better than the previous book. But overall, there seemed to be a lot more thought and less interaction with other characters in this book than in previous ones (if I recall correctly), which was a little disappointing. And the possible conflicts or interesting interactions simply did not develop, they simply... dissolved.

I will admit, though, that I was surprised at Isabel's 'immediate' responses to Eddie and Prue's individual comments. I can understand that she m
Isabel has been asked for her help in a rather tricky situation: A successor is being sought for the headmaster at a local boys’ school. The board has three final candidates but has received an anonymous letter alleging that one of them has a very serious skeleton in the closet. Could Isabel discreetly look into it? And so she does. What she discovers about all the candidates is surprising, but what she discovers about herself and about Jamie, the father of her young son, turns out to be equally ...more
Isabel Dalhousie gets asked to do things for people. She isn't sure she should do investigations into other people's lives, but she can't help herself from saying yes. This time she is asked to look into three candidates for a teaching position, one of whom is her niece's new boyfriend. Another of them is suspected in a mysterious death in a mountain climbing accident. As usual, Isabel's imagination leads her to the wrong conclusion, both in the teacher investigation and closer to home when she ...more
Liz V.
Mr. McCall writes a very readable series, but Isabel Dalhousie seems diminished in the last two books I've read.

In this book, Isabel is asked to identify the person, among three short-listed candidates for head of a boys' school, about whom insinuations are made in an anonymous letter. Isabel dabbles in the mystery, rather than undertaking a serious investigation and, most troubling, proposes one candidate after another as author of the letter without facts.

As in prior novels, her relationship w
Once again Isabel accepts a plea for help and finds out more than she wanted to know. The philosophical musings thread seamlessly through the story, providing insight into Isabel's very human impulses. The Charming Quirks of Others is a pleasant book, useful for both entertainment and discussion.

I relate to Isabel's character because her thought processes are much like my own. In some other books, however, she does seem a bit too academic. I was pleased to see more emotional impulses in this sto
I really like this series. Isabel can be pedantic at times; overly sensitive and emotional at other times, and not very tolerant at still other time; but I like her just the same. She's human.

As usual, Isabel can't say no and agrees to look into the background of three candidates for the headmaster position at a nearby boy's school. Isabel is not a trained, professional investigator, but a philosopher - in fact, she own's and edits a philosophical quarterly magazine. She has however, developed
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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
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“It is because you are generous in spirit; and may I be like that; may I become like you—which unrealistic wish, to become the other, is such a true and revealing symptom of love, its most obvious clue, its unmistakable calling card.” 0 likes
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