Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Review – Alexander McCall SMITH – “The Comfort of Saturdays”

Publ: 2008 Little, Brown
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 1 4087 0065 5
Genre: General Fiction; Philosophy, Mystery
Pages: 234p
Continuation of reading this series
Rating: ***** ****

(Appears to have also been published with the title “The Comfort of a Muddy Saturday”)

What led you to pick up this book?
I have read and enjoyed the previous five Isabel Dalhousie novels of McCall Smith.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Isabel, the owner and editor of a journal of philosophy, has a small child and a new challenge when she hears at a dinner party of a disgraced doctor who appears to be innocent of the allegations which have ruined his career. Despite the advice of her younger partner, Jamie, she responds to the challenge of proving him innocent.

What did you think of the characters?
I delight in Isabel’s thought processes and her ethical battles with herself. Many of the rest of the Edinburgh crowd are re-introduced to good effect.

What did you think about the style?
I think there was a danger of McCall Smith going OTT in showing off his expertise as the series progressed but this book is back to providing a good balance between story line and philosophy.

What did you like most about the book?
The element of familiarity is always a selling point when one is well into a series. The reader is saved much of the hassle of imagining the characters as they are already firmly established as ‘real’ people without the need to be introduced.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
I like it when a series has a matching style of book jacket and whilst these are not inspiring they do match.

Would I recommend it?


Without shame, guilt became a toothless thing, a prosecutor with no penalties up his sleeve.

...had there not been a Victorian librarian who had insisted on keeping books by men and women on separate shelves – unless, of course, the authors were married, in which case the books might properly be placed side by side.

Letters with moral merit are often very dull, Humour, Charlie, usually needs a victim.

Isabel shot a glance at her niece. It seemed inconceivable to her, not to be intrigued by the world. But Cat really was not. She related only to those things that impinged upon her immediate life.

ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH see The Right Attitude to Rain.


  1. For a better review than mine - see

  2. I like the quote about the books by men and women being kept on separate shelves unless their authors were married.


Hello folks - your comments are always welcome.