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The Right Attitude to Rain (Isabel Dalhousie #3)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  8,079 Ratings  ·  635 Reviews
Eros is in the air in this installment of Alexander McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series. Isabel Dalhousie's cousin Mimi flies in to Edinburgh from Dallas with her husband, Texas honcho Tom Bruce. Mimi's libidinous observations lead Isabel to question the foundation of her cousin's marriage; she is equally befuddled by Tom's unseemly and quite unpleasant interest i ...more
MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published April 17th 2009 by Recorded Books, LLC (first published 2006)
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Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
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
Moray Barclay
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Derus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, life
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
Kim Kaso
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Droege
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
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
Book Concierge
In this third installment of the series featuring the Edinburgh philosopher, Isabel Dalhousie’s cousin Mimi arrives with her husband, Joe, from Dallas for a visit. Mimi introduces Isabel to Tom Bruce, a wealthy Texas who has recently become engaged to Angie. But Angie seems much more interested in Isabel’s friend Jamie, who used to date Isabel’s niece, Cat. Meanwhile, Cat seems to be falling for a totally unsuitable young man.

What I really like about this series are Isabel’s philosophical musin
I'm not sure why the Isabel Dalhousie series is classified as mystery; the novels seem to be more about Isabel's gradual uncovering or correcting a misconception she had had. Since she's a philosopher, much of the novels detail her interior dialogues about moral philosophy or ethical imperatives, and I thoroughly enjoyed following along her trains of thought. In this novel, Isabel's attention is devoted to love: what makes love real or not, who loves genuinely or not, and it's a gentle, good rea ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ivonne Rovira
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, cozy
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
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, ...,
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audio, quest, uno2016
I'm enjoying this series for it's quiet introspection. It's a nice change of pace from my normal reads.
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is growing on me more and more. Isabel has lost some of her snobbiness and replaced it with a cute kind of cluelessness when it comes to questions of the heart.
I enjoy how thoughtful these books are while all the while being light and comforting reads. There are bits of wisdom spread through a thoroughly enjoyable novel.
Christina Sampson
This review breaks my cardinal rule of no spoilers. It is the first, and hopefully the last, time I will ever have to do that in order to adequately explain part of the reasoning behind my review. I have warned when the spoiler is coming and made the text of it white in an attempt to not ruin the book for a cursory reader.

The Isabel Dalhousie books by Alexander McCall Smith, are my go-to when I need a proper cozy. The serene life of an independently wealthy, cultured Scottish philosopher and he
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the third of what are now ten or eleven "Isabel Dalhousie novels," the Edinburgh-based editor of The Journal of Applied Ethics, takes an interest in an engaged couple from Texas visiting Scotland over the summer. She suspects Angie is after Tom's money first, and after Jamie, Isabel's good-looking young male friend, second; she is surprised to learn, later on, that Tom is attracted to her, Isabel. But after once again tottering on the line between performing her moral duty to a neighbor and n ...more
Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has the narrative arc of spirulina.

Almost nothing happens. And that's the point.

The Right Attitude to Rain follows Isabel Dalhousie around her shoebox life, studiously documenting her inner thoughts; an endless, wittering monologue punctuated with great moral questions clumsily represented as everyday problems. She is an anodyne, pithless woman, a one-dimensional paean to the author’s perfect woman - his Mummy - overlaid with what he imagines are the motivations of his target audience
Beth Bonini
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, mystery
In the third book in the Isabel Dalhousie series, Isabel's cousin from Dallas comes for a long visit -- which results in a house party involved Mimi (the first cousin of Isabel's dead mother), Joe (her husband) and an engaged couple from Dallas. Tom (rich, but with a face marred by Bell's Palsy) and Angie (much younger and beautiful) are a couple who intrigue, and worry, Isabel. She cannot help but get drawn into their relationship, even as her own relationship with Jamie is becoming more compli ...more
Aug 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
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
Sep 09, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 (Isabel Dalhousie, #2)
  • 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)
  • A Distant View of Everything (Isabel Dalhousie #11)

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