Monday, January 28, 2013

Much Philosophical Musing, Not Much Mystery: The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds by Alexander McCall Cmith


A valuable painting has been stolen from Munrowe House. Duncan Munrowe, the owner, asks for Isabels help, not to solve the mystery, but to be supportive and give him someone to talk to. In this book, Isabel goes about her daily life; taking care of Charlie, her son; listening to concerts by her musician husband, Jaime; worrying about what Grace, Charlie's sitter is teaching him; and helping Cal, her cousin, in the deli. During each of these activities she ponders the philosophical implications of people's actions.

The book is a very gentle read, unfortunately it can become rather boring unless you're riveted by Isabel's daily life. I thought the whole book was uncommonly like Isabel's thoughts on page 59, “It would be fascinating to have some sort of printout of the thoughts of other people – a stream-of-consciousness report. It would read, she suspected, like a badly constructed novel, by an author who had no sense of the flow of narrative.” I have to admit that at times this quote struck me as perfect for the book. The mystery was the interesting incident that kept me reading, but there was very little about it other than Isabel's thoughts about the characters and discussions with Duncan.

I recommend this book if you like the Scottish setting. It's done very well with many passages describing the beauty of the area. However, if you're looking for a serious mystery, or even a good cozy, this isn't it.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.