Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, Alexander McCall Smith
I was quite taken by the opening (dinner party) scene, and the thoughts of the heroine, Isabel Dalhousie. But there's something in the text that's very old fashioned (which in some books, comes off as charming), tending toward the boring. The 'mystery' that the heroine's supposed to figure out isn't so much discovered by, as it is revealed to her. And there's plenty of interpersonal tension all over the place, none of which is satisfactorily resolved. I wonder if things would have made more sense if I had begun with The Sunday Philosophers' Club, the first book in the series (this is book 5).
There's a special spot in my book-loving heart for books that novelize/talk about thought. Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World is not a very good one; Muriel Barbery's Elegance of a Hedgehog is a bit better, I think. Unlike these two, Comforts of a Muddy Saturday seems less pedantic, but the story is still not quite as compelling as I'd hope it would be.
That being said, I might keep it to learn how certain scenes play out. And truth be told, I really like the heroine.
The book is my little break from 'work'--which, it turns out is two recalcitrant stories and that thing-of-beauty I am trying to put together for the old high school.