The comforts of a muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith

The comforts of a muddy SaturdayBlurb:

A doctor’s career has been ruined by allegations of medical fraud and Isabel cannot ignore what may be a miscarriage of justice. Besides, Isabel’s insatiable interest is piqued and she finds herself asking questions. Would a respected doctor make such a grave mistake? If not, what explains the death of the patient? Clearly, an investigation is in order. Meanwhile, there is her baby Charlie, who needs looking after; her niece Cat who needs someone to mind her deli; and a mysterious composer who has latched on to Jamie, making Isabel decidedly uncomfortable. Whatever the problem, whatever the case, we know we can count on Isabel’s instincts to help her find the right solution.


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: Edinburgh, philosophical musings, busybodies who regard anybody’s business to be their own

My thoughts: 

Once more Isabel’s idea of “moral proximity” gets her into a situation where she feels the need to help someone out. She does realize that she could be considered to be an “intermeddler” but that knowledge doesn’t deter her from intermeddling…Her investigations once more go a totally wrong way and the result has nothing to do with what really happened. Somehow, however, her interference helped after all.

I don’t think I have ever come across a heroine who thinks so much about how to be a good person and how to behave properly and who – I don’t want to say “fails”, because she doesn’t fail really –, but is far from perfect. She constantly thinks about being charitable and trusting and what not, and she is everything but. She suspects Jamie of all sorts of things (falsely), she thinks Eddie is a liar (falsely), she hates Dove (possibly with a good reason, but we have no proof of his machinations), she takes an immediate dislike to Nick Smart… She just stumbles along constantly pondering the right ethical behaviour in any given situation, but does she apply her standards to herself? Not really.

And yet you can’t help but like Isabel in spite of or even because of all her failings.

This is another good, comfortable read with plenty of things to think about. The descriptions of the Edinburgh atmosphere add another layer of coziness to this very pleasant book.

Disclaimer: If you do not have children and read those books, please don’t consider Isabel’s motherhood to be typical. Charlie is a model toddler, Jamie a doting father with plenty of time for his son and there is Grace who wants Charlie for himself. Isabel’s experiences as a mother don’t have much in common with the everyday woman, that is for certain. Real life is much different!

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Map UKRamsay Garden

Images from Google maps and wikipedia user David Monniaux

Product info and buy link :

Title The comforts of a muddy Saturday
Author Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher Anchor Books
ISBN 9780307474339
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy The comforts of a muddy Saturday
More info The Sunday Philosophy Club series

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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