Tuesday 14 November 2017

#re3 - The Sunday Philosophy Club

Ok, I have to admit this before I go any further. I have read this once before, many many years ago. I vaguely remember liking it, but I can't for the life of me tell you what happened. It was an easy, cosy read. I must have liked it back then as I am certain I read the second book in the series, Friends, Lovers and Chocolate afterwards (again, no idea what the mystery was. I only remember really one detail).

So, when earlier this year (Spring), I saw this and The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency on NetGalley for review, I jumped at the chance to reread them both. I wanted to see if I would still hold them to my memory of them. I reread The No. 1 Detective Agency back in February (review/#re3 for that is here), but I held this one off as I wanted the time to be right. And, with my job at the start of the month being all over the place with shift work (6am to 2pm for me), it screwed up my reading of La Belle Sauvage so I picked this one up instead. I wanted something light and easy and thought this would do the trick.

Oh, dear reader, how very wrong I was. But more on that later!

When philosopher and amateur detective Isabel Dalhousie saw a man fall from the gods at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, her instincts are telling her that the man didn't fall, but was pushed. With this in mind, Isabel decided to find out the truth...

Out of the two, I much prefer Precious Ramotswe over Isabel Dalhousie. Precious is much more a warmer character, a character I related to very easily and I wanted her to succeed. But Isabel isn't warmer. She's more spiky and prickly, so it makes it harder for me to relate to her.

Plus, as she is the philosopher, there were times were she would go off on a philosophy trail of thought. And this dragged. There were times, the whole chapter would be philosophy and ethics, and because of this, I felt the story slowed to a grinding halt and struggled to care about the mystery Isabel was trying to solve or about her and her family/friends.

I know I like reading crime/thriller books that have a bit of pace to them, so I am not use to much gentler, cosier crimes, but this was a struggle, whereas The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency was a joy to read.

The writing is good, don't get me wrong. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will enjoy this book and will enjoy the series. But this isn't my cup of tea, I'm afraid. And, if I decide to go back to his books, I think I will go toward Precious and read Tears of the Giraffe.

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