The Novel Habits of Happiness
The Novel Habits of Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Isobel Dalhousie, moral philosopher and editor of “The Review of Applied Ethics” is once again asked to “interfere” in another moral mystery. Has Kirsten’s little boy really been reincarnated or is there another, more rational explanation? Isobel thinks there must be but Grace, her housekeeper, does not agree. Should Isobel interfere again, or should she leave things be? Meanwhile, her nemeses Dove and Lettuce have been spotted at the university. Does this mean another change in Isobel’s life?

As usual, this is a whimsical tale from Alexander McCall Smith, where nothing much happens but real lives pass by, as they do. I have started to enjoy this series more than the “Number One Detective Agency” novels, perhaps because everyday happenings in Scotland are much closer to my experience. Nevertheless, even for a McCall Smith novel, this is a slow one and it is not until right at the end that there is even a taste of action – in fact, more happens in the last two chapters than in the entire of the rest of the book.

We have, though, been set up nicely for the next instalment of Isobel and Jamie’s lives, and I shall look forward to reading that one with as much pleasure as I have the rest of the series.

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