The second book in Alexander McCall Smith's new DETECTIVE VARG series . . . 'Reading the novel feels like a form of meditation . . . There is much to enjoy' Scotsman Spring is coming slowly to Sweden - though not quite as slowly as Detective Ulf Varg's promised promotion at the Department of Sensitive Crimes. For Varg, referred by his psychoanalyst to group therapy at Malmö's Wholeness Centre, life now seems mostly a circle of self-examination, something which may or may not be useful when it comes to the nature of his profession and the particularly sensitive cases that have recently come to light. All in a day's work for Detective Varg, except that one of his new investigations involves fellow detective Anna; it will require every ounce of self-discipline he has in order to remain professional. The other, more curious case is centred around internationally successful novelist Nils Personn-Cederström. According to his girlfriend, Cederström is being blackmailed - but by whom and for what reason? Accompanied by his irritating but kindly colleague Blomquist, Varg begins his enquiries and soon the answers fall neatly into place. Nothing and no one is ever that simple, however, and not for the first time he learns as much about his own emotional and moral landscape as he does about the motives of others. Now Varg must make a possibly life-changing decision. Will he choose his own happiness over that of his heart's desire?
Spring is coming slowly to Sweden - though not quite as slowly as Detective Ulf Varg's promised promotion at the Department of Sensitive Crimes. For Varg, referred by his psychoanalyst to group therapy at Malmo's Wholeness Centre, life now seems mostly a circle of self-examination: something which may or may not be useful when it comes to the nature of his profession, and the particularly sensitive cases that have recently come to light. One of his new investigations involves fellow detective Anna Bengsdotter; it will require every ounce of self-discipline he has in order to remain professional. The other, more curious case is centred around internationally successful novelist Nils Personn-Cederstrom. According to his girlfriend, Cederstrom is being blackmailed - but by whom, and for what reason?
The first book in Alexander McCall Smith's new Detective Varg series . . . The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo introduced us to Scandi noir. Now, welcome to Alexander McCall Smith's world of Scandi blanc, where mysteries abound and there is still so much for a Swedish detective to learn. Ulf Varg works in Malmö's Department of Sensitive Crimes. Like all Scandinavian detectives, he has his issues. In this case, these include his unresolved feelings for his colleague Anna, his impatience over the seeming incompetence of his irritating colleague Blomquist and his concerns for the health of his hearing-impaired dog Martin, the only dog in Sweden (and possibly all Scandinavia) who can lip-read. Soon, Ulf and his colleagues find themselves investigating an attack on a market trader, the disappearance of a handsome man who may not exist and a group of students whose relationships leave a great deal to be desired . . . 'Wonderfully soothing and relaxing' Telegraph
THE THIRTEENTH INSTALLMENT OF THE MUCH-LOVED ISABEL DALHOUSIE SERIES When Isabel Dalhousie and her husband Jamie book a table at an expensive Edinburgh restaurant, she finds herself battling with her conscience. Lately, there has been a lull in work for the Review of Applied Ethics, and the care of their young sons, Charlie and Magnus, is often undertaken by their housekeeper Grace. Is Isabel deserving of such a luxurious dinner? But Isabel holds herself to impossible moral standards. Not so, the parents of one of Jamie's students, who have no qualms about ensuring their son's place in the school orchestra, despite his mediocre talent. In the restaurant, Isabel witnesses a row between local businessmen; another reminder that thoughtless ambition is too often second nature to others. Compelled to intervene in the aftermath, Isabel's sense of integrity is observed by a fellow diner, Iain Melrose, who seeks out her help. He must decide which of his remaining relatives should one day inherit his estate. Isabel, he believes, would make a just executor of his will. While she deliberates, another troubling situation arises with her niece, Cat, whose relationship with the unlikeable Leo is causing her to behave recklessly, putting Isabel in a very difficult position. Faced with such weighty decisions, can Isabel balance compassion and integrity to make the right choice for all, and to protect those she holds dear to her heart?
Grace Makutsi's husband, Phuti, is in a bind. An international firm is attempting to undercut his prices in the office furniture market. Phuti has always been concerned with quality and comfort, but this new firm seems interested only in profits. To make matters worse, they have a slick new advertising campaign that seems hard to beat. Nonetheless with Mma Ramotswe's help, Phuti comes up with a campaign that may just do the trick. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi is approached by an old friend who has a troubled son. Grace and Phuti agree to lend a hand, but the boy proves difficult to reach, and the situation is more than they can handle on their own. It will require not only all of their patience and dedication, but also the help of Mma Ramotswe and the formidable Mma Potokwani in order to help the child. Faced with more than her fair share of domestic problems, Mma Makutsi deals with it all with her usual grace. That, along with the kindness, generosity, and good sense that the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is known for, assure us that in the end, all these matters will be set right.
Our favorite moral philosopher is caught up in a delicate dispute between members of a prominent family as her husband, Jamie, is dragged into his own internecine rivalry. Isabel accepts an invitation to serve on the advisory committee of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, but soon finds herself swept up in an all-too-familiar dilemma. David is the grandson of a Scottish clan chief and is supportive of Scottish nationalism. But his fervent beliefs are threatening family harmony, especially because his sister Catriona's socialist views put her at odds with her brother. When their mother, Laura, a fellow committee member, asks Isabel to intervene, she tries to demur. But always one for courteous resolutions to philosophical disagreements, Isabel can't help but intercede. In the meantime, Jamie, having criticized Isabel for getting involved in the affairs of others, does precisely that himself. Jamie is helping to select a new cellist for his ensemble, but he suspects that the conductor may be focused on something other than his favored candidate's cello skills. With so many factors complicating matters, Isabel and Jamie will have to muster all their tact and charm to ensure that comity is reached between all these fractious parties.
The latest instalment from the beloved THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY series Mma Ramotswe knows she is very lucky indeed. She has a loving family, good friends and a thriving business doing what she enjoys most: helping people. But the latest mystery she is called upon to solve is distinctly trickier than it initially appears, and, of course, there's plenty to handle in her personal life between Charlie and his new bride and Mma Makutsi and her talking shoes. In the end, Mma Ramotswe's patience and common-sense will win out, and, without a doubt, all will be the better for it.
Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due—a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray. In Unusual Uses for Olive Oil, von Igelfeld experiences a series of new adventures. First, he finds that his academic rival Detlev-Amadeus Unterholzer has been winning undeserved recognition, a situation that must be addressed. Then von Igelfeld stumbles toward a romance with Frau Benz, a charming widow who owns her very own Schloss and a fleet of handsome cars—that is, until a faux pas lands him on the curb. Later, while on the annual student study retreat in the Alps, von Igelfeld fearlessly plunges 3000 feet into mountaineering history, and turns his survival into the subject of inspirational lectures. Finally, at a dinner party, he is the only kind soul who can aid an unfortunate dachshund whose sticky wheels are in need of lubrication. Alexander McCall Smith’s Professor von Igelfeld is his most wonderfully maddening, ridiculous, and utterly inspired comic creation.
44 SCOTLAND STREET - Book 5 The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring six-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy—just ask his mother. Featuring all the quirky characters we have come to know and love, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, finds Bertie, the precocious six-year-old, still troubled by his rather overbearing mother, Irene, but seeking his escape in the Cub Scouts. Matthew is rising to the challenge of married life with newfound strength and resolve, while Domenica epitomizes the loneliness of the long-distance intellectual. Cyril, the gold-toothed star of the whole show, succumbs to the kind of romantic temptation that no dog can resist and creates a small problem, or rather six of them, for his friend and owner Angus Lordie. With his customary deftness, Alexander McCall Smith once again brings us an absorbing and entertaining tale of some of Scotland's most quirky and beloved characters--all set in the beautiful, stoic city of Edinburgh.
A Vintage Shorts “Short Story Month” Original Selection In this warm, intelligently observed novella, Isabel Dalhousie, Alexander McCall Smith's wonderful heroine, learns valuable lessons about inviting the past (and everyone in it) back into your life. Isabel Dalhousie--philosopher, mother and friend--has generously agreed to host the opening dinner for her school reunion weekend. Twenty-five former classmates will descend upon her home, bringing with them new names, new looks, and old reputations. While some will see the reunion as an opportunity to forge new friendships and reaffirm old ones, others aren't interested in changing their minds about the past. One particular classmate, Barbara Grant, was known as an especially mean girl who bullied the others relentlessly. As hostess, Isabel feels compelled to help her guests on the path toward reconciliation and forgiveness, but bitter feelings and long-held secrets threaten to derail her efforts entirely. With her trademark insight and compassion, Isabel Dalhousie may find a way to navigate these treacherous waters. An eBook short.