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Posts Tagged ‘Alexander McCall Smith’

She opened her wardrobe. Guilty by Design, she thought, looking at a black shift dress she had bought from the aptly named dress shop in Morningside, for there was a great deal of guilt involved in the buying of expensive dresses – delicious guilt; she had loved that dress and had worn it too often. Italians wore black, did they not? So something different – a red cashmere polo-neck would transform the skirt, and a pair of dangly diamanté earrings would add to the effect. There!

Isabel Dalhousie – fictional character in the book Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, the second novel in a mystery series featuring Isabel, by Alexander McCall Smith.

Guilt for buying expensive dresses? Well, no need for guilt IF the expensive dress is worn. Isabel has worn her expensive dress “too often” apparently and gotten her money’s worth. I don’t think you can wear a dress too often. As long as the dress is kept clean and and mended if needed, wear, wear, wear what you have and buy less. An LBD (little black dress) is an investment and with accessories can be styled so many different ways – worn with an elegant pair of pumps and a strand of pearls for a special occasion or with sneakers and a cardi for a casual lunch.

I think I have mentioned that I am a fan of (good) mystery novels and my current favorite is the Isabel Dalhouise series. McCall Smith sets these mysteries in Edinburgh and treats his readers to detailed descriptions of various blocks and neighborhoods giving us a real feel for the city. I love that he gently uses clothing to reflect aspects of his characters and the mysteries themselves are unusual (and perhaps a bit thin to be honest.) For example in Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, Isabel (the editor of a philosophy journal) meets a man who has recently had a heart transplant and is haunted by memories of things that didn’t happen to him. Hmm … what’s that all about? Isabel is going to find out!

What I like most about this series is hanging out with our heroine. She lives an interesting life in a big house in an old city and as a philosopher, she ponders the world and gets herself into quite a few moral dilemmas.

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