Isabel Dalhousie thinks often of friends, sometimes of lovers, and on occasion of chocolate. As an Edinburgh philosopher she is certain of where she stands. She can review a book called In Praise Of Sin with panache and conviction, but real life is ..... well, perhaps a bit more challenging - particularly when it comes to her feelings for Jamie, a younger man who should have married her niece Cat.
And more disturbance is in store. When Cat takes a break in Italy, Isabel agrees to run her delicatessen. 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.
Isabel is intrigued. So intrigued that she finds herself plunging headlong into another risky investigation.
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The man in the brown Harris tweed overcoat - double-breasted with three small leather-covered buttons on the cuff - made his way slowly along the street that led down the spine of Edinburgh.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 160): Guilt, she thought, can sometimes be measured in physical quantities. A heavy drinker might measure his guilt in gallons or litres; a glutton in inches round the waist; and the editor of a journal in terms of the height of the stack of manuscripts awaiting her attention.
MY THOUGHTS: I know, I know, as I'm rapidly discovering I don't like the books of Alexander McCall Smith but with a title like Friends, Lovers, Chocolate how could I resist?
Sadly, still not to my taste, I once again found this a disappointing read.
Rambling at best, incoherent at worse, I'm afraid to say I even found the supposedly philosophical tone of the book to be quite moralising, many of the characters (especially main character Isabel) pompous and patronising.
And that wasn't the worst of it. Largely unbelievable, suspend disbelief all ye who turn these pages, with several strands to the story, the author kept unexpectedly going off at a tangent often leaving threads abruptly and without conclusion.
Perhaps best read after The Sunday Philosophy Club, part one in the series. Hmm, maybe but I suspect not.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Ex library stock, I'm sure it won't surprise you to know I shan't be keeping this.