"Genial.... Wise.... Glows like a rare jewel."
"The literary equivalent of herbal tea and a cozy fire. . . . McCall Smith's Scotland [is] well worth future visits."
—The New York Times
"In Mma Ramotswe, [McCall Smith] minted one of the most memorable heroines in any modern fiction. Now, with the creation of Isabel Dalhousie . . . he's done it again. . . . She's such good company, it's hard to believe she's fictional. You finish this installment greedily looking forward to more."
"Charmingly told. . . . Its graceful prose shines, and Isabel's interior monologues--meditations on a variety of moral questions--are bemused, intelligent and entertaining."
—The Seattle Times
"Endearing. . . . Offers tantalizing glimpses of Edinburgh's complex character and a nice, long look into the beautiful mind of a thinking woman."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels will delight in this new series, featuring as its heroine the tart-tongued, tartan-clad problem-solver Isabel Dalhousie. The book club will love it."
"Whimsical. . . . [A] memorable cast of characters. . . . McCall Smith's assessments of fellow humans are piercing and profound. . . . [His] depictions of Edinburgh are vivid and seamless. . . . His fans . . . are sure to embrace these moral peregrinations among the plaid."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"A mystery of moral responsibility and manners . . . [with] memorable minor characters, [an] intriguing, troubled heroine, local color and bracing Scottish patter."
"Habit-forming. . . . The Sunday Philosophy Club leaves plenty of time for pondering moral conundrums, the drinking of steaming cups of hot brew (coffee, in this case) and . . . gentle probing into the human condition."
"So believable. . . . The great pleasures of [The Sunday Philosophy Club] have to do with Smith's wry, gentle writing applied to intriguing plots more curious or humorous than dramatic. . . . Precious Ramotswe has found a kindred spirit."
—The Columbus Dispatch
"Alexander McCall Smith has become one of those commodities, like oil or chocolate or money, where the supply is never sufficient to the demand. . . . [He] is prolific and habit-forming. . . . [His] gift, one of them, is to inspire an eagerness to follow. . . . McCall Smith has done his job. Isabel lives. A series is born."
—The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"Like walking down the street with an amazingly literate, thoughtful, witty and self-deprecating friend through a city that friend knows and loves well."
—The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
"Skillfully written. . . . Smith's Scotland . . . is a place where a profound, humane intelligence is at work."
—New York Daily News
"Mr. Smith, a fine writer, paints his hometown of Edinburgh as indelibly as he captures the sunniness of Africa. We can almost feel the mists as we tread the cobblestones."
—The Dallas Morning News
"Memorable. . . . The Sunday Philosophy Club will delight McCall Smith's existing fans and win him some new ones."
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Charming. . . . Suspenseful. . . . A pleasant introduction to a woman readers will want to know more about."
—Detroit Free Press
"A quiet mystery aimed in equal parts at the head and the heart."
—The Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA)
"Devotees of Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series are certain to enjoy these new people and this new place. . . . To know Isabel Dalhousie is to like and admire her."
"Readers will be immediately smitten with the interplay between the philosopher, her tradition-bound housekeeper Grace and her unlucky in-love niece Cat."
—Ft. Myers News-Press
"An elegant mystery filled not with dead bodies but an air of gentle refinement, intelligence and insight. . . . Isabel is a true original."
"A detective story with charm [and] warmth."
"Murder and moral obligation mingle in this whimsical new series from the author of the smash hit The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. McCall Smith's new heroine is Scottish-American philosopher Isabel Dalhousie, a single woman of independent means who edits the esteemed Review of Applied Ethics and presides over the titular club. When Isabel witnesses fund manager Mark Fraser fall from a balcony after a performance at an Edinburgh concert hall, she feels obliged to investigate the gentleman's demise. "I was the last person that young man saw," Dalhousie tells her beloved niece, Cat. "The last person. And donÕt you think that the last person you see on this earth owes you something?" Given her affinity for applied ethics, questions of conscience are a daily concern for Isabel, and the more she thinks about Fraser's fall, the less accidental it seems. Among those who might have pushed him: his shifty roommate, his colleague's scheming spouse and a disgruntled broker with a craving for cash. Fans of Botswanan heroine Precious Ramotswe are sure to embrace Scotsman McCall Smith's plucky new protagonist, who leads a cast of delightfully quirky characters that includes Toby, a dapper bachelor with a dubious understanding of fidelity, and Grace, Dalhousie's morally upright housekeeper, who sizes up society's reprobates in two syllables or less. Scotland's climate may be misty and cool, but McCall Smith's charming prose warms every page of this winning series debut.
—Publisher's Weekly, starred review