Writer: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Anchor Books (First Anchor Books Edition, 2005)
Bought at: Plaza Semanggi (IDR 20k, bargain price!)
The first installment of Isabel Dalhousie’s series told the life of Isabel in picturesque, calm Edinburgh. Isabel is a philosopher leading a quiet life, living in a big house inherited from her parents, only with her helper, Grace. Isabel works as an editor for a philosophy journal and really eager to make her Sunday Philosophy Club works (although until the end of the book, this doesn’t happen yet).
One day, Isabel’s calm world is ruined by an incident, when she became the eyewitness of a man falling down from a balcony after a music concert in Usher Hall. Isabel didn’t know the man but she can’t forget his expression when he’s soaring down to his death.
Isabel decided to investigate and satisfy her curiosity. She embarked on a journey to enter a world that she never encountered before. She met with the man’s friends and colleagues and tried to figure out what is the reason and background of the tragedy.
Isabel was helped by Grace, her niece Kat, and Kat’s ex fiance Jamie (whom Isabel has a big crush on), to make sense of everything.
One of the most charming things of this book is the setting. Edinburgh is a lovely city with beautiful, quiet nature that fits perfectly into Isabel’s life. The mystery itself is not the center point of the story, but the journey of finding the true meaning of life- however insignificant it looked like- becomes the story’s core point.
And who else besides Alexander McCall Smith can create a simple, delightful story full of charming and meaningful details?
I enjoyed this book (like I enjoyed most of McCall Smith’s books actually) and interested in reading the rest of the series. Even though sometimes I feel Isabel is a bit too much, but I still can quite like her, and that’s a plus point for a series.