In these two warm, engaging and intelligently observed novellas, Alexander McCall Smith's sharp-eyed heroine Isabel Dalhousie is reminded to avoid jumping to hasty conclusions about the lives of others and to value friendship wherever it's found, and learns valuable lessons about inviting the past into your life. The Perils of Morning Coffee sees Isabel's peaceful summer idyll broken when a single meeting over coffee with fellow philosopher Dr George McLeod brings an irate phone call from his wife, Roz, who implacably accuses Isabel of conducting an affair with her husband. Wounded by the injustice of Roz's wild allegation and concerned both for her standing among the gossipy group of her scholarly peers and for Roz's apparent state of hysteria, Isabel is minded to discover more about the McLeods and set the record straight before the bitterness in their marriage poisons her reputation. She turns to Millie, an old acquaintance and a university colleague of George's, for insight. Then Isabel takes on the mammoth task of hosting her school reunion. In the hours before twenty-five former classmates descend on her home, and the caterers arrive to set up a buffet, Isabel has time to reflect. She is mindful of the fact that reunions can bring up all sorts of uncomfortable feelings. Later that night, with the party in full swing, Isabel realises that the pull of the past remains as strong as ever. Some people are interested in fuelling disagreements, while others are hoping to make amends. As hostess of the party, Isabel feels compelled to help them on the path to mercy and forgiveness. But what if the reasons for forgiveness are murky and suspect? And what if long-held secrets threaten to derail Isabel's efforts?
Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty languages and become bestsellers through the world.
The series include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Sunday Philosophy Club series starring Isabel Dalhousie, the von Igelfeld series, and the new Corduroy Mansions novels.
Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America.
Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters. Karlyn was born in Forfar on Scotland's east coast. She studied acting in Edinburgh and has toured the country in numerous productions as well as made appearances at the Brunton, Traverse and Lyceum Theatres. She moved to London and has continued to work in film, television and theatre both in the UK and internationally. She is a successful voiceover artist and has extensive experience in adverts, TV promos, corporates and ADR work on films.
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