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Isabel Dalhousie thinks often of friends, sometimes of lovers, and on occasion of chocolate. As an Edinburgh philosopher she is certain of where she stands. She can review a book called In Praise of Sin with panache and conviction, but real life is... well, perhaps a bit more challenging - particularly when it comes to her feelings for Jamie, a younger man who should have married her niece, Cat. Jamie's handsomeness leaves Isabel feeling distinctly uneasy, and ethically disturbed. 'I am a philosopher', she thinks, 'but I am also a woman'. And more disturbance is in store. When Cat takes a break in Italy, Isabel agrees to run her delicatessen. One of the customers, she discovers, has recently had a heart transplant and is now being plagued by memories that cannot be rationally explained and which he feels do not belong to him. Isabel is intrigued. So intrigued that she finds herself rushing headlong into a dangerous investigation. But she still has time to think about the things that possess her - things like love and friendship, and, of course, temptation. The last of these comes in many forms - chocolate, for example, or seductive Italians...

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Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the UK and abroad before turning his hand to writing fiction. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children’s books. His first book, The White Hippo—a children’s book, was published by Hamish Hamilton in 1980.

But it wasn’t until the publication of the highly successful The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series that Alexander became a household name. The series has now sold over twenty million copies in the English language alone, and since the books took off, he has devoted his time to writing.

In addition to these series, Alexander has written a number of stand-alone novels, including , The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse, My Italian Bulldozer, The Second Worst Restaurant in France, Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party, Chance Developments and Pianos and Flowers.

Earlier stand alone books include Trains and Lovers: A Heart’s Journey; The Forever Girl; La’s Orchestra Saves the World; and Emma—a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel.

He has also authored many non-fiction titles, the latest of which are A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith’s Edinburgh and What W.H. Auden Can Do For You.

Recently Alexander has written a new children’s series—The School Ship Tobermory—and we now have four books in the series. This increases the number of children’s books he has written to more than thirty.

Alexander has received numerous awards for his writing and holds twelve honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and North America. In 2007 he received a CBE for services to literature and in 2011 was honoured by the President of Botswana for services through literature to the country. In 2015 he received the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction and in 2017, The National Arts Club (of America) Medal of Honor for Achievement in Literature. In 2020, he will receive the honorary fellowship of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

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Professionally Packed

All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.